9781903436837

Much Ado About Nothing Third Series

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9781903436837

  • ISBN10:

    1903436834

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2005-09-26
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare

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Summary

Much Ado About Nothing boasts one of Shakespeare's most delightful heroines, most dancing wordplay, and the endearing spectacle of intellectual and social self-importance bested by the desire to love and be loved in return. It offers both the dancing wit of the "merry war" between the sexes, and a sobering vision of the costs of that combat for both men and women. Shakespeare dramatizes a social world in all of its vibrant particulars, in which characters are shaped by the relations between social convention and individual choice. This edition of the play offers in its introduction and commentary an extensive discussion of the materials that informed Shakespeare's compositional choices, both those conventional sources and other contexts, from cuckold jokes to conduct books, which inform the ideas and identities of this play. Particular attention is devoted to Renaissance understandings of gender identity and social rank, as well as to the social valences of Shakespeare's stylistic choices. A treatment of staging possibilities offers illustrations drawn from the earliest and recent theatrical practices, and a critical history examines the fate of the play in the changing trends of academic scholarship.

Author Biography

Claire McEachern is Professor of English Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has edited The Cambridge Companion to Shakespearean Tragedy, and co-edited Religion and Culture in the English Renaissance, as well as five volumes of the Pelican Shakespeare (1 and 2 Henry IV, Henry V, King John, and All's Well That Ends Well). Her other previous publications include Poetics of English Nationhood 1590-1612.

Table of Contents

List of illustrations ix
General editors' preface xii
Preface xvii
Introduction 1(144)
Building a play: sources and contexts
4(46)
The usual suspects: Ariosto and Bandello
5(6)
Shakespeare's transformations of his sources: the creation of a social world
11(2)
The maid
13(1)
'How many gentlemen?'
14(3)
The villain
17(2)
The lover
19(3)
Beyond the plot
22(1)
Denouement
23(3)
Dialogue and debate forms
26(2)
Sexual stereotypes
28(5)
Disdain
33(1)
Modifications of type
34(4)
Chaste, silent and obedient
38(3)
Hero
41(2)
Cuckolds
43(7)
Structure and style
50(28)
The course of true love'
51(7)
Two plots?
58(4)
Style
62(1)
Prose and the prosaic
63(2)
Euphuism
65(5)
Verbal handshakes
70(4)
'The even road of a blank verse'
74(1)
Image patterns
75(1)
Songs
76(2)
Staging Much Ado
78(41)
Tonal choices
80(4)
Social representations
84(14)
Choice of place and time
98(4)
Cultural moment
102(6)
Afterlives
108(2)
Origins
110(9)
Criticism
119(6)
Text
125(197)
First impressions
125(3)
Making a book
128(5)
Who's in, who's out
133(7)
Who gets to say what?
140(5)
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING 145(174)
Appendix: Casting chart 319(3)
Abbreviations and references 322(17)
Abbreviations used in notes
322(1)
Works by and partly by Shakespeare
322(2)
Editions of Shakespeare collated or referred to
324(2)
Other works cited
326(11)
Modern stage, film and television productions cited
337(2)
Index 339

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