The commentary leads the reader through the text, showing how the dialogue can come alive in performance and what needs to happen on stage. This central feature is preceded by an account of the play's first publication, early performances and the probable additions to an original version. It is followed by an introduction to the social and cultural context for the play's composition, which uses quotations from contemporary works and extracts from Shakespeare's sources. Studies of landmark productions and films, together with a wide sampling of critical writings, complete an innovative and instructive guide to this truly awesome tragedy.
JOHN RUSSELL BROWN has held chairs of English and Theatre in England and the USA, directed plays in student and professional theatres, and was Associate Director of the Royal National Theatre. His publications include Shakespeare: The Tragedies, Shakespeare and the Theatrical Event and Shakespeare Dancing for Palgrave Macmillan, Theatre Language for Allen Lane, and New Sites for Shakespeare for Routledge. He edited the Oxford Illustrated History of Theatre.