The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare's Romances

Cymbeline The Winter s Tale and The Tempest three of Shakespeare s final plays diverge from Shakepeare s usual standards Generically stylistically and dramatically they each embrace hauntingly familiarShakespearean themes and incidents However with comic devices colliding with tragic passions mimetic actions that give way to spectacle and drama that yields to narrative everything Shakespearean has undergone a puzzling transformation Barbara A Mowat argues that when a dramatist selects a genre a theatrical style a narrative or dramatic mode he is consciously choosing a way of creating a certain kind of experience Thus by confronting the comic form with the tragic the realistic with the artificial the dramatic with the narrative Shakespeare makes meaning in a new way He creates a kind of play that frees romance from the traditional bounds of his early dramas


Measure for Measure

i Measure for Measure i is among the most passionately discussed of Shakespeare s plays In it a duke temporarily removes himself from governing his city state deputizing a member of his administration Angelo to enforce the laws more rigorously Angelo chooses as his first victim Claudio condemning him to death because he impregnated Juliet before their marriage br br Claudio s sister Isabella who is entering a convent pleads for her brother s life Angelo attempts to extort sex from her but Isabella preserves her chastity The duke in disguise eavesdrops as she tells her brother about Angelo s behavior then offers to ally himself with her against Angelo


Pericles

Folger Shakespeare Library the world s leading center for Shakespeare studies br br Each edition includes br br Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play br Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play br Scene by scene plot summaries br A key to famous lines and phrases br An introduction to reading Shakespeare s language br An essay by an outstanding scholar providing a modern perspective on the play br Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library s vast holdings of rare books br br The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D C is home to the world s largest collection of Shakespeare s printed works and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs For more information visit a target blank href http www folger edu rel nofollow www folger edu a


Richard III

Each edition includes br br Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play br Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play br Scene by scene plot summaries br A key to famous lines and phrases br An introduction to reading Shakespeare s language br An essay by an outstanding scholar providing a modern perspective on the play br Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library s vast holdings of rare books br Essay by Phyllis Rackin br The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D C is home to the world s largest collection of Shakespeare s printed works and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs For more information visit a href http www folger edu rel nofollow www folger edu a


Henry IV, Part 1

b FOLGER b Shakespeare Library p THE WORLD S LEADING CENTER FOR SHAKESPEARE STUDIES p p i Each edition includes i p p Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play p p Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play p p Scene by scene plot summaries p p A key to famous lines and phrases p p An introduction to reading Shakespeare s language p p An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play p p Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library s vast holdings of rare books p p i Essay by i Alexander Leggatt p p The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D C is home to the world s largest collection of Shakespeare s printed works and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs For more information visit a target blank href http www folger edu rel nofollow www folger edu a p


The Comedy of Errors

Each edition includes br br Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play br Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play br Scene by scene plot summaries br A key to famous lines and phrases br An introduction to reading Shakespeare s language br An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play br Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library s vast holdings of rare books br br i Essay by i Arthur F Kinney br br The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D C is home to the world s largest collection of Shakespeare s printed works and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe br br In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs For more information visit a target blank href http www folger edu rel nofollow www folger edu a


Shakespeare's Sonnets

A bestselling beautifully designed edition of William Shakespeare s sonnets complete with valuable tools for educators br br The authoritative edition of i Shakespeare s Sonnets i from The Folger Shakespeare Library the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers includes br br Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on the facing page of each sonnet br A brief introduction to each sonnet providing insight into its possible meaning br An index of first lines br Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library s vast holdings of rare books br An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the sonnets br br The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC is home to the world s largest collection of Shakespeare s printed works and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs For more information visit Folger edu


Coriolanus

Set in the earliest days of the Roman Republic i Coriolanus i begins with the common people or plebeians in armed revolt against the patricians The people win the right to be represented by tribunes Meanwhile there are foreign enemies near the gates of Rome br br The play explores one reason that Rome prevailed over such vulnerabilities its reverence for family bonds Coriolanus so esteems his mother Volumnia that he risks his life to win her approval Even the value of family however is subordinate to loyalty to the Roman state When the two obligations align the combination is irresistible br br Coriolanus is so devoted to his family and to Rome that he finds the decision to grant the plebians representation intolerable To him it elevates plebeians to a status equal with his family and class to Rome s great disadvantage He risks his political career to have the tribunate abolished and is banished from Rome Coriolanus then displays an apparently insatiable vengefulness against the state he idolized opening a tragic divide within himself pitting him against his mother and family and threatening Rome s very existence br br The authoritative edition of i Coriolanus i from The Folger Shakespeare Library the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers includes br br Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play br Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play br Scene by scene plot summaries br A key to the play s famous lines and phrases br An introduction to reading Shakespeare s language br An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play br Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library s vast holdings of rare books br An annotated guide to further reading br br Essay by Heather James br br The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC is home to the world s largest collection of Shakespeare s printed works and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs For more information visit Folger edu


Romeo and Juliet

In i Romeo and Juliet i Shakespeare creates a world of violence and generational conflict in which two young people fall in love and die because of that love The story is rather extraordinary in that the normal problems faced by young lovers are here so very large It is not simply that the families of Romeo and Juliet disapprove of the lover s affection for each other rather the Montagues and the Capulets are on opposite sides in a blood feud and are trying to kill each other on the streets of Verona Every time a member of one of the two families dies in the fight his relatives demand the blood of his killer Because of the feud if Romeo is discovered with Juliet by her family he will be killed Once Romeo is banished the only way that Juliet can avoid being married to someone else is to take a potion that apparently kills her so that she is burried with the bodies of her slain relatives In this violent death filled world the movement of the story from love at first sight to the union of the lovers in death seems almost inevitable br p What is so striking about this play is that despite its extraordinary setting one perhaps reflecting Elizabethan attitudes about hot blooded Italians it has become the quintessential story of young love Because most young lovers feel that they have to overcome giant obstacles in order to be together because they feel that they would rather die than be kept apart and especially because the language Shakespeare gives his young lovers is so exquisite allowing them to say to each other just what we would all say to a lover if we only knew how it is easy to respond to this play as if it were about all young lovers rather than about a particular couple in a very unusual world When the play was rewritten in the eighteen century as i The History and Fall of Caius Marius i the violent setting became that of a particularly discordant period in classical Rome when Leonard Berstein rewrote the play as i West Side Story i he chose the violent world of New York street gangs p


The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare s most popular comedies but it remains deeply controversial The text may seem anti Semitic yet repeatedly in performance it has revealed a contrasting nature Shylock though vanquished in the law court often triumphs in the theatre In his intensity he can dominate the play challenging abrasively its romantic and lyrical affirmations What results is a bitter sweet drama br br Though The Merchant of Venice offers some of the traditional pleasures of romantic comedy it also exposes the operations of prejudice Thus Shakespeare remains our contemporary