“Why, then the world’s mine oyster.”
—The Merry Wives of Windsor
Eminent Shakespearean scholars Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen provide a fresh new edition of this popular comedy of love, laughter, and merriment—along with more than a hundred pages of exclusive features, including
• an original Introduction to The Merry Wives of Windsor
• incisive scene-by-scene synopsis and analysis with vital facts about the work
• commentary on past and current productions based on interviews with leading directors, actors, and designers
• photographs of key RSC productions
• an overview of Shakespeare’s theatrical career and chronology of his plays
Ideal for students, theater professionals, and general readers, these modern and accessible editions from the Royal Shakespeare Company set a new standard in Shakespearean literature for the twenty-first century.
About the Author
Arguably the greatest English-language playwright, William Shakespeare was a seventeenth-century writer and dramatist, and is known as the Bard of Avon. Under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth I, he penned more than 30 plays, 154 sonnets, and numerous narrative poems and short verses. Equally accomplished in histories, tragedies, comedy, and romance, Shakespeare s most famous works include Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, The Taming of the Shrew, and As You Like It.
Like many of his contemporaries, including Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare began his career on the stage, eventually rising to become part-owner of Lord Chamberlain s Men, a popular dramatic company of his day, and of the storied Globe Theatre in London.
Extremely popular in his lifetime, Shakespeare s works continue to resonate more than three hundred years after his death. His plays are performed more often than any other playwright s, have been translated into every major language in the world, and are studied widely by scholars and students.
Jonathan Bate is a biographer, critic, and broadcaster. His many books include The Genius of Shakespeare, described by Sir Peter Hall as "the best modern book on Shakespeare"; a biography of the poet John Clare, which won Britain's two oldest literary awards, the Hawthornden Prize and the James Tait Black Prize; Soul of the Age, an intellectual life of Shakespeare, which was runner-up for the Biography Prize of PEN America; and The Song of the Earth, a pioneering book on poetry and the environment. He is also the author of a novel, The Cure for Love, and the hit one-man play for Simon Callow, Being Shakespeare. A fellow of both the British Academy and the Royal Society of Literature, he is provost of Worcester College and professor of English literature at Oxford University. Married to the author Paula Byrne, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to higher education and was knighted in 2015 for his services to literary scholarship.
ERIC RASMUSSEN is Professor of English at the University of Nevada. He is co-editor of the Norton Anthology of English Renaissance Drama and the author of The Shakespeare Thefts. He is the General Textual Editor of the Internet Shakespeare Editions project one of the most visited Shakespeare websites in the world. Since 1999 he has written the annual review of editions and textual studies for the Shakespeare Survey.
Praise for William Shakespeare: Complete Works
“Remarkable . . . makes Shakespeare’s extraordinary accomplishment more vivid than ever.”—James Shapiro, professor, Columbia University, bestselling author of A Year in the Life of Shakespeare: 1599
“A feast of literary and historical information.”—The Wall Street Journal