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William Shakespeare: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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Product Description

In this new offering from Stanley Wells, the pre-eminent Shakespearian scholar, comes a Very Short Introduction to the life and writings of the world's greatest and best-known dramatists: William Shakespeare.

Looking at his early life and education, Wells explores Shakespeare's social and intellectual background and the literary traditions on which Shakespeare drew. Examining the theatres and theatrical profession of the time, he also considers how Shakespeare experienced this world, both as an actor and as a writer.

Examining Shakespeare's narrative poems, sonnets and all of his plays, Wells outlines their sources, style and originality over the course of Shakespeare's career, to consider the fundamental impact his work has had for subsequent generations. Written with enthusiasm and flair by a scholar who has devoted a lifetime to the study of Shakespeare and his works, this is an engaging and authoritative introduction.

Book Features:

  • Written by the pre-eminent Shakespearean critic Stanley Wells
  • Examines the life and work of one of greatest playwrights in British history
  • Explores the impact and context of all Shakespeare's works
  • Looks at the importance of theatre and drama in Shakespeare's time
  • Part of the bestselling Very Short Introductions series - over seven million copies sold worldwide

Table of Contents:

Preface: Why Shakespeare?

  • Shakespeare and Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Theatre in Shakespeare's time
  • Shakespeare in London
  • Plays of the 1590s
  • Shakespeare and comic form
  • Return to tragedy
  • The classical plays
  • Tragi-comedy

Epilogue
Chronology: Shakespeare's works
Further reading
Index

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