Shakespeare the playwright: a companion to the complete tragedies, histories, comedies, and romances

Book Cover
Greenwood Press,
Pub. Date:

A useful guide for the general reader, as well as high school and undergraduate students, to Shakespeare's 37 plays. After a brief introduction outlining Shakespeare's life and career, Cahn carefully guides the reader through each play in turn, from first scene to last, using a mixture of quotation, paraphrase, and critical comment. His style is accessible and unpretentious, and his insights into the psychological consistency' of Shakespeare's characters--the main focus of the commentary--are stimulating and sometimes provocative. Library Journal

Contending that the fundamental appeal of Shakespeare's work lies with his characters, Cahn systematically proceeds through a discussion of each play (within the traditional categories of tragedy, history, and romance) as if an audience were encountering that play for the first time. . . . This critical appreciation approach differentiates Cahn's companion/handbook from other Shakespeareana . . . in which the intention is to assemble a body of Shakespearean lore for information. In Cahn's work, suggestions for further reading (usually a short list of the prominent, old studies) follows each analysis. Two appendixes (The Two Noble Kinsmen and a who's who of the Royal Figures are provided. A one-page select bibliography, a character index, and a general index end the book. It is highly recommended for any general public library and for academic collections at all undergraduate levels. Choice

Since their first production four centuries ago, the plays of William Shakespeare have been the most widely produced, popularly acclaimed, and critically examined works in the world's literature. In this unique book, Victor L. Cahn, an acclaimed teacher of drama, guides the reader scene by scene through each of Shakespeare's thirty-seven plays, recreating the freshness and theatrical effect of performance. Cahn has based his approach on the assumption that the fundamental appeal of Shakespeare's plays lies in the characters, and with clarity and subtlety he focuses on how the implications of the characters' actions and the nuances of their language contribute to the plays' impact.

The introduction briefly traces Shakespeare's life and career, and explains some of the social and artistic circumstances that influenced his work. The plays are grouped by genre: Tragedies, Histories, Comedies, and Romances. This structure allows Cahn to explore Shakespeare's development in all four dramatic forms, as well as to suggest relationships between characters, themes, and images throughout the works. In addition, Cahn discusses the plays as reflective of Shakespeare's age, particularly the Renaissance concern with the tension between individual rights and social responsibility. The text is free from extensive scholarly apparatus, but valuable suggestions for further reading follow the analysis of each play, and a selected bibliography concludes the volume. The comprehensiveness of the book, as well as the accessibility and quality of its interpretations, make it a valuable resource for courses in Shakespeare, drama, and British literature, and a worthy addition to high school, college, university, and public library reference collections.

Also in This Series
More Details
More Copies In Prospector
Loading Prospector Copies...
More Like This
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID32f6f422-bb3e-5300-d9dc-2f3e4ccff171
Grouping Titleshakespeare the playwright a companion to the complete tragedies histories comedies and romances
Grouping Authorcahn victor l
Grouping Categorybook
Last Grouping Update2019-10-11 14:22:08PM
Last Indexed2019-11-12 02:45:54AM

Solr Details

authorCahn, Victor L.
author_displayCahn, Victor L
available_at_westernWestern Colorado University
detailed_location_westernWCU Book Stacks
Bib IdItem IdShelf LocCall NumFormatFormat CategoryNum CopiesIs Order ItemIs eContenteContent SourceeContent FileeContent URLsubformatDetailed StatusLast CheckinLocationSub-location
ils:.b23907812.i40524619WCU Book StacksPR2976 .C27 19911falsefalseOn Shelfwsst
literary_formNon Fiction
literary_form_fullNon Fiction
local_callnumber_westernPR2976 .C27 1991
owning_library_westernWestern Colorado University
owning_location_westernWestern Colorado University
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:.b23907812BookBooksEnglishGreenwood Press, 1991.xviii, 865 pages ; 24 cm.
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:.b23907812.i40524619On ShelfOn Shelffalsetruetruefalsefalsetrue71, 72, 73, 74, 75
subject_facetShakespeare, William, -- 1564-1616
Shakespeare, William, -- 1564-1616 -- Criticism and interpretation
title_displayShakespeare the playwright : a companion to the complete tragedies, histories, comedies, and romances
title_fullShakespeare the playwright : a companion to the complete tragedies, histories, comedies, and romances / Victor L. Cahn
title_shortShakespeare the playwright
title_suba companion to the complete tragedies, histories, comedies, and romances
topic_facetCriticism and interpretation
Shakespeare, William