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The Cambridge companion to Shakespearean tragedy edited by Claire McEachern [Text]

By: McEachern 1963-.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Cambridge Cambridge University Press 2013Edition: Second edition.Description: xiii, 302 pages illustrations (black and white) 24 cm hbk.ISBN: 9781107643321.Subject(s): LIT | Shakespeare -- Criticism and interpretation | Shakespeare -- TragediesDDC classification: 822.3'3
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

This revised and updated Companion acquaints the student reader with the forms, contexts, critical and theatrical lives of the ten plays considered to be Shakespeare's tragedies. Thirteen essays, written by leading scholars in Britain and North America, address the ways in which Shakespearean tragedy originated, developed and diversified, as well as how it has fared on stage, as text and in criticism. Topics covered include the literary precursors of Shakespeare's tragedies, cultural backgrounds, sub-genres and receptions of the plays. The book examines the four major tragedies and, in addition, Titus Andronicus, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus and Timon of Athens. Essays from the first edition have been fully revised to reflect the most up-to-date scholarship; the bibliography has been extensively updated; and four new chapters have been added, discussing Shakespearean form, Shakespeare and philosophy, Shakespeare's tragedies in performance, and Shakespeare and religion.

Previous edition: 2002

Includes bibliographical references and index

This updated companion has been fully revised to reflect the most up-to-date scholarship. With an extensively overhauled bibliography, it also includes four new chapters by leading scholars, discussing Shakespearean form, Shakespeare and philosophy, Shakespeare's tragedies in performance, and Shakespeare and religion.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Preface to the second edition
  • 1 What is a Shakespearean tragedy?
  • 2 The language of tragedy
  • 3 Tragedy in Shakespeare's career
  • 4 Shakespearean tragedy printed and performed
  • 5 Religion and Shakespearean tragedy
  • 6 Tragedy and political authority Michael Hattaway
  • 7 Gender and family
  • 8 The tragic subject and its passions
  • 9 Tragedies of revenge and ambition
  • 10 Shakespeare's tragedies of love
  • 11 Shakespeare's classical tragedies
  • 12 Why think about Shakespearean tragedy today?
  • 13 Shakespeare's tragedies in performance

Reviews provided by Syndetics


The appetite for "companions" to Shakespeare, among other canonical writers, waxes unabated, as evidenced by collections from Blackwell, Twayne, Oxford, and Prentice-Hall. McEachern (Univ. of California, Los Angeles) intended the present collection of 13 essays chiefly for undergraduates, as she states clearly in her brief introduction, but anticipating what undergraduates are likely to want to know and gauging what they bring to the reading of Shakespeare's tragedies are the two main problems of this collection and its like. Emphasis here is on topics familiar to undergraduate readers, from the definitional to the cultural, but though the contributors offer an enticing buffet of approaches, only a few are conscientious about the constraints of the audience. Catherine Belsey's essay on gender and family offers a model of how to reach undergraduates without compromising theoretical approach; she foregrounds critical terms and definitions and qualifies grand historical generalizations. Huston Diehl's essay on religion gives superb examples of how knowledge of religious currents can help solve mysteries like Othello's investment in the magic of the handkerchief. Other essays assume a more sophisticated reader than the average undergraduate, and accordingly the collection offers advanced scholars intellectually engaging material. This reviewer especially liked McEachern's insistence that every essay address a number of plays. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. M. A. Bushman Illinois Wesleyan University

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