Shakespeare: The Basics
By Sean McEvoy
Routledge – 2006 – 290 pages
Series: The Basics
The second edition of this best-selling guide demystifies Shakespeare’s plays and brings critical ideas within a beginner’s grasp. The text provides a thorough general introduction to the plays, based on the exciting new approaches shaping the field of Shakespeare studies.
Demonstrating how interpretations of Shakespeare are linked to cultural and political contexts, and providing readings of the most frequently studied plays in the light of contemporary critical thought, Shakespeare: The Basics explores:
Fully updated to include discussion of criticism and performance in the last five years, a new chapter on Shakespeare on film, and a broader critical approach, this book is the essential resource for all students of Shakespeare.
"It is not dumbed down; McEvoy shows students how their skills can be applied to this confidence-sapping subject"
- Catherine Richardson, fellow of the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham
"McEvoy's impeccably researched book shows how it can and should be done, in plain and clear English which makes it accessible to all sorts of readers"
"It is a book to read in its entirety for the broad sweep of intellectual coherence and to dip into for more specific inspiration. It is a book for teachers of both A-Level and GCSE, and perhaps for some of the more able students too. Shakespeare The Basics (2nd edition) is superb - do read it!"
- Adrian Beard, AQA Chief Examiner
Contents. List of illustrations. Acknowledgements. Introduction. Part I: Understanding the Text 1. Shakespeare’s Language (1) 2. Shakespeare's Language (2) 3. Types of Stage Action 4. The Plays in Performance 5. Shakespeare on Film Part II: The Genres 6. What Is Genre? 7. Understanding Comedy: The Taming of the Shrew 8. Understanding History: King Richard II 9. Understanding Tragedy: Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth and Othello 10. Understanding Romance: The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest. Conclusion. Appendix. Chronology. Glossary. References. Index
Sean McEvoy teaches English at Varndean College, Brighton, and on the Shakespeare MA at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is editor of the Hamlet volume in the Routledge Guides to Literature series, and of a forthcoming study of Ben Jonson’s plays.