Edited by Stanley Wells and Lena Cowen Orlin, this stimulating and comprehensive guide to Shakespeare is an ideal text for undergraduate students. It includes over forty specially commissioned essays by an outstanding team of scholars. Each essay is written in an accessible and engaging style and is followed by annotated suggestions for further reading.
Shakespeare: An Oxford Guide is divided into four key parts. Part One offers concise introductions to the literary and historical contexts in which Shakespeare lived and worked. It covers the society, culture, language, theatre, and playwriting conventions of Shakespeare's time and also discusses his contemporary impact. Part Two offers critical overviews of Shakespeare's achievements in the major genres. Each overview is followed by a reading that explores Shakespeare's use of the traditions, scope, and boundaries of that genre in one of his key works. Part Three discusses current critical approaches to the study of Shakespeare. Each chapter outlines a specific approach and is followed by a reading applying that approach to one of Shakespeare's works. Part Four offers chapters on Shakespeare's intellectual and cultural impact over the ages.