Author: William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s Sonnets

The Sonnets compiles 154 Sonnets written by Shakespeare on all manner of themes from love and fidelity to politics and lineage. Many of the sonnets – in particular the first 17, commonly called the procreation sonnets – were commissioned, a fact which calls a simple, romantic reading into question. William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an English […]

Othello

The most striking difference between Othello and Shakespeare’s other tragedies is its more intimate scale. Because the play focuses on personal rather than public life, Othello’s private descent into jealous obsession is especially chilling to behold. This invaluable new study guide to one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies contains a selection of the finest criticism through […]

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is a tragic play written early in the career of William Shakespeare about two teenage “star-cross’d lovers” whose untimely deaths ultimately unite their feuding households. It was among Shakespeare’s most popular plays during his lifetime and, along with Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are […]

Macbeth

Arguably the darkest of all Shakespeare’s plays, Macbeth is also one of the most challenging. Is it a work of nihilistic despair, “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing,” or is it a cautionary tale warning of the dangers of Machiavellianism and relativism? Does it lead to hell and […]

The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598. Although classified as a comedy in the First Folio, and while it shares certain aspects with Shakespeare’s other romantic comedies, the play is perhaps more remembered for its dramatic scenes, and is best known for the […]

Julius Caesar

A great tragedy based on Plutarch’s account of the lives of Brutus, Julius Caesar, and Mark Antony. Evil plotting, ringing oratory, high tragedy occur with Shakespeare’s incomparable insight and dramatic power. William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an English poet and playwright, now widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent […]

Henry VIII

The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eighth is a history play by William Shakespeare, based on the life of Henry VIII of England. An alternative title, All is True, is recorded in contemporary documents, the title Henry VIII not appearing until the play’s publication in the First Folio of 1623. Stylistic […]

Cymbeline

One of Shakespeare’s final works, Cymbeline uses virtuoso theatrical and poetic means to dramatize a story of marriage imperiled by mistrust and painfully rebuilt in the context of international conflict.

Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. It was first printed in the First Folio of 1623. The plot is based on Thomas North’s translation of Plutarch’s Life of Markus Antonius and follows the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony from the time of the Parthian War to Cleopatra’s suicide. The major antagonist […]

The Winter’s Tale

The Winter’s Tale is a play by William Shakespeare, first published in the First Folio in 1623. Although it was listed as a comedy when it first appeared, some modern editors have relabeled the play a romance. Some critics, among them W. W. Lawrence (Lawrence, 9-13), consider it to be one of Shakespeare’s “problem plays”, […]

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