Synopses & Reviews
-- User's guide
-- A comprehensive biography of the playwright
-- Detailed plot summaries of each play
-- Extracts from important critical essays that examine important aspects of each work
-- A complete bibliography of the writer's plays
-- A list of critical works about the playwright and his works
-- An index of themes and ideas covered in the plays
From William Shakespeare to Arthur Miller, the greatest playwrights are examined in a new series edited by noted literary critic Harold Bloom. Each book covers several plays, and includes a biography of the writer, plot summary of each work, and critical interpretations of the plays and their characters. The plays most frequently studied in high school and university literature courses today have been included in this series.
Discusses the plots, characters, and themes of five Shakespearean comedies.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 116-118) and index. "Works by William Shakespeare": p. 113-115.
Table of Contents
Biography of William Shakespeare --Plot summary of The taming of the Shrew --List of characters in The taming of the Shrew --Critical views on The taming of the Shrew: --August Wilhelm Schlegel on new life and the prelude --G. Wilson Knight on the Shakespearean tempest --Maynard Mack on engagement and detachment --Ruth Nevo on comic transformation --Joel Fineman on the turn of the Shrew --Plot summary of A midsummer night's dream --List of characters in A midsummer night's dream --Critical views on A midsummer night's dream: --Samuel Taylor Coleridge on Helena's betrayal --G.K. Chesterton on Shakespeare's mysticism of happiness --G. Wilson Knight on imagery and fairyland --Northrop Frye on expounding the dream --E. Talbot Donaldson on Shakespeare reading Chaucer --Harold Bloom on Bottom's common sense and natural goodness --Plot summary of The Merchant of Venice --List of characters in The Merchant of Venice --Critical views of The Merchant of Venice: --August Wilhelm Schlegel on Shakespeare's characterization --William Hazlitt on the masterpiece of Shylock --Elmer Edgar Stoll on Shylock's penalty --Sigmund Freud on the theme of the three caskets --Graham Bradshaw on the preoccupation with appearance --Dereck Cohen on Shakespeare's anti-semitism --Harold Bloom on Shylock's forced conversion --Plot summary of As you like it --List of characters in As you like it --Critical views on As you like it: --Samuel Johnson on Shakespeare's fable --William Hazlitt on Rosalind and Celia --Samuel Taylor Coleridge on an un-Shakespearean speech --George Bernard Shaw on Shakespeare's inaccuracy --Harold C. Goddard on the Emersonian in Shakespeare --C.L. Barber on Touchstone's praise of folly --Harold Bloom on the wit of Rosalind --Plot summary of Twelfth night --List of characters in Twelfth night --Critical views on Twelfth night: --Samuel Johnson on Orsino's perspective --William Hazlitt on the romantic and enthusiastic --Charles Lamb on the character of Malvolio --Harold C. Goddard on Shakespeare's farewell to comedy --C.L. Barber on madness and disguise --Ann Barton on meaning in the names.