The word ‘gesture(s)’ is found ten times in Shakespeare’s plays. He only used it from 1599 – after his company had moved into the Globe. If there is a common thread in his deployment of the word, it is in the notion that gesture is revelatory: it presents things, yields things, imports things, it speaks, it expresses. In both cases, it is assumed that gesture is expressive: it cries out, it invests, it presents things in terms of both a physical appearance (‘horrid ghosts’) and an abstraction (as ‘the heart’). But where in Henry V the suggestion is of a static position, with Orlando’s gesture in As You Like It the indication is of a quick movement betraying rapid emotional reactions and thought patterns.
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