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Elizabethan Drama (Literary Movements and Genres Series)

Elizabethan Drama (Literary Movements and Genres Series)

by Laura K. Egendorf (Editor), Chris Smith, Bruno Leone (Editor)

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Editorial Reviews

As stated in the Foreword, the premise of this Greenhaven Series is that "by focusing on literary movements and genres, readers gain a greater appreciation of influence of historical events and social circumstances on the development of particular literary forms and themes." This volume begins with "A Historical Overview of Elizabethan Drama." The remaining 19 essays are divided into four chapters: "The Characteristics of Elizabethan Drama," "Elizabethan Drama as a Reflection of Elizabethan Society," "An Examination of William Shakespeare," and "Assessing Elizabethan Drama." The volume concludes with a brief chronology of significant literary, social, and historical events as well as suggestions for further reading. The editor attempts to make the essays more accessible to students by employing several techniques. The Table of Contents contains a brief annotation on each essay. A second and slightly longer annotation precedes the essay. Most importantly, the original articles "may have been edited for content, length, and/or reading level." Documentation is provided so that the article in its original form may be located if desired. In theory, this approach has much merit. In practice, it appears that a number of intended readers will have difficulty with some of the essays, especially those in Chapter 1. I have some reservations about the selections the editors made. However, students should still find a number of valuable essays on such topics as racial stereotyping, anti-Semitism, the tragic hero, and the portrayal of women in Elizabethan drama. The collection concludes with two conflicting and thought-provoking essays. A.L. Rowse discusses the greatness of Shakespeare while GaryTaylor suggests that Shakespeare's greatness has been overstated. This series would be quite handly for teachers since it brings together excerpts from a number of sources that would otherwise be a chore to locate. Teachers would then be better able to guide the students to an appreciation of the topic. Other titles in the series include: American Modernism, American Realism, American Romanticism, Greek Drama, and Victorian Literature, with more to come in 2001. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, Greenhaven Press, 189p, bibliogs, index, 22cm, 99-055871, $14.96. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Anthony J. Pucci; English Dept. Chair., Notre Dame H.S., Elmira, NY, March 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 2)

Product Details

Greenhaven Publishing
Publication date:
Literary Movements and Genres Series
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
15 Years

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