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Demystifying and contextualising Shakespeare for the twenty-first century, this book offers both an introduction to the subject for beginners as well as an invaluable resource for more experienced Shakespeareans.

In this friendly, structured guide, Robert Shaughnessy:

  • introduces Shakespeare's life and works in context, providing crucial historical background
  • looks at each of Shakespeare's plays in turn, considering issues of historical context, contemporary criticism and performance history
  • provides detailed discussion of twentieth-century Shakespearean criticism, exploring the theories, debates and discoveries that shape our understanding of Shakespeare today
  • looks at contemporary performances of Shakespeare on stage and screen
  • provides further critical reading by play
  • outlines detailed chronologies of Shakespeare's life and works and also of twentieth-century criticism
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