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The History of King Lear (Oxford Shakespeare)by William Shakespeare
Synopses & Reviews
King Lear, widely considered Shakespeare's most deeply moving, passionately expressed, and intellectually ambitious play, has almost always been edited from the revised version printed in the First Folio of 1623, with additions from the quarto of 1608. Now for the first time, this new volume presents the full, scholarly edition to be based firmly on the quarto, now recognized as the base text from which all others derive. A thorough, attractively written introduction suggests how the work grew slowly in Shakespeare's imagination, fed by years of reading, thinking, and experience as a practical dramatist.
This editition consists of a new, modern-spelling text; a full index to the introduction and commentary; production photographs and related art. The on-page commentary and detailed notes to this edition offer critical help in understanding the language and dramaturgy in relation to the theaters in which King Lear was first performed. Additional sections reprint the early ballad, which was among the play's earliest sources, and provide additional guides to understanding and appreciating one of the greatest masterworks of Western civilization.
The "Oxford Shakespeare" offers authoritative texts from scholars in editions designed to interpret and illuminate the plays for modern readers. The texts use modern-spelling, feature on-page commentary and notes, and include detailed introductions.
About the Author
Stanley Wells ran the Oxford Shakespeare Dept. within OUP for the years in which the Complete Works were in preparation; and he is the general editor of The Oxford Shakespeare/Oxford World's Classics Shakespeare series in which the present volume appears. He is also co-general editor of the new Oxford Shakespeare Topics series. Formerly Director of the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, he is now Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Professor Emeritus in the University of Birmingham.
Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor were the general editors of the Oxford Complete Works of Shakespeare.
Gary Taylor [WHOSE TEXT WAS USED, WITH SOME MODIFICATIONS, FOR THE PRESENT EDITION] is co-general-editor of the forthcoming Oxford Thomas Middleton edition.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
What Shakespeare Wrote
When Shakespeare Wrote King Lear
Where the Play Came From: Legend, King Leir, Arcadia, Other Sources
Shaping the Play
The Play's Language
King Lear as a Text for Readers
Performance Texts of King Lear
Nahum Tate's Adaptation
Return to Shakespeare
Interpretation in Performance
Textual Introduction and Editorial Procedures
Abbreviations and References
The Ballad of King Lear
Offshoots of King Lear
Alterations to Lineation
What Our Readers Are Saying
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