Arden Student Guides: Language and Writing offer a new type of study aid which combines lively critical insight with practical guidance on the critical writing skills you need to develop in order to engage fully with Shakespeare's texts. The books' core focus is on language: both understanding and enjoying Shakespeare's complex dramatic language, and expanding your own critical vocabulary, as you respond to his plays.
Key features include:
an introduction considering when and how the play was written, addressing the language with which Shakespeare created his work, as well as the generic, literary and theatrical conventions at his disposal
detailed examination and analysis of the individual text, focusing on its literary, technical and historical intricacies
discussion of performance history and the critical reception of the work
a 'Writing matters' section in every chapter, clearly linking the analysis of Shakespeare's language to your own writing strategies in coursework and examinations.
Written by world-class academics with both scholarly insight and outstanding teaching skills, each guide will empower you to read and write about Shakespeare with increased confidence and enthusiasm.
At a climactic point in the play, Macbeth realises that the witches have deceived him through their ambiguous language: 'they palter with us in a double sense'. This book explores Shakespeare's own paltering in the play – the densely rich language of ambition, of blood, and of guilt that structures Macbeth.
About the author
Emma Smith is Fellow in English at Hertford College, Oxford, UK.
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