Which plays are included under the heading 'Shakespeare's last plays', and when does Shakespeare's 'last' period begin? What is meant by a 'late play', and what are the benefits in defining plays in this way? Reflecting the recent growth of interest in late studies, and recognising the gaps in accessible scholarship on this area, in this book leading international Shakespeare scholars address these and many other questions. The essays locate Shakespeare's last plays - single and co-authored - in the period of their composition, consider the significant characteristics of their Jacobean context, and explore the rich afterlives, on stage, in print and other media of The Winter's Tale, Cymbeline, The Tempest, Pericles, The Two Noble Kinsmen and Henry VIII. The volume opens with a historical timeline that places the plays in the contexts of contemporary political events, theatrical events, other cultural milestones, Shakespeare's life and that of his playing company, the King's Men.
About the Author
Catherine M. S. Alexander is a Fellow of the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham.
Table of ContentsHistorical timeline Clare Smout; Preface Catherine M. S. Alexander; 1. What is a 'late play'? Gordon McMullan; 2. Blackfriars, music and masque: theatrical contexts of the Last Plays David Lindley; 3. The literary and dramatic contexts of the Last Plays Charles Moseley; 4. Politics, religion, geography and travel: historical contexts of the Last Plays Karen Britland; 5. 'You speak a language that I understand not': listening to the Last Plays Russ McDonald; 6. The Winter's Tale: shifts in staging and status Patricia Tatspaugh; 7. Cymbeline: the afterlife Catherine M. S. Alexander; 8. Literary invocations of The Tempest Virginia Mason Vaughan; 9. Pericles: the afterlife Eugene Giddens; 10. The Two Noble Kinsmen and King Henry VIII: the last last plays Suzanne Gossett; Further reading Clare Smout.