Description : Why did theatre audiences laugh in Shakespeare's day? Why do they still laugh now? What did Shakespeare do with the conventions of comedy that he inherited, so that his plays continue to amuse and move audiences? What do his comedies have to say about love, sex, gender, power, family, community, and class? What place have pain, cruelty, and even death in a comedy? Why all those puns? In a survey that travels from Shakespeare's earliest experiments in farce and courtly love-stories to the great romantic comedies of his middle years and the mould-breaking experiments of his last decade's work, this book addresses these vital questions. Organised thematically, and covering all Shakespeare's comedies from the beginning to the end of his career, it provides readers with a map of the playwright's comic styles, showing how he built on comedic conventions as he further enriched the possibilities of the genre.
Description : Pt. 1:Shakespeare and comic tradition --Theories of comedy /David Galbraith --Roman comedy /Robert S. Miola --Italian stories on the stage /Louise George Clubb --Elizabethan comedy /Janette Dillon --Popular festivity /François Laroque --pt. 2:Shakespearean comedy --Forms of confusion /John Creaser --Love and courtship /Catherine Bates --Laughing at "others" /Edward Berry --Comedy and sex /Alexander Leggatt --Language and comedy /Lynne Magnusson --Sexual disguise and the theatre of gender /Barbara Hodgdon --Matters of state /Anthony Miller --The experiment of romance /Michael O'Connell.
Description : This lively and innovative introduction to Shakespeare promotes active engagement with the plays, rather than recycling factual information. Covering a range of texts, it is divided into seven subject-based chapters: Character; Performance; Texts; Language; Structure; Sources and History, and it does not assume any prior knowledge. Instead, it develops ways of thinking and provides the reader with resources for independent research through the 'Where next?' sections at the end of each chapter. The book draws on scholarship without being overwhelmed by it, and unlike other introductory guides to Shakespeare it emphasizes that there is space for new and fresh thinking by students and readers, even on the most-studied and familiar plays.
Description : While Shakespeare's popularity has continued to grow, so has the attention paid to the work of his contemporaries. The contributors to this Companion introduce the distinctive drama of these playwrights, from the court comedies of John Lyly to the works of Richard Brome in the Caroline era. With chapters on a wide range of familiar and lesser-known dramatists, including Thomas Kyd, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, John Webster, Thomas Middleton and John Ford, this book devotes particular attention to their personal and professional relationships, occupational rivalries and collaborations. Overturning the popular misconception that Shakespeare wrote in isolation, it offers a new perspective on the most impressive body of drama in the history of the English stage.
Description : From The Two Gentlemen of Verona in the early 1590s to The Two Noble Kinsmen at the end of his career around 1614, Shakespeare wrote at least eighteen plays that can be called 'comedies': a far higher number than that for any other genre in which he wrote. So what is a Shakespearean comedy? We associate these plays with such themes as mistaken identities, happy marriages, and exuberant cross dressing, but how representative are these of the oeuvre as a whole? In this Very Short Introduction, Bart van Es explores the full range of the playwright's comic writing, from the neat classical plotting of early works like The Comedy of Errors to the corrupt world of the so-called problem plays, written in the middle years of Shakespeare's life. Examining Shakespeare's influences and sources, van Es compares his plays to those of his rivals, and looks at the history of the plays in performance, from the biographies of Shakespeare's original actors to the plays' endless reinvention in modern stage productions and in films. Identifying the key qualities that make Shakespearean comedy distinctive, van Es traces the changing nature of Shakespeare's comic writing over the course of a career that spanned nearly a quarter century of theatrical change. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Description : This four-volume Companion to Shakespeare's Works, compiled as a single entity, offers a uniquely comprehensive snapshot of current Shakespeare criticism. Brings together new essays from a mixture of younger and more established scholars from around the world - Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Examines each of Shakespeare’s plays and major poems, using all the resources of contemporary criticism, from performance studies to feminist, historicist, and textual analysis. Volumes are organized in relation to generic categories: namely the histories, the tragedies, the romantic comedies, and the late plays, problem plays and poems. Each volume contains individual essays on all texts in the relevant category, as well as more general essays looking at critical issues and approaches more widely relevant to the genre. Offers a provocative roadmap to Shakespeare studies at the dawning of the twenty-first century. This companion to Shakespeare’s poems, problem comedies and late plays contains original essays on Troilus and Cressida, Measure for Measure, All's Well That Ends Well, "Venus and Adonis", "The Rape of Lucrece", and "The Sonnets", as well as Pericles, The Winter's Tale, Cymbeline, The Tempest, and The Two Noble Kinsmen.
Description : Macbeth clutches an imaginary dagger; Hamlet holds up Yorick's skull; Lear enters with Cordelia in his arms. Do these memorable and iconic moments have anything to tell us about the definition of Shakespearean tragedy? Is it in fact helpful to talk about 'Shakespearean tragedy' as a concept, or are there only Shakespearean tragedies? What kind of figure is the tragic hero? Is there always such a figure? What makes some plays more tragic than others? Beginning with a discussion of tragedy before Shakespeare and considering Shakespeare's tragedies chronologically one by one, this 2007 book seeks to investigate such questions in a way that highlights both the distinctiveness and shared concerns of each play within the broad trajectory of Shakespeare's developing exploration of tragic form.