Bedford Companion to Shakespeare: An Introduction with Documents / Edition 2

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Providing a unique combination of well-written, up-to-date background information and intriguing selections from primary documents, this revision of The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare introduces readers to the topics most important to the study of Shakespeare in their full historical and cultural context. The sets of primary documents include maps and illustrations; excerpts from conduct books; sermons; playhouse records; facsimiles from quartos and the First Folio; passages from Shakespeare's sources; dress laws; popular ballads; and more. Developed with advice from a host of scholars, the new edition features more documents by women and other marginalized voices from the early modern period. A set of documents and photographs illustrating a new chapter on Shakespeare in performance introduces readers to Shakespeare's works as they have been performed over the centuries.
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Editorial Reviews

An attempt to put the Shakespearean text into cultural perspective "without causing it to disappear." It is designed as a vehicle for conveying facts and ideas that will inform classroom discussion and enhance comprehension of Shakespearean drama. For example, excerpts from historic speeches are meant to stimulate students to hear the rhetoric of Richard II, Claudius, King Lear, and Prospero in terms of contemporary political writing. It includes documents and illustrations such as maps, facsimiles of pages from Shakespearean quartos, portraits of Elizabeth and James, playhouse records, and passages from handbooks and political treatises. McDonald currently teaches English at the U. of North Carolina, Greensboro. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312248802
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 4/1/2001
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 451
  • Sales rank: 307,135
  • Product dimensions: 6.17 (w) x 9.09 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Russ McDonald is a professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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Table of Contents

To the Reader
Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Shakespeare, "Shakespeare," and the Problem of Authorship 11
Ch. 2 Performances, Playhouses, and Players 40
Ch. 3 "What Is Your Text?" 74
Ch. 4 "I Loved My Books": Shakespeare's Reading 100
Ch. 5 Theater a la Mode: Shakespeare and the Kinds of Drama 151
Ch. 6 "To What End Are All These Words?": Shakespeare's Dramatic Language 180
Ch. 7 Town and Country: Life in Shakespeare's England 221
Ch. 8 Men and Women: Gender, Family, Society 251
Ch. 9 Politics and Religion: Early Modern Ideologies 297
Bibliography 342
Index 357
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