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Twelfth Night or What You Will

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ISBN-10: 0521296331

ISBN-13: 9780521296335

Edition: 1985

Authors: William Shakespeare, Story Donno Elizabeth, A. R. Braunmuller, Brian Gibbons

List price: $14.00
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Professor Donno's fully annotated edition, based on the Folio text, explains Shakespeare's language in its sixteenth -century social and dramatic context. The introduction emphasises the play's Illyrian setting, a locale that distances the mad actions of the romantic lovers and the comic Sir Toby with his crew from the real world where the wind blows and the rain falls, The play's major themes and characters are defined against their counterparts in Shakespeare's sources and against later parodies or plot adaptations. An illustrated history of the play's fortunes on stage pays particular attention to the part of Malvolio, whether he is played as tragic, burlesque or 'straight'. The interpretation of his role offers a clue to the different preoccupations of productions and critics.
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Book details

List price: $14.00
Copyright year: 1985
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 10/10/1985
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 174
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.638
Language: English

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.

List of illustrations
Abbreviations and conventions
The play's sources
Imaginary geography and stage space
Puritans and Clowns
Time, chance, and the poetry of romance
Myths and metamorphosis
Gender, sexuality, and the stage
Stage history
Note on the text
List of characters
The Play
Textual analysis
Reading list