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William Shakespeare



Bevington, David, ed. Hamlet: Twentieth Century Interpretations. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1960. An excellent anthology of excerpts from most of the major modern commentators on the play.

Bradley, A. C. Shakespearean Tragedy. New York: Macmillan, 1955. The first description of the "melancholic" Hamlet.

Bullough, Geoffrey. Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare, vol. 7. New York: Columbia University Press, 1973. Contains translations of the story of "Amleth" from both Saxo Grammaticus and Francois de Belleforest, plus many excerpts from Elizabethan works. Also gives possible sources for various parts of Hamlet.

Granville-Barker, Harley. Prefaces to Shakespeare, vol. 1. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1946. A detailed analysis by an important stage director and theorist.

Grebanier, Bernard. The Heart of Hamlet. New York: T. Y. Crowell, 1960. A "healthy" interpretation of Hamlet.

Jones, Ernest. Hamlet and Oedipus. New York: Anchor Books, 1949. The influential Freudian analysis.

Levin, Harry. The Question of Hamlet. New York: Oxford University Press, 1959. An excellent analysis of the play's structure and modes of diction.

Nagler, Alois M. Shakespeare's Stage. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981. The standard work on the physical space of the theaters in which Shakespeare performed.

Salgado, Gamini, ed. Eyewitnesses to Shakespeare. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1975. An anthology of excerpts from reviews and comments on performances of Shakespeare's plays in England from 1590-1890.

Schoenbaum, S. Shakespeare: The Globe and the World. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979. A lavishly illustrated summary of Shakespeare's life and times, particularly good on the historical background.

Shattuck, Charles H. Shakespeare on the American Stage. Washington, D.C.: Folger Shakespeare Library, 1978. History of Shakespearean acting in America up to the late nineteenth century, with detailed descriptions of about twenty Hamlets, including Edwin Booth.

Thomson, Peter. Shakespeare's Theatre. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983. An excellent work on the Globe Theatre, summarizing available information on audience, costumes, acting style, atmosphere, company management, etc.

Tillyard, E. M. W. The Elizabethan World Picture. New York: Random House, 1959. Essays on the politics, philosophy, and social structure of Shakespeare's time.

Wilson, J. Dover. What Happens in Hamlet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1935. A detailed summary, full of insight on many specific points.


Shakespeare wrote 37 plays (38 if you include The Two Noble Kinsmen) over a 20-year period, from about 1590 to 1610. It's difficult to determine the exact dates when many were written, but scholars have made the following intelligent guesses about his plays and poems:


    1588-93 The Comedy of Errors
    1588-94 Love's Labor's Lost
    1590-91 2 Henry VI
    1590-91 3 Henry VI
    1591-92 1 Henry VI
    1592-93 Richard III
    1592-94 Titus Andronicus
    1593-94 The Taming of the Shrew
    1593-95 The Two Gentlemen of Verona
    1594-96 Romeo and Juliet
    1595 Richard II
    1594-96 A Midsummer Night's Dream
    1596-97 King John
    1596-97 The Merchant of Venice
    1597 1 Henry IV
    1597-98 2 Henry IV
    1598-1600 Much Ado About Nothing
    1598-99 Henry V
    1599 Julius Caesar
    1599-1600 As You Like It
    1599-1600 Twelfth Night
    1600-01 Hamlet
    1597-1601 The Merry Wives of Windsor
    1601-02 Troilus and Cressida
    1602-04 All's Well That Ends Well
    1603-04 Othello
    1604 Measure for Measure
    1605-06 King Lear
    1605-06 Macbeth
    1606-07 Antony and Cleopatra
    1605-08 Timon of Athens
    1607-09 Coriolanus
    1608-09 Pericles
    1609-10 Cymbeline
    1610-11 The Winter's Tale
    1611-12 The Tempest
    1612-13 Henry VIII


    1592 Venus and Adonis
    1593-94 The Rape of Lucrece
    1593-1600 Sonnets
    1600-01 The Phoenix and the Turtle


[Hamlet Table of Contents] []

© Copyright 1984 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
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