Description : Includes a brief biography of the author, thematic and structural analysis of the work, critical views, and an index of themes and ideas.
Description : Hamlet One of the most famous plays of all time, the compelling tragedy of the young prince of Denmark who must reconcile his longing for oblivion with his duty to avenge his father’s murder is one of Shakespeare’s greatest works. The ghost, Ophelia’s death and burial, the play within a play, and the breathtaking swordplay are just some of the elements that make Hamlet a masterpiece of the theater. Othello This great tragedy of unsurpassed intensity and emotion is played out against Renaissance splendor. The doomed marriage of Desdemona to the Moor Othello is the focus of a storm of tension, incited by the consummately evil villain Iago, that culminates in one of the most deeply moving scenes in theatrical history. King Lear Here is the famous and moving tragedy of a king who foolishly divides his kingdom between his two wicked daughters and estranges himself from the young daughter who loves him–a theatrical spectacle of outstanding proportions. Macbeth No dramatist has ever seen with more frightening clarity into the heart and mind of a murderer than has Shakespeare in this brilliant and bloody tragedy of evil. Taunted into asserting his “masculinity” by his ambitious wife, Macbeth chooses to embrace the Weird Sisters’ prophecy and kill his king–and thus, seals his own doom. 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
Description : The Heinemann Advanced Shakespeare series specifically focuses on preparing students for their exams. Teachers find that the accessible notes and end-of-act activities really help students understand the text and encourage them to develop their own insights.
Description : It is almost as if Shakespeare had deliberately adapted this brutal murder tale to dare himself to find sympathy in the farthest extreme of human error. The three chief characters do grave - the gravest - wrong; and yet, plunged as they are into an atmosphere of sensuality, betrayal, and terror, to murder, lie, and scheme, they have yet persistently commanded the involvement and pity of their audiences. Herein would lie a crucial question for critics and actors seeking the true images of these characters: how can - and for the critics, why should - three such wrongdoers as Othello, Desdemona, and Iago win, so surely, so much care and compassion? Beginning here, the author sets out to discover how the complex, troubled characters of the play were interpreted by actors and critics from Shakespeare's time to the present. Starting with Burbage, Shakespeare's own "grieved Moor," Rosenberg re-creates the historic stage interpretations of Othello - by Betterton in the Restoration, by Booth, Quin, Garrick, Barry, and Kemble in the eighteenth century, by Kean, Macready, Irving, Booth, Forrest, and Salvini in the nineteenth, and by prominent actors of our own time. The great Iago characterizations are also here, and the Desdemonas in a line that includes Mrs. Siddons, Ellen Terry, and Sarah Bernhardt. The theater record is supplemented with comments on the characters provided by distinguished modern actors of the play. Then the author compares the acting interpretations with those of the critics, from old Rymer - who called Othello a "bloody farce" - to the most significant modern commentators. In some of the wittiest parts of the book, Rosenberg defends in turn Iago, Othello, Desdemona, and the play (and even Thomas Bowdler) from the attacks of their severest critics; but he finds it possible to reconcile the best critical characterizations with the best acting conceptions, and to propose a synthesis based on his own study and experience of the play. The author's study of the successive stage editings of the play - some of them to reduce playing time, others demanded by the taste and moral sense of each new age - provides a running commentary of social and cultural history, and shows how these cuttings affected, as well as revealed, the actors' concepts of the characters. Othello is the most erotic, the most sensual in language and imagery of the great tragedies, and its heavily sexual atmosphere, so suitable to the seventeenth century, offended later cultures: the eighteenth century tried to "refine" it, and the nineteenth - particularly the age of Victoria - to "refine refinement" - but the essential form of the play survived.