In the U.S.S.R. Shakespeare's works have been published in over five million copies in 28 languages spoken by the various peoples of the Soviet Union. More than 300 productions of Shakespeare's plays have been put on in the country's theatres in the course of the last few years. The four-volume Soviet hundred-thousand copy edition of Shakespeare in English which came out between 1937 and 1939 has long since become a bibliographical rarity. These are just a few statistics which give some idea of Shakespeare's popularity in the Soviet Union. This collection has been prepared for publication by the Commission for the Study of Shakespeare attached to the Institute of World Literature of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences. The book represents a cross-section of articles by distinguished Soviet writers, critics, scholars and people of the theatre. The continuity between Soviet Shakespeareana and the democratic traditions of Russian 19th-century criticism is ensured by the fact that the foundations of the former were laid by M. Gorky and A. Lunacharsky. The first part of this collection includes works by well-known students of Shakespeare such as I. Aksenov, A. Smirnov, M. Morozov, A. Anikst and others. In the second part, entitled Shakespeare and the Theatre, the reader will And a representative selection of articles by producers and actors---K. Stanislavsky, A. Ostuzhev, G. Ulanova, N. Okhlopkov and others---who have had a hand in reincarnating the deathless characters of the great playwright on the Soviet stage and screen. More than forty years of Soviet studies of Shakespeare will pass in review before the reader of this book. It is hoped that it will serve as an introduction to a new and valuable chapter in the history of world studies of Shakespeare and of Shakespeare's theatre.