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This is a survey of the small supporting roles, such as foils, feeds, attendants and messengers, that feature in Shakespeare's plays. Exploring topics such as how bit players should conduct themselves within a scene, and how blank verse or prose may be spoken to bring out the complexities of character definition, the book aims to bring insights to the dynamic of scenic construction in Shakespeare's work. The author explores the different functions of minimal characters, from clearing the stage to epitomizing the overall effect of the comedy or tragedy, and discusses how they can extend the audience's knowledge of the social world of the play. She goes on to describe the entire corpus of minimal roles in a selection of six plays: "Richard III", "The Tempest", "King Lear", "Antony & Cleopatra", "Measure for Measure" and "Julius Caesar". This edition has an appendix designed to aid directors in making decisions about the speaking parts of the minimal characters. It also includes an index of characters (including line references), as well as a detailed general index.