This introduction examines the continuity and variety of Shakepeare's work and the creative use he made of his inherited conventions. The first section places Shakespeare in the context of classical and Renaissance comedy, his Elizabethan predecessors and the traditions of popular festivity. The second section traces themes through Shakespeare's early and middle comedies, dark comedies and late romances, illuminating particular plays by close analysis,
About the Author
Alexander Leggatt is Professor of English at University College, University of Toronto. Among his books are: Citizen Comedy in the Age of Shakespeare (1973), Shakespeare's Comedy of Love (1974), Ben Jonson: his Vision and his Art (1981), English Drama: Shakespeare to the Restoration, 1590-1660 (1988), Shakespeare's Political Drama (1988), Jacobean Public Theatre (1992), English Stage Comedy 1490-1990: Five Centuries of a Genre (1998) and Introduction to English Renaissance Comedy (1999).
Table of ContentsPreface; Chronology; Part I. Shakespeare and Comic Tradition: 1. Theories of comedy David Galbraith; 2. Roman comedy Robert S. Miola; 3. Italian stories on the stage Louis George Clubb; 4. Elizabethan comedy Janette Dillon; 5. Popular festivity François Laroque; Part II. Shakespearean Comedy: 6. Forms of confusion John Creaser; 7. Love and courtship Catherine Bates; 8. Laughing at 'others' Edward Berry; 9. Comedy and sex Alexander Leggatt; 10. Language and comedy Lynne Magnusson; 11. Sexual disguise and the theatre of gender Barbara Hodgdon; 12. Matters of state Anthony Miller; 13. The experiment of romance Michael O'Connell; Select bibliography.