This Is Shakespeare

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2020-03-31
  • Publisher: Pantheon Books

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


An electrifying new study that investigates the challenges of the Bard’s inconsistencies and flaws, and focuses on revealing—not resolving—the ambiguities of the plays and their changing topicality
A genius and prophet whose timeless works encapsulate the human condition like no other. A writer who surpassed his contemporaries in vision, originality, and literary mastery. A man who wrote like an angel, putting it all so much better than anyone else. Is this Shakespeare? Well, sort of. But it doesn’t tell us the whole truth. So much of what we say about Shakespeare is either not true, or just not relevant.
In This Is Shakespeare, Emma Smith—an intellectually, theatrically, and ethically exciting writer—takes us into a world of politicking and copycatting, as we watch Shakespeare emulating the blockbusters of Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Kyd (the Spielberg and Tarantino of their day), flirting with and skirting around the cutthroat issues of succession politics, religious upheaval, and technological change. Smith writes in strikingly modern ways about individual agency, privacy, politics, celebrity, and sex. Instead of offering the answers, the Shakespeare she reveals poses awkward questions, always inviting the reader to ponder ambiguities.

Author Biography

EMMA SMITH is professor of Shakespeare Studies at Oxford University. She has published widely on Shakespeare and other early dramatists. She lives in Oxford, England.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Chapter 1: The Taming of the Shrew 7
Chapter 2: Richard III 23
Chapter 3: The Comedy of Errors 39
Chapter 4: Richard II 53
Chapter 5: Romeo and Juliet 67
Chapter 6: A Midsummer Night’s Dream 83
Chapter 7: The Merchant of Venice 99
Chapter 8: 1 Henry IV 113
Chapter 9: Much Ado About Nothing 129
Chapter 10: Julius Caesar 145
Chapter 11: Hamlet 161
Chapter 12: Twelfth Night 177
Chapter 13: Measure for Measure 193
Chapter 14: Othello 209
Chapter 15: King Lear 223
Chapter 16: Macbeth 239
Chapter 17: Antony and Cleopatra 255
Chapter 18: Coriolanus 271
Chapter 19: The Winter’s Tale 287
Chapter 20: The Tempest 303
Epilogue 321
References and Further Reading 325
Acknowledgements 339
Index 341

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