Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare

ISBN-10: 0521671884

ISBN-13: 9780521671880

Edition: 2007

Authors: Emma Smith

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This lively and innovative introduction to Shakespeare promotes active engagement with the plays, rather than recycling factual information. Covering a range of plays, it is divided into seven subject-based chapters: Character; Performance; Texts; Language; Structure; Sources and History, and it does not assume any prior knowledge. Instead, it develops ways of thinking and provides the reader with resources for independent research through the 'Where next?' sections at the end of each chapter. The book draws on up-to-date scholarship without being overwhelmed by it, and unlike other introductory guides to Shakespeare it emphasizes that there is space for new and fresh thinking by students and readers, even on the most-studied and familiar plays.
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Book details

List price: $25.99
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 3/8/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 178
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Emma Smith is Reader in Education at the University of Birmingham

List of figures and tables
Juliet's balcony, Verona
Shakespeare's realism?
Shakespeare's 'unreal' characters
Reading Shakespeare's characters on the page
Embodying Shakespeare's characters on stage
Doubling on the early modern stage
Writing for particular actors
Falstaff: character as individual or type?
Naming and individuality
Characters as individuals or as inter-relationships
Character: interior or exterior?
Character: where next?
Measure for Measure: staging silence
'Going back to the text': the challenge of performance
Performance interpretations: The Taming of the Shrew
Topical performance: the plays in different theatrical contexts
Citing performances
Using film
Using film comparatively: Macbeth
Hamlet: 'To be or not to be'
Adaptations: Shakespearean enough?
Performance: where next?
Shakespeare's hand
So what did Shakespeare write?
Stage to page
Quartos and Folio
Editing as interpretation
The job of the editor: the example of Richard II
Stage directions
Speech prefixes
The job of the editor: the example of King Lear
Texts: where next?
'In a double sense'(Macbeth 5.7.50)
Did anyone really talk like that?
Playing with language
Language of the play / language of the person
Prose and verse
Linguistic shifts: 1 Henry IV
Shakespeare's verse
Linguistic variation: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Language: where next?
Finding the heart of the play
Shakespeare's genres: dynamic, not static
Tragedy and comedy
Tragedy - expanding the genre
Comedy - expanding the genre
History: is this a fixed genre?
Structuring scenes: Much Ado About Nothing
Juxtaposing scenes, activating ironies: Henry V
Showing v. telling
Structure: where next?
Antony and Cleopatra and Plutarch
Originality: was Shakespeare a plagiarist?
Shakespeare at work: the intentional fallacy?
The source bites back: Romeo and Juliet and The Winter's Tale
The strong poet? King Lear
Sources: where next?
Politic picklocks: interpreting topically
History plays: political Shakespeare?
History plays: Shakespeare as propagandist?
Hamlet as history play?
Jacobean patronage: King Lear and Macbeth
Historical specificity: gender roles
Race and Othello
History: where next?
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