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
Keith Hale is author of the novels Clicking Beat on the Brink of Nada and Letters to a Shooting Star. He has edited an anthology of gay literature from antiquity through the First World War (Ode to Boy), a collection of Lord Byron's love poetry for boys (Edleston), a collection of Rupert Brooke's letters that had been sealed for eighty years due to their homosexual themes (Friends and Apostles), a collection of Georgian Poetry, and editions of poetry by Shakespeare, Housman, and Brooke. Hale wrote the first and perhaps only account of gay life in the Balkans before the walls of Communism crumbled in his travelogue In the Land of Alexander, and he explored how the military's ban on gays affected the life of one ROTC cadet in his book Torn Allegiances. Hale is a native of Mayflower, Arkansas, and also has made his home in Austin, Amsterdam, and Guam.
Tony Tanner was Professor of English and American Literature at the University of Cambridge.