M. William Shak-speare, His True Chronicle Historie of the Life and Death of King Lear and His Three Daughters

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Prentice Hall, Harvester Wheatsheaf, Jan 1, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 164 pages
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What modern readers and audiences generally know as 'Shakespeare's King Lear' is a composite construction created by merging The Tragedie of King Lear (1623) and the earlier (1608) Quarto version.
In the last twenty years these two texts have again been disentangled from one another, and recognised as different states in a process of textual production: but only since editors and critics have generally agreed that both texts were separately written by Shakespeare himself, who produced the 1623 version by adapting, editing and 'revising' the Quarto.
This new critical edition presents the play in a largely unmodernised form, with a minimum of editorial interference; and argues that both in terms of its relation to the Folio and its character as an individual text, it is better approached formally and historically as an independent play than evaluated on the basis of a speculative theory of authorship.

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Shame in Shakespeare
Ewan Fernie
Limited preview - 2002

About the author (1995)

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.

Sulayman Al-Bassam is an Anglo-Kuwaiti writer and director. He is the author of the play "The Mirror for Princes. "Graham Holderness is the author of numerous critical studies in Renaissance and modern theatre including "Cultural Shakespeare: Essays in the Shakespeare Myth" and "Textual Shakespeare: Writing and the Word.

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