Navigating the sea of published commentary on Shakespeare's tragedies can be difficult. This book guides students through the key critical debates from the sixteenth century to the present day, enhancing their enjoyment and broadening their critical repertoire. The Guide presents fourteen recent critical interventions in the field of Shakespeare studies, including pieces by Jonathan Dollimore, Cora Kaplan, Frank Kermode and Richard Wilson. Seven key areas of debate are covered: genre, character, language, gender and sexuality, history and politics, texts and performance. All the articles are contextualized with brief critical overviews and annotated suggestions for further reading. An additional narrative chapter on pre-twentieth-century criticism excerpts significant views by critics, including Johnson, Hazlitt and Coleridge.
Emma Smith is Fellow of Hertford College and Lecturer in English at Oxford University. Her publications include Thomas Kyd: The Spanish Tragedie (1998) and Shakespeare in Production: Henry V (2000), as well as two other edited volumes in the Blackwell Guides to Criticism series: Shakespeare's Histories (2004) and Shakespeare's Comedies (2004).