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William Shakespeare arrived at his splendid maturity as an artist in his second cycle of history plays. With their superb battle scenes; their magnificent major and minor characters; their stories of ambition, usurpation, guilt, and redemption; and their profound…

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We read Shakespeare line by line for his supernatural mastery of all the poetic resources of the English language, and play by play for his utterly human, utterly intimate feeling for our condition as individuals and as social beings.  Through these works,…

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William Shakespeare’s last four plays carry us across space and time—from classical antiquity to Roman Britain to pagan Sicily to a remote island—and they move as well into a wilder geography of the imagination, one dominated by the wondrous and…

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Shakespeare’s four greatest tragedies were written in a remarkably short period of time, between 1598 and 1606. Hamlet , Othello , Macbeth , and King Lear are each so singular an achievement that any rereading of them reinforces the awe and almost…

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(Book Jacket Status: Not Jacketed) Introduction by Terry Eagleton Oscar Wilde has been acknowledged as the wittiest writer in the English language. This collection proves that he was also one of the most versatile. Effortlessly achieved, each revealing a…

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Shakespeare forged his tremendous art in the crucible of his comic imagination, which throughout his life enveloped and contained his tragic one. His early comedies—with their baroque poetic exuberance, intense theatricality, explosive bursts of…

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Like Sam Shepard - the American playwright whose career his most nearly resembles - Franz Xaver Kroetz is a controversial figure whose works have helped reshape world drama over the last two decades. His unsparing portraits of life in Germany's lower middle…