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1 Burnside Drama- Shakespeare Criticism

Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare

by

Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"Sure, there's been enough Shakespeare biographies written to fill the old Globe Theatre. But not by eminent Harvard Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt, who combines cultural history with a close reading of the bard's work to envision what Shakes's life might have been like....Why you should read it: It's the most detailed biography of the greatest poet in the English language." Anna Godbersen (read the entire Esquire review)

"Greenblatt's book is skillfully written, with spirit and verve. It gives a vivid picture of the Elizabethan world, and it has fine and illuminating things to say about particular aspects of Shakespeare....Yet much of the book is silly. It shows small understanding of how to weigh historical evidence; and its notion of the creative process, and of the relation between a writer's work and a writer's life, is naïve." Richard Jenkyns, The New Republic (read the entire New Republic review)

"Greenblatt is an incisive thinker — not to mention an uncannily ingratiating voice on the page. When I first read him, as an undergraduate English major, I well nigh fell in love with him. His tragic flaw, were he a Shakespearean hero, would be not his practice but his theory....Greenblatt's life of Shakespeare represents the best of the New Historicist movement. But it does not represent the best we could hope for from Greenblatt, or the best we should demand in a biography of the Bard." Cristina Nehring, Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A young man from the provinces — a man without wealth, connections, or university education — moves to London. In a remarkably short time he becomes the greatest playwright not just of his age but of all time. His works appeal to urban sophisticates and first-time theatergoers; he turns politics into poetry; he recklessly mingles vulgar clowning and philosophical subtlety. How is such an achievement to be explained?

Will in the World interweaves a searching account of Elizabethan England with a vivid narrative of the playwright's life. We see Shakespeare learning his craft, starting a family, and forging a career for himself in the wildly competitive London theater world, while at the same time grappling with dangerous religious and political forces that took less-agile figures to the scaffold. Above all, we never lose sight of the great works — "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, and more — that continue after four hundred years to delight and haunt audiences everywhere. The basic biographical facts of Shakespeare's life have been known for over a century, but now Stephen Greenblatt shows how this particular life history gave rise to the world's greatest writer.

Review:

"Greenblatt's book is startlingly good — the most complexly intelligent and sophisticated, and yet the most keenly enthusiastic, study of the life and work taken together that I have ever read." Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

Review:

"A Harvard scholar here sheds penetrating light on this enigmatic genius, teasing out the mystery of artistic transformation....A valuable resource for both professional and casual Shakespeareans." Booklist

Review:

"A speculative but rigorous biography....The result is thoroughly researched but casual feeling — Will in the World is a successful attempt to be the layperson's Bard bio of choice for the next decade." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"[P]rovocative and gracefully written....Among the book's many virtues are Greenblatt's accessible writing style and his ability to keep a careful balance between academic and popular appeal, no easy feat." Houston Chronicle

Review:

"[T]his fall's most readable and engaging book about Shakespeare for both the general and the academic reader. It is also one of the most persuasive reconstructions of Shakespeare's life and career I have encountered." St. Petersburg Times

Review:

"Greenblatt is at his best when he merges his gifts as a literary critic and scholar with his instincts as a biographer." Colm Tóibín, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"As fiction...Will in the World is not an unmixed success; its subject veers too much between Shakespeare's imagination and Stephen Greenblatt's own. Yet, as biography, it is not bookish enough, and shows contempt for its readers — as if toy history were good enough for them." Alastair Fowler, The Times Literary Supplement (read the entire Times Literary Supplement review)

Synopsis:

Greenblatt interweaves a searching account of Elizabethan England with a vivid narrative of the playwright's life. Readers see Shakespeare learning his craft, starting a family, and forging a career for himself in the wildly competitive London theater world.

Synopsis:

"So engrossing, clearheaded, and lucid that its arrival is not just welcome but cause for celebration."--Dan Cryer,

Synopsis:

Stephen Greenblatt, the charismatic Harvard professor who "knows more about Shakespeare than Ben Jonson or the Dark Lady did" (John Leonard, ), has written a biography that enables us to see, hear, and feel how an acutely sensitive and talented boy, surrounded by the rich tapestry of Elizabethan life; full of drama and pageantry, and also cruelty and danger; could have become the world's greatest playwright. A young man from the provinces--a man without wealth, connections, or university education--moves to London. In a remarkably short time he becomes the greatest playwright not just of his age but of all time. His works appeal to urban sophisticates and first-time theatergoers; he turns politics into poetry; he recklessly mingles vulgar clowning and philosophical subtlety. How is such an achievement to be explained? interweaves a searching account of Elizabethan England with a vivid narrative of the playwright's life. We see Shakespeare learning his craft, starting a family, and forging a career for himself in the wildly competitive London theater world, while at the same time grappling with dangerous religious and political forces that took less-agile figures to the scaffold. Above all, we never lose sight of the great works--, and more--that continue after four hundred years to delight and haunt audiences everywhere. The basic biographical facts of Shakespeare's life have been known for over a century, but now Stephen Greenblatt shows how this particular life history gave rise to the world's greatest writer. Bringing together little-known historical facts and little-noticed elements of Shakespeare's plays, Greenblatt makes inspired connections between the life and the works and deliver "a dazzling and subtle biography" (Richard Lacayo, ). Readers will experience Shakespeare's vital plays again as if for the first time, but with greater understanding and appreciation of their extraordinary depth and humanity. : 10 Best Books of 2004; magazine's #1 Best Nonfiction Book; A Book World Rave ; An Best Book ; A Best Book; A Best Book; A Best Book; A Best Book ; NPR's Maureen Corrigan's Best.

About the Author

Stephen Greenblatt is the John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University, editor of The Norton Shakespeare, and prize-winning author of many academic books, including Hamlet in Purgatory.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393050578
Author:
Greenblatt, Stephen
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Author:
Greenblatt, Stephen J.
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Shakespeare
Subject:
Biography-Literary
Copyright:
Publication Date:
September 2004
Binding:
Hardcover
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16 pages of color illustrations
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
9.5 x 6.5 x 1.4 in 1.73 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Shakespeare » Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Shakespeare » Plays
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Shakespeare » Works
Biography » Literary
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$13.95 In Stock
Product details 448 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393050578 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Sure, there's been enough Shakespeare biographies written to fill the old Globe Theatre. But not by eminent Harvard Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt, who combines cultural history with a close reading of the bard's work to envision what Shakes's life might have been like....Why you should read it: It's the most detailed biography of the greatest poet in the English language." (read the entire Esquire review)
"Review A Day" by , "Greenblatt's book is skillfully written, with spirit and verve. It gives a vivid picture of the Elizabethan world, and it has fine and illuminating things to say about particular aspects of Shakespeare....Yet much of the book is silly. It shows small understanding of how to weigh historical evidence; and its notion of the creative process, and of the relation between a writer's work and a writer's life, is naïve." (read the entire New Republic review)
"Review A Day" by , "Greenblatt is an incisive thinker — not to mention an uncannily ingratiating voice on the page. When I first read him, as an undergraduate English major, I well nigh fell in love with him. His tragic flaw, were he a Shakespearean hero, would be not his practice but his theory....Greenblatt's life of Shakespeare represents the best of the New Historicist movement. But it does not represent the best we could hope for from Greenblatt, or the best we should demand in a biography of the Bard." (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
"Review" by , "Greenblatt's book is startlingly good — the most complexly intelligent and sophisticated, and yet the most keenly enthusiastic, study of the life and work taken together that I have ever read."
"Review" by , "A Harvard scholar here sheds penetrating light on this enigmatic genius, teasing out the mystery of artistic transformation....A valuable resource for both professional and casual Shakespeareans."
"Review" by , "A speculative but rigorous biography....The result is thoroughly researched but casual feeling — Will in the World is a successful attempt to be the layperson's Bard bio of choice for the next decade."
"Review" by , "[P]rovocative and gracefully written....Among the book's many virtues are Greenblatt's accessible writing style and his ability to keep a careful balance between academic and popular appeal, no easy feat."
"Review" by , "[T]his fall's most readable and engaging book about Shakespeare for both the general and the academic reader. It is also one of the most persuasive reconstructions of Shakespeare's life and career I have encountered."
"Review" by , "Greenblatt is at his best when he merges his gifts as a literary critic and scholar with his instincts as a biographer."
"Review" by , "As fiction...Will in the World is not an unmixed success; its subject veers too much between Shakespeare's imagination and Stephen Greenblatt's own. Yet, as biography, it is not bookish enough, and shows contempt for its readers — as if toy history were good enough for them." (read the entire Times Literary Supplement review)
"Synopsis" by , Greenblatt interweaves a searching account of Elizabethan England with a vivid narrative of the playwright's life. Readers see Shakespeare learning his craft, starting a family, and forging a career for himself in the wildly competitive London theater world.
"Synopsis" by , "So engrossing, clearheaded, and lucid that its arrival is not just welcome but cause for celebration."--Dan Cryer,
"Synopsis" by , Stephen Greenblatt, the charismatic Harvard professor who "knows more about Shakespeare than Ben Jonson or the Dark Lady did" (John Leonard, ), has written a biography that enables us to see, hear, and feel how an acutely sensitive and talented boy, surrounded by the rich tapestry of Elizabethan life; full of drama and pageantry, and also cruelty and danger; could have become the world's greatest playwright. A young man from the provinces--a man without wealth, connections, or university education--moves to London. In a remarkably short time he becomes the greatest playwright not just of his age but of all time. His works appeal to urban sophisticates and first-time theatergoers; he turns politics into poetry; he recklessly mingles vulgar clowning and philosophical subtlety. How is such an achievement to be explained? interweaves a searching account of Elizabethan England with a vivid narrative of the playwright's life. We see Shakespeare learning his craft, starting a family, and forging a career for himself in the wildly competitive London theater world, while at the same time grappling with dangerous religious and political forces that took less-agile figures to the scaffold. Above all, we never lose sight of the great works--, and more--that continue after four hundred years to delight and haunt audiences everywhere. The basic biographical facts of Shakespeare's life have been known for over a century, but now Stephen Greenblatt shows how this particular life history gave rise to the world's greatest writer. Bringing together little-known historical facts and little-noticed elements of Shakespeare's plays, Greenblatt makes inspired connections between the life and the works and deliver "a dazzling and subtle biography" (Richard Lacayo, ). Readers will experience Shakespeare's vital plays again as if for the first time, but with greater understanding and appreciation of their extraordinary depth and humanity. : 10 Best Books of 2004; magazine's #1 Best Nonfiction Book; A Book World Rave ; An Best Book ; A Best Book; A Best Book; A Best Book; A Best Book ; NPR's Maureen Corrigan's Best.
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