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The second edition of this best-selling guide demystifies Shakespeare’s plays and brings critical ideas within a beginner’s grasp. The text provides a thorough general introduction to the plays, based on the exciting new approaches shaping the field of Shakespeare studies.
Demonstrating how interpretations of Shakespeare are linked to cultural and political contexts, and providing readings of the most frequently studied plays in the light of contemporary critical thought, Shakespeare: The Basics explores:
Fully updated to include discussion of criticism and performance in the last five years, a new chapter on Shakespeare on film, and a broader critical approach, this book is the essential resource for all students of Shakespeare.
Contents. List of illustrations. Acknowledgements. Introduction. Part I: Understanding the Text 1. Shakespeare’s Language (1) 2. Shakespeare's Language (2) 3. Types of Stage Action 4. The Plays in Performance 5. Shakespeare on Film Part II: The Genres 6. What Is Genre? 7. Understanding Comedy: The Taming of the Shrew 8. Understanding History: King Richard II 9. Understanding Tragedy: Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth and Othello 10. Understanding Romance: The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest. Conclusion. Appendix. Chronology. Glossary. References. Index