A new study of Shakespeare s life and times, which illuminates our understanding and appreciation of his works. * Combines an accessible fully historicised treatment of both the life and the plays, suited to both undergraduate and popular audiences * Looks at 24 of the most significant plays and the sonnets through the lens of various aspects of Shakespeare s life and historical environment * Addresses four of the most significant issues that shaped Shakespeare s career: education, religion, social status, and theatre * Examines theatre as an institution and the literary environment of early modern London * Explains and dispatches conspiracy theories about authorship
Dympna Callaghan is William L. Safire Professor of Modern Letters at Syracuse University and President of the Shakespeare Association of America, 2012 13. She is the editor of the Arden Shakespeare Language and Writing Series and coeditor, with Michael Dobson, of the Palgrave Shakespeare Studies series. Her publications include Shakespeare Without Women (2000), The Taming of the Shrew: A Norton Critical Edition (2009), Shakespeare s Sonnets (2007), The Impact of Feminism in English Renaissance Culture (2006), and Romeo and Juliet: Texts and Contexts (2003).
Note on the Text ix Acknowledgments xi Part I The Life 1 1 Who was William Shakespeare? 3 2 Writing 23 3 Religion 47 4 Status 61 5 Theatre 79 Part II The Plays 97 6 Comedies: Shakespeare s Social Life 99 The Comedy of Errors 99 The Taming of the Shrew 108 Love s Labour s Lost 119 A Midsummer Night s Dream 125 The Merchant of Venice 132 Much Ado About Nothing 138 As You Like It 146 Twelfth Night, Or What You Will 153 Measure for Measure 159 7 English and Roman Histories: Shakespeare s Politics 177 Richard II 177 1 Henry IV 182 Henry V 192 Richard III 198 Julius Caesar 204 Coriolanus 210 8 Tragedies: Shakespeare in Love and Loss 223 Romeo and Juliet 223 Hamlet 232 Othello 241 King Lear 252 Macbeth 260 Antony and Cleopatra 266 9 Romances: Shakespeare and Theatrical Magic 277 The Winter s Tale 277 The Tempest 284 Index 295