Who Was William Shakespeare: An Introduction to the Life and Works / Edition 1

Who Was William Shakespeare: An Introduction to the Life and Works / Edition 1

by Dympna Callaghan
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Who Was William Shakespeare: An Introduction to the Life and Works / Edition 1

A new study of Shakespeare’s life and times, whichilluminates our understanding and appreciation of his works.

  • Combines an accessible fully historicised treatment of both thelife and the plays, suited to both undergraduate and popularaudiences
  • Looks at 24 of the most significant plays and the sonnetsthrough the lens of various aspects of Shakespeare’s life andhistorical environment
  • Addresses four of the most significant issues that shapedShakespeare’s career:  education, religion, socialstatus, and theatre
  • Examines theatre as an institution and the literary environmentof early modern London
  • Explains and dispatches conspiracy theories aboutauthorship

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470658475
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 01/14/2013
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Dympna Callaghan is William L. Safire Professor of ModernLetters at Syracuse University and President of the ShakespeareAssociation of America, 2012–13. She is the editor of theArden Shakespeare Language and Writing Series and coeditor, withMichael Dobson, of the Palgrave Shakespeare Studies series. Herpublications include Shakespeare Without Women (2000),The Taming of the Shrew: A Norton Critical Edition (2009),Shakespeare’s Sonnets (2007), The Impact ofFeminism in English Renaissance Culture (2006), and Romeoand Juliet: Texts and Contexts (2003).

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Table of Contents

Note on the Text ix

Acknowledgments xi

Part I The Life 1

1 Who was William Shakespeare? 3

2 Writing 23

3 Religion 47

4 Status 61

5 Theatre 79

Part II The Plays 97

6 Comedies: Shakespeare’s Social Life 99

The Comedy of Errors 99

The Taming of the Shrew 108

Love’s Labour’s Lost 119

A Midsummer Night’s Dream 125

The Merchant of Venice 132

Much Ado About Nothing 138

As You Like It 146

Twelfth Night, Or What You Will 153

Measure for Measure 159

7 English and Roman Histories: Shakespeare’s Politics177

Richard II 177

1 Henry IV 182

Henry V 192

Richard III 198

Julius Caesar 204

Coriolanus 210

8 Tragedies: Shakespeare in Love and Loss 223

Romeo and Juliet 223

Hamlet 232

Othello 241

King Lear 252

Macbeth 260

Antony and Cleopatra 266

9 Romances: Shakespeare and Theatrical Magic 277

The Winter’s Tale 277

The Tempest 284

Index 295

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“This is a great introduction to Shakespeare and his plays for undergraduates, in particular.  Dympna Callaghan writes lucid, lively prose, and she explains complex historical points clearly.  There is no mystification here, and students should find this an inviting guide to Shakespeare as a dramatist embedded in a particular historical moment.”—Jean Howard, Columbia University

“This is a thoroughly excellent book which deserves to be widely read by scholars, students and the general public”—Andrew Murphy, University of St Andrews

“In ‘Who Was William Shakespeare?’ one of our leading Shakespearean critics goes back to the fundamentals of Shakespearean scholarship, and rethinks the entire Shakespeare canon in the light of the world and the life from which it was fashioned. This is a book for anyone, expert or otherwise, who has ever marvelled at Shakespeare’s plays and wondered about the experiences and the assumptions that inform them.” —Michael Dobson, University of Birmingham

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