|Series:||Oxford Wells Shakespeare Lectures|
This compact, engaging book puts Shakespeare's originality in historical context and looks at how he worked with his sources: the plays, poems, chronicles and romances on which his own plays are based. Lucid, astute, and innovative, it shows through a series of case studies from Richard III to The Tempest what can be learned about Shakespeare's artistry by thinking about these sources-including newly identified ones. Discussion is enriched by such matters as Elizabethan ruffs and feathers, actors' footwork, science, magic, and ecological catastrophe. John Kerrigan is one of the world's leading Shakespeare scholars, dealing here with a central topic and highlighting such canonical plays as Much Ado, Macbeth, and King Lear. Accessible to the general reader-jargon-free and direct-this authoritative book is also sure of a place on student reading lists.