Shakespeare’s King Lear is often called his mightiest play. This comprehensive edition by S. Nagarajan (who edited the evergreen Signet edition of Measure for Measure) presents a lifetime of scholarship on Shakespeare and fifteen years of research specifically on Lear. Accessibly written, this edition serves the reader who has access to well-stocked libraries and lively theatres, as well as the student whose resources are more limited. The play-text is a conflation of the Quarto text and the First Folio text, and the notes provide a generous but discreet selection of alternative readings of lines and contexts. In ten erudite essays, Nagarajan provides a thoroughly researched picture of Shakespeare’s sources for the play, his unique use of language, Elizabethan theatre, history and values of the play, analysis of enigmatic scenes, glimpses into its performance history and other subjects, with special attention to Indian dramatic art theory. This edition is the first to bring together both the best scholarship on Lear to date and perspectives from Indian poetics and philosophy. The result is a text that robustly includes, but goes beyond, Anglophone cultures and Euro-American experiences, making it truly representative of Lear’s global stage.
Mining a series of previously uncharted conversations springing up in 16th- and 17th-century popular medicine and culture, this study explores early modern England's significant and sustained interest in the hysterical diseases of women. Kaara L. Peterson assembles a fascinating collection of medical materials to support her discussion of contemporary debates about varieties of uterine pathologies and the implications of these debates for our understanding of drama's representation of hysterica passio cases in particular, among other hysterical maladies. An important aspect of the author's approach is to restore, with all its nuances, the debates created by early modern medical writers over attempts to define the boundaries and resonances of hysterical ailments, which Peterson argues have been largely erased or elided by historicist criticism, including scholarship overly focused on melancholy. One of the main goals of the book is to stress the centrality of gendered concepts of disease for the period and to reveal a whole catalog of early modern literary strategies for representing women's illnesses. Among the medical works discussed are Edward Jorden's central text A Briefe Discourse of a Disease Called the Suffocation of the Mother (1603) and contemporary plays, including Shakespeare's Pericles, Othello, King Lear, and The Winter's Tale; Webster's The Duchess of Malfi; and Chapman's Bussy D'Ambois.
This is the first fully annotated critical edition of King Lear to appear for forty years. It includes a comprehensive account of Shakespeare's sources and the literary, political, and folkloric influences at work in the play; a detailed reading of the action, and a substantial stage history of major productions. Unlike previous editions, this one does not present a conflation of the Quarto and the Folio, but offers the latter as the authoritative text.
The Oxford Shakespeare offers authoritative texts from leading scholars in editions designed to interpret and illuminate the plays for modern readers - a new, modern-spelling text, based on the Quarto text of 1608 - on-page commentary and notes explain meaning, staging, allusions and much else - detailed introduction considers composition, sources, performances and changing critical attitudes to the play - illustrated with production photographs and related art - includes 'The Ballad of King Lear' and related offshoots - full index to introduction and commentary - durable sewn binding for lasting use 'not simply a better text but a new conception of Shakespeare. This is a major achievement of twentieth-century scholarship.' Times Literary Supplement ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Many critics hold that Shakespeare's King Lear is primarily a drama of meaningful suffering and redemption within a just universe ruled by providential higher powers. William Elton's King Lear and the Gods challenges the validity of this widespread optimistic view. Testing the prevailing view against the play's acknowledged sources, and analyzing the functions of the double plot, the characters, and the play's implicit ironies, Elton concludes that this standard interpretation constitutes a serious misreading of the tragedy.
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