Sir Thomas More

ISBN-10: 1904271480
ISBN-13: 9781904271482
Edition: 3rd 2010
List price: $14.99 Buy it from $14.53
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Description: This edition ofSir Thomas Moreis the first to bring the play into the context of a major Shakespeare series, to provide a substantial critical analysis, and to offer a comprehensive modern stage history. The introduction deals with issues such as  More...

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Book details

List price: $14.99
Edition: 3rd
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Publication date: 2/28/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 360
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.75" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 0.528

This edition ofSir Thomas Moreis the first to bring the play into the context of a major Shakespeare series, to provide a substantial critical analysis, and to offer a comprehensive modern stage history. The introduction deals with issues such as the strange involvement of the anti-Catholic spy-hunter Anthony Munday as chief dramatist, the place of Sir Thomas More as a Catholic martyr in Protestant late Elizabethan culture, and the play's representation of a multi-cultural London. The text itself, supported by a searching and detailed commentary, adopts a distinctive presentation that enables readers to keep track of the manuscript and the hands that produced it, whilst engaging with the play as a fascinating theatrical piece.Sir Thomas Moredeals with matters so controversial that it may never have reached performance on stage. The authors' determination to deal with rioting and religious politics led to a play that is compelling in its own right but also intriguing as a document of what could, and could not, be articulated in the early modern public theatre. Surviving only as a manuscript text on which Shakespeare was thought to have worked, it can be considered to be the most important play manuscript of the period, owing to its highly complex witness to collaboration between dramatists and to censorship.

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.

Dekker was a popular, prolific writer who had a hand in at least 40 plays, which he wrote for Philip Henslowe, the theatrical entrepreneur. In the plays that seem to be completely by Dekker, he shows himself as a realist of London life, but even his most realistic plays have a strong undertone of romantic themes and aspirations. The Shoemaker's Holiday (1600), for example, glorifies the gentle craft of the shoemaker, and the character Simon Eyre speaks in an extravagant, hyperbolic style that is far from realistic. Dekker also wrote such prose pamphlets as the Bellman of London (1608) and The Gull's Hornbook (1609), the latter an entertaining account of the behavior of a country yokel and dupe in London. He died in debt.

Heywood is a good example of the professional dramatist who worked for Philip Henslowe, the theatrical manager, both as a playwright and an actor. By his own admission, Heywood claimed to have "either an entire hand or at least the main finger" in 220 plays, of which less than 30 survive. His best-known play, A Woman Killed with Kindness (1603), exemplifies domestic tragedy, in which sentiment and homely details are equally mingled. Heywood wrote an eloquent defense of the theater against Puritan attack called An Apology for Actors (1607--08).

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