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Focus Item #: 01641
Author(s): William Shakespeare. Edited by Gayle Gaskill. Series Ed. James H. Lake.
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George Lyman Kittredge’s insightful editions of Shakespeare have endured in part because of his eclecticism, his diversity of interests, and his wide-ranging accomplishments, all of which are reflected in the valuable notes in each volume. These new editions have specific emphasis on the performance histories of the plays (on stage and screen).
- The original introduction to the Kittredge Edition
- Editor’s Introduction to the Focus Edition. An overview on major themes of the plays, and sections on the play’s performance history on stage and screen.
- Explanatory Notes. The explanatory notes either expand on Kittredge’s superb glosses, or, in the case of plays for which he did not write notes, give the needed explanations for Shakespeare’s sometimes demanding language.
- Performance notes. These appear separately and immediately below the textual footnotes and include discussions of noteworthy stagings of the plays, issues of interpretation, and film and stage choices.
- How to read the play as Performance Section. A discussion of the written play vs. the play as performed and the various ways in which Shakespeare’s words allow the reader to envision the work "off the page."
- Comprehensive Timeline. Covering major historical events (with brief annotations) as well as relevant details from Shakespeare’s life. Some of the Chronologies include time chronologies within the plays.
- Topics for Discussion and Further Study Section. Critical Issues: Dealing with the text in a larger context and considerations of character, genre, language, and interpretative problems. Performance Issues: Problems and intricacies of staging the play connected to chief issues discussed in the Focus Editions’ Introduction.
- Select Bibliography & Filmography
- Film stills from major productions, for comparison and scene study.
Appropriate for all level of Shakespeare courses, including courses on Shakespeare, or drama, or Renaissance drama as taught in departments of English, courses in Shakespeare or drama taught in departments of theater, Great Books programs where individual volumes might be used, or high school level courses.
About the Author
is professor of English at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has contributed articles to Who Hears in Shakespeare?: Auditory Worlds on Stage and Screen
(Fairleigh Dickinson 2012), The Merchant of Venice: Critical Essays
. (Routledge 2002), The Shakespeare Newsletter
, and the Greenwood Companion to Shakespeare
. Her reviews have appeared in Renaissance Quarterly
and Cahiers Élisabéthains
"Gayle Gaskill offers appropriate tribute to G.L. Kittredge by updating his classic edition with a mastery, thoroughness, and verve worthy of the original. This excellent edition is marked by impeccable scholarship that everywhere displays careful attention to detail and keen sensitivity to the needs of modern readers." — John W. Mahon, Co-Editor, The Shakespeare Newsletter, and Professor of English, Iona College
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