This book aims to increase the pleasure of studying Shakespeare, working with the plays as the craftsman-dramatist himself worked by concentrating on poetic detail and dramatic moments. The book offers an accessible nuts-and-bolts approach in steadily broadening focus: from the way lines and speeches are put together to such large concerns as genre distinctions and the representation of gender. Eleven plays are introduced in chronological order, nine of them reappearing in later chapters in order to illustrate further topics. Comparisons draw on alternative texts, subsequent adaptations and excerpts on the same subjects from works in other literary genres. Appendices to each chapter provide materials for further exercises. A linked aim is to help students form an independent relation to existing commentary. Running through the book is an evaluative history, with generous quotations, of both traditional criticism and the revolutionary approaches of recent years. Contents: Preface and acknowledgements; Introduction; Voices; Words; Speeches; Scenes; Gender, Genre and Grabbing; Notes; Bibliography; Index.
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield