The Riverside Shakespeare, Volume 1

Front Cover

The Second Edition of this complete collection of Shakespeare's plays and poems features two essays on recent criticism and productions, fully updated textual notes, a photographic insert of recent productions, and two works recently attributed to Shakespeare. The authors of the essays on recent criticism and productions are Heather DuBrow, University of Wisconsin at Madison, and William Liston, Ball State University, respectively.

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Contents

General Introduction
1
TwentiethCentury Shakespeare Criticism
27
Shakespeares Text
55
Copyright

24 other sections not shown

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About the author (1996)

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School. At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry. By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true. Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

Sir John Frank Kermode, November 29, 1919 - August 17, 2010 John Kermode was a British literary critic best known for his work The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction, published in 1967 (revised 2000), and for his extensive book-reviewing and editing. He was the Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London and the King Edward VII Professor of English Literature at Cambridge University. Kermode served during World War II with the Royal Navy. After the war, Kermode held positions at Manchester University, Bristol University, University College of London, and Cambridge University, all in England, and at Columbia University in New York City. He was Charles E. Norton Professor at Harvard University in 1977-78 and Henry Luce Professor at Yale University in 1994. Kermode wrote several books on literary figures, including D.H. Lawrence and Wallace Stevens. His works of criticism include An Appetite for Poetry and The Art of Telling. Kermode was also the editor of the cultural journal, Encounter and his memoir, Not Entitled, was published in 1995. Kermode serves on the editorial board of the London Review of Books and Common Knowledge and has acted as judge for the Booker Prize. He was knighted for his service to English literature and he was named a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1999. He died in Cambridge on August 17, 2010.

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