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Shakespeare's Shakespeare

Shakespeare's Shakespeare
Your Price: $42.95 CDN
Author: John C. Meagher
Publisher: Continuum
Format: Hardcover
# of Pages: 288
Pub. Date: 1997
ISBN-10: 0826410073
ISBN-13: 9780826410078

About the Book:

In this work of scholarship and creativity, John Meagher argues that we have understood Shakespeare incorrectly by failing to recognize his own directions as playwright, his dramatic designs, his plotting and use of sources, the deployment of his acting company, and the character of his customary stage and audience. In short, we have not been exposed to Shakespeare's Shakespeare, but to Shakespeare as read and acted according to norms of critics, directors, and editors of later times.

Through an examination of seven well-known plays (Romeo and Juliet; Hamlet; King Lear; A Midsummer Night's Dream; As You Like It; Richard II; and Henry IV, Part I), Meagher uncovers Shakespeare as an artist, director, and actor.

Written for the general reader and scholar, Shakespeare's Shakespeare recognizes the Bard first and foremost as a man of the theatre, and offers vital solutions to several of the thorny problems that have beset scholars of Elizabethan drama.

What people say:

"John Meagher's expertise gives him a wonderful perspective from which to look at Shakespeare's plays as having been written by a man who was actor and theater professional all his adult working life. This book arrives at importantly new theatrical insights. The subtitle say it all: How the Plays Were Made. The hands-on immediacy of the approach ensures a closeness to the plays' theatrical texture that is refreshing and significant." — David Bevington, The University of Chicago

"John Meagher's book comes out of a long and rich experience teaching and arguing about seven of Shakespeare's most popular plays. The approach, by basing itself on the original performance conditions of Shakespeare's time, is fresh and unfussy. It covers features that belong in the theatre rather than on the page, such as the way plays register changes in time and place, the doubling of roles, characterization, and the distinctive Shakespearean language. Each example is examined as raw evidence for ho Shakespeare planned the original staging. In the process, it shows how much that is only latent in the written text comes to life by means of this approach." — Andrew Gurr, The University of Reading

"This is the most exciting book on Shakespeare that I've read in more than two decades. It derives its authority from a thorough mastery of the dramatic texts themselves as well as of Shakespearean scholarship, and it earns its clarity and great readability from years of teaching in was that have led students into the mysteries of the plays themselves (rather than theories about them, or theories about the theories). In the words of the prefatory chapter, it takes us a good distance in 'the pursuit of understanding the most wonderful and accomplished works that were ever shaped in the English language'." — R.J. Schoeck, former editor, Shakespeare Quarterly

About the Author:

John Meagher is professor of English and Theology at St. Michael's College, University of Toronto.