The Taming of the Shrew: Second Series

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Cengage Learning EMEA, Dec 17, 1981 - Drama - 316 pages
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Brian Morriswas Professor of English Literature at Sheffield University and a general editor of both the Arden Shakespeare and the New Mermaid Dramatists series. His other publications include editions of the plays of John Ford and the poems of John Cleveland.  Morris’s introduction begins with a discussion of the text as it first appeared in the First Folio of 1623. In the next section, he analyzes the problematic relationship betweenThe Taming of the ShrewandThe Taming of a Shrew, a different play which first appeared in text 29 years before the First Folio, and whose virtually identical name has caused much confusion. Morris then considers the date, sources, and authorship of the play, addressing the question of whether Shakespeare himself wrote it. In the last and most substantial part of the introduction, the editor examines the play’s structures, themes (such as education, love, and marriage), and afterlife. Three appendices follow the text of the play: evidence to establish the relationship ofThe ShrewandA Shrew, from Samuel Hickson; the Sly scenes inA Shrew; and a source (from Gascoigne’sSupposes)and analogues.

The Arden Shakespearehas developed a reputation as the pre-eminent critical edition of Shakespeare for its exceptional scholarship, reflected in the thoroughness of each volume. An introduction comprehensively contextualizes the play, chronicling the history and culture that surrounded and influenced Shakespeare at the time of its writing and performance, and closely surveying critical approaches to the work. Detailed appendices address problems like dating and casting, and analyze the differing Quarto and Folio sources. A full commentary by one or more of the play’s foremost contemporary scholars illuminates the text, glossing unfamiliar terms and drawing from an abundance of research and expertise to explain allusions and significant background information. Highly informative and accessible, Arden offers the fullest experience of Shakespeare available to a reader.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
2 The Shrew and A Shrew
12
3 The date
50
4 Authorship and sources
65
The play
88
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
151
Evidence to establish the relationship of The Shrew and A Shrew from Samuel Hickson
299
The Sly scenes in A Shrew
303
A source and analogues
306
Copyright

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About the author (1981)

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.

Brian Morris is an Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Goldsmiths College, at the University of London. His many publications include Chewa Medical Botany, Animals and Ancestors, Kropotkin: The Politics of Community, Insects and Human Life and Anthropological Studies of Religion: An Introductory Text (Cambridge University Press, 1987).

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