An Introduction to Shakespeare: The Dramatist in His Context

Overview

Peter Hyland provides a highly readable account of the historical, social and political pressures of Shakespeare's England and the material conditions under which his plays were written, including a comprehensive description of the development and status of the theatrical profession. Half of the book is given over to a survey of the plays and examines numerous controversial issues that arise when we ask precisely what we can 'know' about them. For those who are daunted by the volume or the impenetrable prose of ...
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Overview

Peter Hyland provides a highly readable account of the historical, social and political pressures of Shakespeare's England and the material conditions under which his plays were written, including a comprehensive description of the development and status of the theatrical profession. Half of the book is given over to a survey of the plays and examines numerous controversial issues that arise when we ask precisely what we can 'know' about them. For those who are daunted by the volume or the impenetrable prose of much recent writing on Shakespeare, Hyland's book will be a stimulating introduction.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A Shakespeare reference eschewing "bardolotry" and firmly locating the dramatist (opposed to the poet) within the context of his theatre and time. Hyland (English, Huron College) provides an introduction to approaching Shakespeare and the stage, describing Elizabethan politics, history, social models, the life of London and that of the actors and writers in the theatrical profession during the era, finally commenting on the plays' language and style, their positions in the genres of comedy, history, or tragedy, and offering a useful guide to the voluminous criticism. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312162740
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 10/1/1996
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.83 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Table of Contents

Prefatory Note
Introduction: Approaching Shakespeare and His Stage 1
1 Life and Times 7
Life 7
Shakespeare's Context 19
Politics and History 21
Social Models 29
London 36
Beliefs and Myths 39
2 Theatrical Professions 55
The Rise of Playing 56
The Professional Public Theatre 63
The Playhouses 74
Actors and Acting 80
Playwrights 87
Audiences 89
Control and Censorship 93
3 The Plays 97
Canon, Texts and Chronology 97
Sources and Materials 107
Language and Style 111
Drama Metadrama 121
Genre 127
Comedies 131
Histories 161
Tragedies 182
Notes 202
Chronology 206
Suggested Reading 207
Index 211
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