Shakespeare forged his tremendous art in the crucible of his comic imagination, which throughout his life enveloped and contained his tragic one. His early comedies—with their baroque poetic exuberance, intense theatricality, explosive bursts of humor, and superbly concrete realizations of the dialects of love—capture as in a chrysalis all that he was to become. They provide a complete inventory of the mind of our greatest writer in the middle of his golden youth.
This volume contains The Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Love's Labor's Lost, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and it's companion piece, Romeo and Juliet, which Tony Tanner describes in his introduction as "a tragedy by less than one minute." The texts, authoritatively edited by Sylvan Barnet, are supplemented with textual notes, bibliographies, a detailed chronology of Shakespeare's life and times, and a substantial introduction in which Tanner discusses each play individually and in the context of Shakespeare's oeuvre.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
About the Author
William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England's Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children--their older daughter, Susanna, and the twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare's only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare's working life was spent, not in Stratford, but in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He had a successful career in London as a playwright and actor and was a shareholder in the acting company the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He produced most of his plays between 1589 and 1613. Sometime between 1610 and 1613, Shakespeare is thought to have retired from the stage and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616.
Tony Tanner was Professor of English and American Literature at the University of Cambridge.