The Cambridge Companion to Shakespearean Comedy

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Alexander Leggatt
Cambridge University Press, Dec 20, 2001 - Literary Criticism - 256 pages
First published in 2001, this is an accessible, wide-ranging and informed introduction to Shakespeare's comedies and romances. Rather than taking each play in isolation, the chapters trace recurring issues, suggesting both the continuity and the variety of Shakespeare's practice and the creative use he made of the conventions he inherited. The first section puts Shakespeare in the context of classical and Renaissance comedy and comic theory, the work of his Elizabethan predecessors and the traditions of popular festivity. The second section traces a number of themes through Shakespeare's early and middle comedies, dark comedies and late romances, establishing the key features of his comedy as a whole and illuminating particular plays by close analysis. Individual chapters draw on contemporary politics, rhetoric, and the history of Shakespeare production. Written by experts in the relevant fields, the chapters frequently challenge long-standing critical assumptions.

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Contents

Notes on contributors
Chronology
Roman comedy
Italian stories on the stage
Elizabethan comedy
Forms of confusion
JOHN CREASER 7 Love andcourtship
Laughing at others
Comedy and
Language and comedy
Matters of state
ANTHONY MILLER 13 The experimentof romance
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About the author (2001)

Alexander Leggatt is Professor of English at University College, University of Toronto. Among his books are: Citizen Comedy in the Age of Shakespeare (1973), Shakespeare's Comedy of Love (1974), Ben Jonson: his Vision and his Art (1981), English Drama: Shakespeare to the Restoration, 1590–1660 (1988), Shakespeare's Political Drama (1988), Jacobean Public Theatre (1992), English Stage Comedy 1490–1990: Five Centuries of a Genre (1998) and Introduction to English Renaissance Comedy (1999).

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