A selection of the Shakespearean criticism of William Hazlitt, a critic who is emerging as one of the three greatest Romantic critics, together with Coleridge and Schlegel. The selection has been taken from Hazlitt's "Works" in 21 volumes. It contains the best of his "Characters of Shakespeare's Plays", a collection of the more general comments on Shakespeare which pepper Hazlitt's essays, and a selection of reviews of Kean's performances of Shakespearean characters. A lengthy introduction locates Hazlitt's criticism as embedded in his political views and his lost vocation as a painter. Hazlitt's political radicalism is nowhere more apparent than in his comments on Shakespeare's kings and Coriolanus, but it is generally prevalent in everything he writes. These attitudes were expressed in opposition to Tory literary critics, the government, and other writers, and Hazlitt's views provide a vital counterpart to the generally conservative criticism of Coleridge. The volume is thoroughly annotated and has a comprehensive bibliography.