All of Shakespeare
Columbia University Press, 1993 - Drama - 424 pages
In All of Shakespeare, Maurice Charney, former president of the Shakespeare Association of America, provides a play by play, poem by poem, guide to all of Shakespeare's works. In forty-three succinct and lucid chapters, Charney brings to life every play, from The Comedy of Errors to The Tempest, in addition to the long poems and the Sonnets. Charney emphasizes that we need to look at Shakespeare not so much as a Renaissance thinker but as a dramatist, a poet, and a creator of fictions. Emphasizing style and character development as opposed to ideology, Charney's commentary, which rests on forty years of teaching and writing about Shakespeare, illuminates the countless interconnections among the plays and poems. But Shakespeare's massive oeuvre can be challenging, especially given the complexity of his work. All of Shakespeare provides helpful commentary by a noted Shakespearean scholar. It is divided into convenient sections according to genre: comedies, histories, tragedies, romances, and poems. Charney also considers works that may be only partly by Shakespeare: The Two Noble Kinsmen, Pericles, and A Lovers' Complaint. Charney's account is accessibly written and infused with the belief that Shakespeare's works are intelligible and relevant to modern readers and audiences. The result is a volume that will be cherished and celebrated by readers who are just beginning to read Shakespeare and to see his plays as well as those who are reacquainting themselves with his many delights.
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