Paper $24.95 ISBN: 9781783606719 Published February 2016 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781783607341 Published February 2016 For sale in North and South America only

Shakespeare: Poet and Citizen

New Edition

Victor Kiernan

Shakespeare: Poet and Citizen

Victor Kiernan

Distributed for Zed Books

288 pages | 5 x 9 | © 1993, 2016
Paper $24.95 ISBN: 9781783606719 Published February 2016 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781783607341 Published February 2016 For sale in North and South America only
With Shakespeare: Poet and Citizen, Kiernan displays how profoundly sensitive Shakespeare was to the massive social and political upheavals of his age. During the playwright’s lifetime, he saw the first challenges to monarchical rule, as well as serious transformations in England’s social hierarchy. Shakespeare witnessed and capitalized on these events, using major social changes, such as rebellious new female roles, prominently in his comedies, which feature identity confusion, gender bending, and cross-dressing. His historical plays, similarly, reflect the demise of feudal allegiances and the development of the modern state. By placing these plays within the context of England’s emerging modernity, Kiernan brilliantly upends our conventional perceptions of Shakespeare’s work.
 
Contents
Foreword

Part I: A Time out of Joint
1. Late Tudor England
2. Society and Art
3. Shakespeare’s Life
4. Shakespeare and the Theatre

Part II: The Histories
1. Shakespeare and English History
2. The Plays
3. Historical Themes

Part III: Experiments
1. Tragedies
2. Poems
3. Sonnets

Part IV: The Comedies
1. The Comic Realm
2. The Plays
3. Comedy Themes

Part V: Life Unfolding
1. Chance and Destiny, Fate and Accident
2. Towards the Tragic

Bibliography
Review Quotes
Guardian
“The strength of this book lies in the total view of political and social conditions of the period which underpins it. . . . Unlike so many other books on Shakespeare, it will not scare off the non-academic reader.”
Christopher Hill
“Victor Kiernan is one of the best historians of seventeenth-century England. And he is also a sensitive literary critic. The combination of these gifts makes his book a remarkable achievement. It will become a classic.”
Morning Star (UK)
“Kiernan’s detailed knowledge of the plays and the period they emerged from give an enormous authority to his analysis of the forces at work in them. He covers the entire canon, including the sonnets and the comedies but his analysis of the histories is central.”   
 
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