Arden Early Modern Drama Guides

Plays

The Alchemist: A Critical Reader

Bloomsbury Publishing

The eponymous alchemist of Ben Jonson's quick-fire comedy is a fraud: he cannot make gold, but he does make brilliant theatre. The Alchemist is a masterpiece of wit and form about the self-delusions of greed and the theatricality of deception. This guide will be useful to a diverse assembly of students and scholars, offering fresh new ways into this challenging and fascinating play.

'The Alchemist: A Critical Reader is an excellent source for a teacher or researcher who is tackling the play and for the interested students who wish to carry their investigations of the play beyond the classroom lecture.' The Shakespeare Newsletter

Edward II: A Critical Reader

Bloomsbury Publishing

Edward II: A Critical Reader gives students, teachers and scholars alike an overview of the play's reception both in the theatre and among artists and critics, from the end of the 16th century to the beginning of the 21st. The volume also offers a series of new perspectives on the play by leading experts in the field of early modern history and culture. Bolstered with a timeline tracking Marlowe's life and work, an up-to-date bibliography and an extensive index, this collection is an ideal and definitive guide to Edward II.

The Jew of Malta: A Critical Reader

Bloomsbury Publishing

Christopher Marlowe's drama, The Jew of Malta, has become an increasingly popular source for scholarly scrutiny, staged productions, and, most recently, a filmed version. The play follows the sometimes tragic, sometimes comic, often outrageous fortunes of its villainous protagonist, the Jew Barabas. In recent years the play has provoked as much interpretive controversy as any work in the Marlowe canon. This unique volume is therefore especially timely, providing fresh, varied approaches to the many enigmatic elements of the play.

Logan identifies three key interpretative cruxes that continue to preoccupy those studying The Jew of Malta: the extent of Marlowe's familiarity with Machiavelli and his works; the vexed issue of the play's genre; and the problems faced in arriving at a coherent understanding of the character of Barabas. Such questions provide an important context for the chapters that follow, which together offer a clear, concise, and accessible overview of the play's reception history in criticism and performance, designed primarily for students and teachers. Year's Work in English Studies

Julius Caesar: A Critical Reader

Bloomsbury Publishing

This volume offers a practical, accessible and thought-provoking guide to this Roman tragedy, surveying its major themes and critical reception. It also provides a detailed and up-to-date history of the play's performance, beginning with its earliest known staging in 1599, including an analysis of the 2013 film Caesar Must Die starring Italian inmates, and an assessment of why the play is now coming back into vogue on stage. Moving through to four new critical essays, it opens up cutting-edge perspectives on the work, and finishes with a guide to pedagogical approaches by the experienced teacher and leading academic Jeremy Lopez.

Detailing web-based and production-related resources, and including an annotated bibliography of critical works, the guide will equip teachers and facilitate students' understanding of this challenging play.

‘I'm very impressed by this series. I think its success lies in part in the general editors' wise selection of volume editors who are both intellectually open-minded and capable of assembling strong, diverse teams of contributors.’ – Studies in English Literature

Macbeth: A Critical Reader

Bloomsbury Publishing

ARDEN RENAISSANCE DRAMA GUIDES offer students and academics practical and accessible introductions to the critical and performance contexts of key Elizabethan and Jacobean plays. Essays from leading international scholars provide invaluable insights into the text by presenting a range of critical perspectives, making the books ideal companions for study and research.

Key features include:

Essays on the play's critical and performance history

A keynote essay on current research and thinking about the play

A selection of new essays by leading scholars

A survey of resources to direct students' further reading about the play in print and online

Regularly performed and studied, Macbeth is not only one of Shakespeare's most popular plays but also provides us with one of the literary canon's most compellingly conflicted tragic figures. This guide offers fresh new ways into the play.

Othello: A Critical Reader

Bloomsbury Publishing

Othello has long been, and remains, one of Shakespeare's most popular works. It is a favourite work of scholars, students, and general readers alike. Perhaps more than any other of Shakespeare's tragedies, this one seems to speak most clearly to contemporary readers and audiences, partly because it deals with such pressing modern issues as race, gender, multiculturalism, and the ways love, jealousy, and misunderstanding can affect relations between romantic partners. The play also features Iago, one of Shakespeare's most mesmerizing and puzzling villains.

This guide offers students and scholars an introduction to the play's critical and performance history, including notable stage productions and film versions. It includes a keynote chapter outlining major areas of current research on the play and four new critical essays. Finally, a guide to critical, web-based and production-related resources and an annotated bibliography provide a basis for further research.

The Revenger's Tragedy: A Critical Reader

Bloomsbury Publishing

The Revenger's Tragedy is one of the most vital, important, and enduring tragedies of the Jacobean era, one of the few non-Shakespearean plays of that period that is still regularly revived on stage and taught in classrooms. The play is notable for its piercing insight into human depravity, its savage humour, and its florid theatricality. This collection of new essays offers students an invaluable overview of the play's critical and performance history as well as four critical essays offering a range of new perspectives.

‘I'm very impressed by this series. I think its success lies in part in the general editors' wise selection of volume editors who are both intellectually open-minded and capable of assembling strong, diverse teams of contributors.’ – Studies in English Literature

Richard III: A Critical Reader

Bloomsbury Publishing

Charting the ruthless rise and fall of the villainous king, Richard III remains one of Shakespeare's most enduringly discussed and oft-performed plays. Assembled by leading scholars, this guide provides a comprehensive survey of major issues in the contemporary study of the play.

Throughout the book survey chapters explore such issues as the play's critical reception from Dr Johnson to postmodern readings in the 21st century; the performance history of the play, from Shakespeare's day to more recent stagings by Laurence Olivier and Ian McKellen; key themes in current scholarship, from disability to gender and nationalism; Richard III on film, including Al Pacino's Looking for Richard.

Richard III: A Critical Guide also includes a complete guide to resources available on the play - including critical editions, online resources and an annotated bibliography - and how they might be used to aid both the teaching and study of Shakespeare's play.

The essays in this book about Shakespeare's "tragical history" of Richard "Crookback" Gloucester, the disgraced King of England, edited by Connolly (English, Sheffield Hallam Univ.), deal with Richard as a contradiction of king and tyrant, while also delving into more current discussion topics for reading the play, such as disability theory, where to place the piece in terms of genre, and the history of the play on film … each essay has its own fascinating points… This title will be useful to those in college Shakespeare classes who are delving deep into research. Library Journal

The Spanish Tragedy

Bloomsbury Publishing

The Spanish Tragedy was the first 'revenge tragedy' on the English Renaissance stage: but for its influence, major dramas including The Revenger's Tragedy, The Duchess of Malfi and even Hamlet would not exist as they do. It is thus a key text for the study of Renaissance drama and normally appears in introductory undergraduate courses on Renaissance drama and Shakespeare. Despite its initial smash-hit status, after the closing of the theatres in 1642 the play was only once performed in Britain before its gradual revival in the 20th century. Following its first professional performance in 1973, the play has come to be recognised as a Renaissance classic, receiving frequent performance. This volume will bring together its most insightful and influential modern scholars to produce an edition read both by experts in the field and lovers of Thomas Kyd's drama.

‘I'm very impressed by this series. I think its success lies in part in the general editors' wise selection of volume editors who are both intellectually open-minded and capable of assembling strong, diverse teams of contributors.’ – Studies in English Literature

The Tempest: A Critical Reader

Bloomsbury Publishing

The Tempest contains sublime poetry and catchy songs, magic and low comedy, while it tackles important contemporary concerns: education, power politics, the effects of colonization and technology. In this guide, Alden T. Vaughan and Virginia Mason Vaughan open up new ways into one of Shakespeare's most popular, malleable and controversial plays.

Arden Early Modern Drama Guides offer students and academics practical and accessible introductions to the critical and performance contexts of key Elizabethan and Jacobean plays. Essays from leading international scholars give invaluable insight into the text by presenting a range of critical perspectives, making the books ideal companions for study and research.

Key features include:

• Essays on the play’s critical and performance history

• A keynote essay on current research and thinking about the play

• A selection of new essays by leading scholars

• A survey of resources to direct students’ further reading about the play in print and online