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An Introduction to Shakespeare   By: (1880-1970)

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First Page:

[Frontispiece: TITLE PAGE OF THE FIRST FOLIO, 1628 The first collected edition of Shakespeare's Plays (From the copy in the New York Public Library)]

AN INTRODUCTION TO SHAKESPEARE

BY

H. N. MacCRACKEN, PH.D. F. E. PIERCE, PH.D.

AND

W. H. DURHAM, PH.D.

OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH LITERATURE IN

THE SHEFFIELD SCIENTIFIC SCHOOL OF

YALE UNIVERSITY

New York

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

1925

All rights reserved

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

COPYRIGHT, 1910,

By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

Set up and electrotyped. Published September, 1910. Reprinted April, December, 1911; September, 1912; July, 1913; July, 1914; December, 1915; November, 1916; May, 1918; July, 1919; November, 1920; September, 1921; June, 1923; January, 1925.

Norwood Press

J. S. Cushing Co. Berwick & Smith Co.

Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.

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PREFACE

The advances made in Shakespearean scholarship within the last half dozen years seem to justify the writing of another manual for school and college use. The studies of Wallace in the life records, of Lounsbury in the history of editions, of Pollard and Greg in early quartos, of Lee upon the First Folio, of Albright and others upon the Elizabethan Theater, as well as valuable monographs on individual plays have all appeared since the last Shakespeare manual was prepared. This little volume aims to present what may be necessary for the majority of classes, as a background upon which may be begun the study and reading of the plays. Critical comment on individual plays has been added, in the hope that it may stimulate interest in other plays than those assigned for study.

Chapters I, VIII, IX, X, and XIII are the work of Professor MacCracken; chapters V, VI, VII, XII, and XIV are by Professor Pierce; and chapters II, III, IV, and XI are by Dr. Durham. The authors have, however, united in the criticism and the revision of every chapter.

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CONTENTS

CHAPTER I PAGE

AN OUTLINE OF SHAKESPEARE'S LIFE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

CHAPTER II

ENGLISH DRAMA BEFORE SHAKESPEARE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

CHAPTER III

THE ELIZABETHAN THEATER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

CHAPTER IV

ELIZABETHAN LONDON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

CHAPTER V

SHAKESPEARE'S NONDRAMATIC WORKS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

CHAPTER VI

THE SEQUENCE OF SHAKESPEARE'S PLAYS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73

CHAPTER VII

SHAKESPEARE'S DEVELOPMENT AS A DRAMATIST . . . . . . . . . . . 85

CHAPTER VIII

THE CHIEF SOURCES OF SHAKESPEARE'S PLAYS . . . . . . . . . . . 105

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CHAPTER IX

HOW SHAKESPEARE GOT INTO PRINT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113

CHAPTER X

THE PLAYS OF THE FIRST PERIOD IMITATION AND EXPERIMENT . . . 131

CHAPTER XI

THE PLAYS OF THE SECOND PERIOD COMEDY AND HISTORY . . . . . . 153

CHAPTER XII

THE PLAYS OF THE THIRD PERIOD TRAGEDY . . . . . . . . . . . . 172

CHAPTER XIII

THE PLAYS OF THE FOURTH PERIOD ROMANCE . . . . . . . . . . . 196

CHAPTER XIV

SOME FAMOUS MISTAKES AND DELUSIONS ABOUT SHAKESPEARE . . . . . 210

{1}

AN INTRODUCTION TO SHAKESPEARE

CHAPTER I

AN OUTLINE OF SHAKESPEARE'S LIFE

Our Knowledge of Shakespeare. No one in Shakespeare's day seems to have been interested in learning about the private lives of the dramatists. The profession of play writing had scarcely begun to be distinguished from that of play acting, and the times were not wholly gone by when all actors had been classed in public estimation as vagabonds. While the London citizens were constant theatergoers, and immensely proud of their fine plays, they were content to learn of the writers of plays merely from town gossip, which passed from lip to lip and found no resting place in memoirs... Continue reading book >>




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