Shakespeare: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory 1945 - 2000 contains many of the most significant essays and book chapters published on Shakespeare in the second half of the twentieth century. It introduces students of Shakespeare to the variety of theoretical positions, thematic claims, methodologies, and modes of argument that have contributed to the current critical landscape.The collection consists of 49 essays written by a broad range of authors, from E. M. W. Tillyard and William Empson, who represent old-style historicism and a version of New Criticism respectively, to Stephen Greenblatt and Catherine Belsey, who respond to and refute the insights of their predecessors. The essays are organized into categories of critical thought and introduced in clear and accessible language. Taken together, they chronicle a particularly stimulating period in the history of literary study.
Russ McDonald is Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has written extensively on Shakespeare and early modern literature and culture, most recently in Shakespeare and the Art of Language (2001) and The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare (Second Edition, 2001).