Character Studies

Plays

Hamlet

Bloomsbury Publishing

Arguably Shakespeare's most famous play, Hamlet is studied widely at universities internationally. Approaching the play through an analysis of its key characters is particularly useful as there are few plays which have commanded so much critical attention in relation to "character" as Hamlet. The guide includes: an introductory overview of the text, including a brief discussion of the background to the play including its sources, reception and critical tradition; an overview of the narrative structure; chapters discussing in detail the representation of the key characters including Hamlet, Gertrude and Ophelia as well as the more minor characters; a conclusion reminding students of the links between the characters and the key themes and issues and a guide to further reading.

'Great starting points for first-timers, and food for thought for familiars.' - Will Sharpe, The Shakespeare Bookshop Newsletter

"...a lot to offer teachers...a very illuminating commentary on the text, not just on the character...Davies is full of stimulating ideas the undermine our long-standing assumptions about the play...There is so much in this little book that is of value not just to the academic reader, teacher or taught, but to producers, actors, and, should its till exist, the educated reading public. And editors too..." The Use of English, Summer 2009

Briefly reviewed in the Year's work in English Studies journal, vol 89, No. 1 'A student friendly book which makes accessible a fairly sophisticated type of literary analysis'

Othello

Bloomsbury Publishing

Othello is a major Shakespearean text, studied widely and often adapted for film and TV and is especially challenging for a multicultural society. Othello lends itself to criticism through discussion of the major characters although this study also focuses on recent criticism's analysis of the characters as "signifiers". The study of the key characters takes the discussion of the text immediately into the central issues of "otherness", gender, race and power.

"Each book in the 'Character Studies' series edited by Ashley Chantler is a recommended pick for high school and college-level libraries alike, providing fine literary analysis through concept of character which makes this an excellent choice for drama as well as literary students." -Midwest Book Review

'Great starting points for first-timers, and food for thought for familiars.' - Will Sharpe, The Shakespeare Bookshop Newsletter

Potter's study is that of a well-read author who opens our eyes to new aspects of the characters of the play. The Year's Work in English Studiesl, vol 89, No. 1

Twelfth Night

Bloomsbury Publishing

The characters of Twelfth Night are both memorable and engaging and it is through their funny, and at times bitter, interplay that we experience the peculiar world of Shakespeare's Illyria. This study begins with a introduction to the concept of "characters" on the early-modern stage before proceeding to a textual analysis of each of the main characters in the play, looking at how what they say and do, and what is said about them, creates the illusion of "character". Each chapter also contains a brief account of key performances by actors on stage and in film.

"Each book in the 'Character Studies' series edited by Ashley Chantler is a recommended pick for high school and college-level libraries alike, providing fine literary analysis through concept of character which makes this an excellent choice for drama as well as literary students." -Midwest Book Review

'Great starting points for first-timers, and food for thought for familiars.' - Will Sharpe, The Shakespeare Bookshop Newsletter

mention in Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance, Tome LXXII (2010)   

Character Studies promotes sophisticated literary analysis through the concept of character. It demonstrates the necessity of linking character analysis to texts'; themes, issues and ideas, and encourages students to embrace the complexity of literary characters and the texts in which they appear. The series thus fosters close critical reading and evidence-based discussion, as well as an engagement with historical context, and with literary criticism and theory.