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History of English Literature, Volume 2


Franco Marucci

History of English Literature is a comprehensive, eight-volume survey of English literature from the Middle Ages to the early twenty-first century. This reference work provides insightful and often revisionary readings of core texts in the English literary canon. Richly informative analyses are framed by the biographical, historical and intellectual context for each author.

Volume 2 offers a general assessment of all of Shakespeare’s works, summarizes the critical reception since its onset, traces a tentative biography of the playwright, discusses the youthful poems and the sonnets, and analyses the plays one by one. The plays are divided into the traditional thematic and chronological subsets – such as historical dramas, comedies, tragedies and romances – but they are further assessed in terms of their «experimental» or «mature» characteristics.

CONTENTS: Getting oriented in Shakespeare - Shakespeare and his critics - Organizing the dramatic canon - Biography - The Poems and the Sonnets - The narrative poems - The sonnets - Norm and anti-norm - Irradiation - The History Plays - The history plays - Henry VI - King Richard III - King Richard II - King John - Henry IV Part 1 - Henry IV Part 2 - Henry V - Henry VIII - The Euphuistic Comedies - The euphuistic comedies - The Comedy of Errors - The Taming of the Shrew - The Two Gentlemen of Verona - Love’s Labour’s Lost - A Midsummer Night’s Dream - The Roman Plays - The Roman plays - Titus Andronicus - Julius Caesar - Troilus and Cressida - Antony and Cleopatra - Coriolanus - The Tragedies and the Tragicomedies - The tragedies and the tragicomedies - Romeo and Juliet - The Merchant of Venice - Hamlet - Measure for Measure - Othello - Macbeth - King Lear - Timon of Athens - The Romantic and Dark Comedies - The romantic and dark comedies - Much Ado About Nothing - As You Like It - Twelfth Night - The Merry Wives of Windsor - All’s Well that Ends Well - The Romances and the Apocryphal Plays - The romances and the apocryphal plays - Pericles - Cymbeline - The Winter’s Tale - The Tempest - Apocrypha and plays in collaboration.