Shakespeare Biographies and Criticism
Will in the World
How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare
Paperback ISBN: 039332737x
A portrait of Elizabethan England and how it contributed to the making of William Shakespeare discusses how he moved to London lacking money, connections, and a formal education; started a family; attempted to forge his career in the competitive theater world; grappled with dangerous religious and political forces; and rose to became his age's foremost playwright. Reprint. 100,000 first printing.
Beyond a Common Joy
An Introduction to Shakespearean Comedy
Hardcover ISBN: 0803215746
Like the best tragic or epic writers, Shakespeare in his comedies goes beyond private and domestic matters in order to draw on the whole of the commonwealth. He examines how a ruler's or a court's community at the household and local levels shapes the politics of empire - existing or nascent empires such as England, the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, Venice, and the Ottoman Empire or part empires such as Rome and Athens - where all their suffering and silliness play into how they govern. In Olson's work we also see how Shakespeare's appropriation of his age's ideas about classical myth and biblical scriptures bring to his comic action a sort of sacral profundity in keeping with notions of poetry as "inspired" and comic endings as more than merely happy but as, in fact, uncommonly joyful.
Shakespeare After All
Paperback ISBN: 0385722141
Reflecting thirty years of scholarship, a comprehensive companion to the plays of Shakespeare presents the plays in chronological order, examining the playwright's stylistic and literary development and the recurring themes and motifs of the plays, accompanied by chapters on Shakespeare's world and stage, a critical biography, and a detailed index. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.
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.
3rd Edition Paperback ISBN: 1903436591
In this edition, R.A. Foakes brings to bear a number of historical perspectives and critically addresses recent explorations of "King Lear" as a play of redemption, a play of despair and a play that destabilises all commentary.
A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare
Paperback ISBN: 0060088745
1599 was an epochal year for Shakespeare and England Shakespeare wrote four of his most famous plays: Henry the Fifth, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and, most remarkably, Hamlet; Elizabethans sent off an army to crush an Irish rebellion, weathered an Armada threat from Spain, gambled on a fledgling East India Company, and waited to see who would succeed their aging and childless queen. James Shapiro illuminates both Shakespeares staggering achievement and what Elizabethans experienced in the course of 1599, bringing together the news and the intrigue of the times with a wonderful evocation of how Shakespeare worked as an actor, businessman, and playwright. The result is an exceptionally immediate and gripping account of an inspiring moment in history.
Shakespeare's Most Outrageous Sexual Puns
Paperback ISBN: 1592404014
A collection of bawdy extracts from the Bard's best-known works is a treasury of double entendres, erotic puns, and whimsical wordplays, from Falstaff's deathbed exploits to Hamlet's plea for Ophelia's gratification, in a lighthearted scholarly survey that places key examples in a historical context. Reprint.