A balanced editorial approach, a highly respected editor, and comprehensive glosses, footnotes, and historical and cultural essays make this the most reader-friendly introduction to Shakespeare available today. The seventh edition of this comprehensive anthology addresses the two key issues confronted by readers approaching Shakespeare today: a lack of knowledge about the historical period and difficulty with the language of Shakespeare's plays. A richly illustrated general introduction offers insight into Shakespeare's England and background on the literary and cultural contexts in which Shakespeare wrote and produced plays. Each play is introduced by a descriptive essay designed to help the reader appreciate the cultural contexts and interpretive issues raised by the play -- without dictating their interpretations. Thoroughly revised and updated notes and glosses provide additional support to understanding the language of Shakespeare's time.
Table of Contents
Reading Shakespeare in the Twenty-First Century
Life in Shakespeare's England.
Shakespeare's World: A Visual Portfolio.
The Drama Before Shakespeare.
London Theaters and Dramatic Companies.
Shakespeare's Life and Work.
How to Read Shakespeare
The Comedy of Errors.
Love's Labor's Lost.
The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
The Taming of the Shrew.
A Midsummer Night's Dream.
The Merchant of Venice.
Much Ado About Nothing.
The Merry Wives of Windsor.
As You Like It.
Twelfth Night; or, What You Will.
All's Well That Ends Well.
Measure for Measure.
Troilus and Cressida.
The First Part of King Henry the Sixth.
The Second Part of King Henry the Sixth.
The Third Part of King Henry the Sixth.
The Tragedy of King Richard the Third.
The Life and Death of King John.
The Tragedy of King Richard the Second.
The First Part of King Henry the Fourth.
The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth.
The Life of King Henry the Fifth.
The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eighth.
Romeo and Juliet.
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.
Othello, the Moor of Venice.
Timon of Athens.
Antony and Cleopatra.
The Winter's Tale.
The Two Noble Kinsmen.
Venus and Adonis.
The Rape of Lucrece.
The Phoenix and Turtle.
A Lover's Complaint.
Appendix 1: Canon, Dates, and Early Texts.
Appendix 2: Sources.
Appendix 3: Shakespeare in Performance (co-authored with Lois Potter).
The Royal Genealogy of England.
Bibliography: Suggestions for Reading and Research.
Glossary: Shakespearean Words and Meanings of Frequent Occurrence.