Shakespeare Biographies and Criticism
Soul of the Age
A Biography of the Mind of William Shakespeare
Paperback ISBN: 0812971817
“One man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.” In this illuminating, innovative biography, Jonathan Bate, one of today’s most accomplished Shakespearean scholars, has found a fascinating new way to tell the story of the great dramatist. Using the Bard’s own immortal list of a man’s seven ages in As You Like It, Bate deduces the crucial events of Shakespeare’s life and connects them to his world and work as never before. Here is the author as an infant, born into a world of plague and syphillis, diseases with which he became closely familiar; as a schoolboy, a position he portrayed in The Merry Wives of Windsor, in which a clever, cheeky lad named William learns Latin grammar; as a lover, married at eighteen to an older woman already pregnant, perhaps presaging Bassanio, who in The Merchant of Venice won a wife who could save him from financial ruin. Here, too, is Shakespeare as a soldier, writing Henry the Fifth’s St. Crispin’s Day speech, with a nod to his own monarch Elizabeth I’s passionate addresses; as a justice, revealing his possible legal training in his precise use of the law in plays from Hamlet to Macbeth; and as a pantaloon, an early retiree because of, Bate postulates, either illness or a scandal. Finally, Shakespeare enters oblivion, with sonnets that suggest he actively sought immortality through his art and secretly helped shape his posthumous image more than anyone ever knew. Equal parts masterly detective story, brilliant literary analysis, and insightful world history, Soul of the Age is more than a superb new recounting of Shakespeare’s experiences; it is a bold and entertaining work of scholarship and speculation, one that shifts from past to present, reality to the imagination, to reveal how this unsurpassed artist came to be. From the Hardcover edition.
Hardcover ISBN: 157322233x
In a study of Hamlet, the author of Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human discusses mysteries surrounding the play and its central character, discussing how both break through theatrical conventions while analyzing major soliloquies, scenes, characters, and events. 75,000 first printing.
The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare
2nd Edition Hardcover ISBN: 0198708734
The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare is the most comprehensive reference work available on Shakespeare's life, times, works, and his 400-year global legacy. In addition to the authoritative A-Z entries, it includes nearly 100 illustrations, a chronology, a guide to further reading, a thematic contents list, and special feature entries on each of Shakespeare's works. Tying in with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, this much-loved Companion has been revised and updated, reflecting developments and discoveries made in recent years and to cover the performance, interpretation, and the influence of Shakespeare's works up to the present day. First published in 2001, the online edition was revised in 2011, with updates to over 200 entries plus 16 new entries. These online updates appear in print for the first time in this second edition, along with a further 35,000 new and revised words. These include more than 80 new entries, ranging from important performers, directors, and scholars (such as Lucy Bailey, Samuel West, and Alfredo Michel Modenessi), to topics as diverse as Shakespeare in the digital age and the ubiquity of plants in Shakespeare's works, to the interpretation of Shakespeare globally, from Finland to Iraq. To make information on Shakespeare's major works easier to find, the feature entries have been grouped and placed in a centre section (fully cross-referenced from the A-Z). The thematic listing of entries - described in the press as 'an invaluable panorama of the contents' - has been updated to include all of the new entries. This edition contains a preface written by much-lauded Shakespearian actor Simon Russell Beale. Full of both entertaining trivia and scholarly detail, this authoritative Companion will delight the browser and reward students, academics, as well as anyone wanting to know more about Shakespeare.
Shaw on Shakespeare
An Anthology of Bernard Shaw's Writings on the Plays and Production of Shakespeare
Paperback ISBN: 1557835616
"With the single exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, not even Sir Walter Scott, whom I can despise so entirely as I despise Shakespeare when I measure my mind against his." - From SHAW ON SHAKESPEARE Celebrated playwright, critic and essayist George Bernard Shaw was more like the Elizabethan master that he would ever admit. Both men were intristic dramatists who shared a rich and abiding respect for the stage. Shakespeare was the produce of a tempestuous and enlightening era under the reign of his patron, Queen Elizabeth I; while G.B.S. reflected the racy and risque spirt of the late 19th century as the champion of modern drama by playwrights like Ibsen, and, later, himself. Culled from Shaw's reviews, prefaces, letters to actors and critics, and other writings, SHAW ON SHAKESPEARE offers a fascinating and unforgettable portrait of the 16th century playwright by his most outspoken critic. This is a witty and provocative classic that combines Shaw's prodigious critical acumen with a superlative prose style second to none (except, perhaps, Shakespeare!).
Paperback ISBN: 1590171683
This legendary book by an esteemed poet and beloved professor at Columbia University features a series of smart, witty, deeply perceptive essays about each of Shakespeare's plays, together with a further discussion of the poems. Writing with an incomparable knowledge of his subject but without a hint of pedantry, Van Doren elucidates both the astonishing boldness and myriad subtleties of Shakespeare's protean art. His Shakespeare is a book to be treasured by both new and longtime students of the Bard.
The World As Stage
Paperback ISBN: 0061673692
A portrait of the bard is presented in the style of a travelogue based on interviews with actors, the curator of Shakespeare's Birthplace, and academics, in an account that also shares the author's whimsical recollections of his own adventures in Stratford-upon-Avon. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.