Shakespeare's World of Death: The Early Tragedies

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Dundurn, 1995 - Drama - 268 pages

How many ages hence

Shall this our lofty scene be acted o’er

In states unborn and accents yet unknown!

– Julius Caesar, III.i.111

Many ages later, we are still enjoying Shakespeare’s works. But, too often, his plays are studied as "literature," ignoring the fact that Shakespeare wrote plays for living performance. Richard Courtney puts the focus back where it should be, helping us to understand the works of Shakespeare as dramas intended for an audience.

Written for directors and actors, the eight books in the series will also interest theatregoers, scholars, and the general reader seeking a fuller understanding of Shakespeare’s works.

The introduction and end notes give helpful information on life in sixteenth century England, its language and beliefs, Elizabethan theatre and stages. Each play is analyzed scene by scene, with background on the history and the leading characters, and reasons for the choice of theme.

From his own wide experience as actor and director, Richard adds anecdotes and examples to illustrate directing challenges and provide practical solutions.

Shakespeare’s World of Death discusses Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, and Hamlet.

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Contents

Preface
9
THE EARLY TRAGEDIES
21
JULIUS CAESAR
76
HAMLET
136
Conclusion
237
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Richard Courtney has over forty years' experience as actor, director, and teacher of drama in the UK and Canada, and has written widely on drama education. He is Professor Emeritus, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and cross-appointed to the Graduate School of Drama, University of Toronto.

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