9780553212815

Four Comedies

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780553212815

  • ISBN10:

    0553212818

  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 1988-01-01
  • Publisher: Bantam Classics

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Supplemental Materials

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Summary

The Taming of the Shrew Robust and bawdy, The Taming of the Shrew captivates audiences with outrageous humor as Katharina, the shrew, engages in a contest of willsand lovewith her bridegroom, Petruchio, in a comedy of unmatched theatrical brilliance, filled with visual gags and witty repartee. A Midsummer Night's Dream Fairy magic, love spells, and an enchanted wood turn the mismatched rivalries of four young lovers into a marvelous mix-up of desire and enchantment, all touched by Shakespeare's inimitable vision of the intriguing relationship between dreams and the waking world. The Merchant of Venice This dark comedy of love and money contains one of the truly mythic figures in literatureShylock, the Jewish moneylender. The "pound of flesh" he demands as payment of Antonio's debt has become a universal metaphor for vengeance. Here, pathos and farce combine with moral complexity and romantic entanglements, to display the extraordinary power and range of Shakespeare at his best. Twelfth Night Set in a topsy-turvy world like a holiday revel, this comedy juxtaposes a romantic plot involving separated twins and mistaken identity with a more satiric one about the humiliation of a pompous killjoy. The hilarity is touched with melancholy, and the play ends, not with laughter, but with a clown's plaintive song. Each Edition Includes: Comprehensive explanatory notes Vivid introductions and the most up-to-date scholarship Clear, modernized spelling and punctuation, enabling contemporary readers to understand the Elizabethan English Completely updated, detailed bibliographies and performance histories An interpretive essay on film adaptations of the play, along with an extensive filmography

Author Biography

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564. In London, Shakespeare became the principal playwright and shareholder of the successful acting troupe the Lord Chamberlin's men (later, under James I, called the King's men) which built and occupied the Globe theater. In 1616, he died in Stratford after having written 37 plays, sonnets, and other poetry which would become crucial to the cannon of English literature.

DAVID SCOTT KASTAN,editor, is the Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. He is the author of SHAKESPEARE AND THE BOOK (Cambridge, 2001), SHAKESPEARE AFTER THEORY (Routledge, 1999) and he is the editor of A COMPANION TO SHAKESPEARE (1999), and co-editor of THE NEW HISTORY OF EARLY ENGLISH DRAMA (1998 award winner for the best book on theater history). He is general editor of the Arden Shakespeare (the first American ever to serve in this capacity in the Arden's hundred-plus year history). He serves on the board of the Folger Institute, the executive committee of the MLA Division on the Teaching of Literature, and on the editorial boards of a number of scholarly journals. Kastan is the Chair of the English Department at Columbia, and in 2000 he won the University's Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching and in 2004 became the first winner of the Faculty Mentoring Award.


DAVID BEVINGTON, editor, received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1959. He has been teaching at The University of Chicago since 1967. He is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature, in the Committee on General studies, and Phyllis Fay Horton Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities. He is the director of undergraduate studies in comparative literature. He was one of three editors of THE COMPLETE WORKS OF BEN JONSON (Cambridge UP, 2003), senior editor of THE NORTON ANTHOLOGY OF RENAISSANCE DRAMA (2002), senior editor of the Revels series, and senior editor of the Revels students editions. He edited THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SHAKESPEARE, HarperCollins, fifth edition (Longman, 2003).

Table of Contents

Foreword ix
Four Comedies xxi
The Playhouse xxv
The Taming of the Shrew
1(146)
Introduction
3(6)
The Taming of the Shrew in Performance
9(6)
The Taming of the Shrew
15(104)
Date and Text
119(2)
Textual Notes
121(2)
Shakespeare's Sources
123(19)
Further Reading
142(5)
A Midsummer Night's Dream
147(118)
Introduction
149(8)
A Midsummer Night's Dream in Performance
157(6)
A Midsummer Night's Dream
163(79)
Date and Text
242(2)
Textual Notes
244(2)
Shakespeare's Sources
246(14)
Further Reading
260(5)
The Merchant of Venice
265(144)
Introduction
267(10)
The Merchant of Venice in Performance
277(6)
The Merchant of Venice
283(95)
Date and Text
378(2)
Textual Notes
380(2)
Shakespeare's Sources
382(22)
Further Reading
404(5)
Twelfth Night or What You Will
409
Introduction
411
Twelfth Night in Performance
419
Twelfth Night
427
Date and Text
518
Textual Notes
520
Shakespeare's Sources
521
Further Reading
547
Memorable Lines
The Taming of the Shrew
552
A Midsummer Night's Dream
554
The Merchant of Venice
556
Twelfth Night
559

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