The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeares Comedies by Penny GayThe Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeares Comedies by Penny Gay

The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeares Comedies

byPenny Gay

Paperback | April 7, 2008

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Why did theatre audiences laugh in Shakespeare's day? Why do they still laugh now? What did Shakespeare do with the conventions of comedy that he inherited, so that his plays continue to amuse and move audiences? What do his comedies have to say about love, sex, gender, power, family, community, and class? What place have pain, cruelty, and even death in a comedy? Why all those puns? In a survey that travels from Shakespeare's earliest experiments in farce and courtly love-stories to the great romantic comedies of his middle years and the mould-breaking experiments of his last decade's work, this 2008 book addresses these vital questions. Organised thematically, and covering all Shakespeare's comedies from the beginning to the end of his career, it provides readers with a map of the playwright's comic styles, showing how he built on comedic conventions as he further enriched the possibilities of the genre.
Penny Gay is Professor of English and Drama at the University of Sydney.
Title:The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeares ComediesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:164 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 0.35 inPublished:April 7, 2008Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521672694

ISBN - 13:9780521672696


Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Comedy as idea and practice; 2. Farce: The Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew, The Merry Wives of Windsor; 3. Courtly lovers and the real world: Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice; 4. Comedy and language: Love's Labour's Lost; 5. Romantic comedy: Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Twelfth Night; 6. Problematic plots and endings: clowning post-Hamlet: Measure for Measure, All's Well that Ends Well, The Winter's Tale, Cymbeline, The Tempest; 7. The afterlives of Shakespeare's comedies; Conclusion.

Editorial Reviews

"...a balanced voice of experience and wisdom. Gay's is a book you might read without being compelled to, for the pleasure of learning more about plays that continue to work on the stage and on the page...Gay tells us much that is relevant and illuminating about the plays' historical context, but her most persistent reality check is a lively sense of how the plays work on stage, for actual readers and audiences...Gay is an excellent guide...This is a book anyone from a novice to an experienced scholar should be able to read with pleasure and instruction." -Robert Phiddian, Australian Book Review