Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy by William Shakespeare. First published in 1600, it is likely to have been first performed in the autumn or winter of 1598-1599, and it remains one of Shakespeare's most enduring and exhilarating plays on stage. Stylistically, it shares numerous characteristics with modern romantic comedies including the two pairs of lovers, in this case the romantic leads, Claudio and Hero, and their comic counterparts, Benedick and Beatrice.
The Wonder of Shakespeare One who reads a few of Shakespeare's great plays and then the meager story of his life is generally filled with a vague wonder. Here is an unknown country boy, poor and poorly educated according to the standards of his age, who arrives at the great city of London and goes to work at odd jobs in a theater. In a year or two he is associated with scholars and dramatists, the masters of their age, writing plays of kings and clowns, of gentlemen and heroes and noble women, all of whose lives he seems to know by intimate association. In a few years more he leads all that brilliant group of poets and dramatists who have given undying glory to the Age of Elizabeth. Play after play runs from his pen, mighty dramas of human life and character following one another so rapidly that good work seems impossible; yet they stand the test of time, and their poetry is still unrivaled in any language. For all this great work the author apparently cares little, since he makes no attempt to collect or preserve his writings. A thousand scholars have ever since been busy collecting, identifying, classifying the works which this magnificent workman tossed aside so carelessly when he abandoned the drama and retired to his native village. He has a marvelously imaginative and creative mind; but he invents few, if any, new plots or stories. He simply takes an old play or an old poem, makes it over quickly, and lo! this old familiar material glows with the deepest thoughts and the tenderest feelings that ennoble our humanity; and each new generation of men finds it more wonderful than the last. How did he do it? That is still an unanswered question and the source of our wonder.
This anthology is a thorough introduction to classic literature for those who have not yet experienced these literary masterworks. For those who have known and loved these works in the past, this is an invitation to reunite with old friends in a fresh new format. From Shakespeare's finesse to Oscar Wilde's wit, this unique collection brings together works as diverse and influential as The Pilgrim's Progress and Othello. As an anthology that invites readers to immerse themselves in the masterpieces of the literary giants, it is must-have addition to any library.
This richly annotated edition takes a fresh look at the first part of Shakespeare's second tetralogy of history plays, showing how it relates to the other plays in the sequence. Forker places the play in its political context, discussing its relation to competing theories of monarchy, looking at how it faced censorship because of possible comparisons between Richard II and Elizabeth I, and how Bolingbroke's rebellion could be compared to the Essex rising of the time. This edition also reconsiders Shakespeare's use of sources, asking why he chose to emphasise one approach over another. Forker also looks at the play's rich afterlife, and the many interpretations that actors and directors have taken. Finally, the edition looks closely at the aesthetic relationship between language, character, structure and political import.
This major new edition of Shakespeare's greatest tragedy of love argues that that play is ultimately Juliet's. The play text is expertly edited and the on-page commentary notes discuss issues of staging, theme, meaning and Shakespeare's use of his sources to give the reader deep and engaging insights into the play. The richly illustrated introduction looks at the play's exceptionally beautiful and complex language and focuses on the figure of Juliet as being at its centre. René Weis discusses the play's critical, stage and film history, including West Side Story and Baz Luhrmann's seminal film Romeo + Juliet. This is an authoritative edition from a leading scholar, giving the reader a penetrating and wide-ranging insight into this ever popular play.
Believed to have been written in 1603, Shakespeare's Othello is a tragedy that puts the playwright's prodigious creative gifts on full display. Based loosely on a Renaissance-era Italian tale, Othello follows the stormy relationship of the Moorish general Othello and his lovely wife Desdemona. Addressing timeless themes of love and betrayal, as well as surprisingly contemporary concepts such as race-based stereotypes, Othello is a satisfying read for modern-day fans of the Bard.
The core of the ground-breaking, three text edition, this self-contained, free-standing volume gives readers the Second Quarto text (1604-5) and includes in its Introduction, notes and Appendices all the reader might expect to find in any standard Arden edition. As well as a full Introduction to the play's historical, cultural and performance contexts and a thorough survey of critical approaches to the play, an appendix contains the additional passages found only in the 1623 text."The new Arden Hamlet is a pathbreaking edition, one that promises to change irrevocably our understanding of Shakespeare's greatest play."- Professor James Shapiro, author of 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare'Hamlet's latest editors have undertaken a heroic task with great skill and thoroughnesss.' - Stanley Wells, The Observer"(The) new Arden Hamlet is quite simply the most comprehensive edition of the play currently available, a status I suspect it will enjoy for many years to come" - The British Theatre Guide"Stunning! There is absolutely no doubt about this being the text to buy if you are studying the play at A Level. And the same stands for those students who will be studying the play at university. This critical edition gives the reader the Second Quarto Text (1604-1605), annotated with intelligence and care, a wealth of historical and cultural references and a survey of different critical approaches to the play."- The Use of English, The English Association