A Companion to Shakespeare's Works: The Histories

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Richard Dutton, Jean E. Howard
John Wiley & Sons, Apr 15, 2008 - Literary Criticism - 496 pages
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This four-volume Companion to Shakespeare's Works, compiled as a single entity, offers a uniquely comprehensive snapshot of current Shakespeare criticism.

  • Brings together new essays from a mixture of younger and more established scholars from around the world - Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • Examines each of Shakespeare’s plays and major poems, using all the resources of contemporary criticism, from performance studies to feminist, historicist, and textual analysis.
  • Volumes are organized in relation to generic categories: namely the histories, the tragedies, the romantic comedies, and the late plays, problem plays and poems.
  • Each volume contains individual essays on all texts in the relevant category, as well as more general essays looking at critical issues and approaches more widely relevant to the genre.
  • Offers a provocative roadmap to Shakespeare studies at the dawning of the twenty-first century.

This companion to Shakespeare’s histories contains original essays on every history play from Henry VI to Henry V as well as fourteen additional articles on such topics as censorship in Shakespeare’s histories, the relation of Shakespeare’s plays to other dramatic histories of the period, Shakespeare’s histories on film, the homoerotics of Shakespeare’s history plays, and nation formation in Shakespeare’s histories.


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1 The Writing of History in Shakespeares England
2 Shakespeare and Contemporary Dramatists of History
3 Censorship and the Problems with History in Shakespeares England
4 Nation Formation and the English History Plays
5 The Irish Text and Subtext of Shakespeares English Histories
6 Theories of Kingship in Shakespeares England
7 To beguile the time look like the time Contemporary Film Versions of Shakespeares Histories
13 The Second Tetralogy Performance as Interpretation
14 1 Henry VI
15 Suffolk and the Pirates Disordered Relations in Shakespeares 2 Henry VI
16 Vexed Relations Family State and the Uses of Women in 3 Henry VI
17 The power of hope? An Early Modern Reader of Richard III
18 King John
19 The Kings Melting Body Richard II
20 1 Henry IV

8 The Elizabethan History Play A True Genre?
9 Damned Commotion Riot and Rebellion in Shakespeares Histories
10 Manliness Before Individualism Masculinity Effeminacy and Homoerotics in Shakespeares History Plays
11 French Marriages and the Protestant Nation in Shakespeares History Plays
12 The First Tetralogy in Performance
21 Henry IV Part 2 A Critical History
22 Henry V

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About the author (2008)

Jean E. Howard is William E. Ransford Professor of English at Columbia University and a past president of the Shakespeare Association of America. She is an editor of The Norton Shakespeare, and author of, among other works The Stage and Social Struggle in Early Modern England (1994) and, with Phyllis Rackin, of Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare's English Histories (1997).

Richard Dutton is currently Professor of English at Ohio State University. He is author of Mastering the Revels: the Regulation and Censorship of Renaissance Drama(1991) and Licensing, Censorship and Authorship in Early Modern England:Buggeswords(2000), and editor of the Palgrave Literary Lives series.

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