A beautifully illustrated reference that provides a deeper understanding of Shakespeare and his time.
Some four centuries after they were written, William Shakespeare's plays and poems still delight audiences and readers worldwide, and together form one of our cultural touchstones. The profound themes and beautiful language speak to us across time and place, and the story of how a boy from rural England became the "soul of the age" continues to intrigue.
The Shakespeare Encyclopedia is an authoritative, visually exciting, and entertaining guide to all things Shakespeare, explaining the themes, plots, and contexts of his works, their literary and cultural significance, and uncovering some of the mystery of the man himself.
- Sumptuously presented reference to all of Shakespeare's plays and poems.
- Covers both the life and the writings of Shakespeare.
- Contains plot summaries and character lists for each play.
- Examines every history, comedy, tragedy, and romance in the Shakespeare canon, including the "lost plays."
- Explores Shakespeare's poems and sonnets, and the themes, allusions, and imagery he used.
- Written by an international team of Shakespearean scholars.
- Illustrated with more than 250 full-color photographs, artworks, illustrations, charts, and diagrams.
- Includes a comprehensive reference section.
In his many plays, poems, and sonnets, William Shakespeare crafted perhaps the most accurate and enduring depictions of relationships, politics, and the human condition written in the English language. His works are read and seen by millions around the world, and the rich language, vividly drawn characters, sparkling poetry, and perceptive insights into human truths continue to have a profound influence on writers, artists, and filmmakers. The Shakespeare Encyclopedia is a stimulating and accessible guide to all of Shakespeare's known works, as well as to the man himself.
Part One focuses on Shakespeare's life, placing him firmly in his time, a period of rapid religious, cultural, and economic change, and reveals why his works are so universally appealing.
Part Two looks at each of his 38 plays-every history, comedy, tragedy, and romance, from the well known (Hamlet, Othello, A Midsummer Night's Dream) to the obscure (King John, Pericles, Cymbeline).
Part Three examines Shakespeare's poetry, both the long narrative poems and the sonnets-some of the best-loved verse in the English language.
Throughout this volume, text, diagrams, and images combine to enrich our understanding of Shakespeare's timeless literary creations. Each work's themes, imagery, language, and historical context are examined and discussed in accessible language, while sidebars give at-a-glance information on plots, characters, sources, settings, and famous quotations. In addition, detailed diagrams, charts, and tables throw light on the plays' characters and their interrelationships, and illustrate the true history behind the plots. Finally, carefully selected images of stage and film productions, from different cultures and historical periods, convey the drama, pathos, and humor that suffuse Shakespeare's works.