The Norton Shakespeare, Based on the Oxford Edition, Second Edition, Volume 1: Early Plays and Poems
Upon publication in 1997, The Norton Shakespeare set a new standard for teaching editions of Shakespeare's complete works.
Instructors and students worldwide welcomed the fresh scholarship, lively and accessible introductions, helpful marginal glosses and notes, readable single-column format, all designed in support of the goal of the Oxford text: to bring the modern reader closer than before possible to Shakespeare's plays as they were first acted. Now, under Stephen Greenblatt's direction, the editors have considered afresh each introduction and all of the apparatus to make the Second Edition an even better teaching tool.
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English, English Literature
- Acclaimed Introductions Revised
Building on its greatest strength, The Norton Shakespeare's much-praised introductions are now even better. Stephen Greenblatt's General Introduction and the individual play introductions have been thoughtfully revised in response to instructors' suggestions. New discussions in the General Introduction of the "confessional tensions" in the plays, the economic status of women, genre-mixing, exorcisms, and Shakespeare's fascination with monarchy, among other topics, reflect recent scholarship. Introductions to Macbeth, Hamlet (whose Textual Note now includes several parallel passages from the Second Quarto and First Folio), The Taming of the Shrew, Julius Caesar, Coriolanus, Loves Labour's Lost, and Othello, among other plays, have been substantially revised and in some cases rewritten, to be clearer and more accessible. A new introduction to King Edward III has been added. Textual Notes throughout have been updated in response to recent findings.
- New and Fine-tuned Glosses and Notes
Students and instructors alike appreciate the succinct marginal glosses and clear annotations in The Norton Shakespeare. In the Second Edition, glosses and notes throughout have been fine-tuned, with several hundred newly added in response to instructors' suggestions.
- Helpful New Features
- Six maps, three new, showing places important to Shakespeare's plays, and three archival, accompanied by Jean E. Howard's new introduction, "Early Modern Map Culture."
- Selected Bibliographies for each play are newly annotated and extensively updated.
- Reorganized General Bibliography significantly updated with over 350 new entries and 7 new sections.
- Annotated Film Lists (over 50 films are included) follow the play introductions.
- Texts/Contexts Timeline
- Redesigned Genealogies and new Tudor/Stuart genealogy
- List of illustrations
- Single-column Page; Flexible New Formats
The Norton Shakespeare is the first and only one-volume student Shakespeare to provide a single-column text with marginal glosses, a page-design that facilitates comprehension and makes reading more enjoyable. Now, the Second Edition offers that readable page design in three different formats: the familiar one-volume clothbound edition, four genre paperbacks, and new two-volume chronological splits—priced the same as the one-volume edition. No other complete Shakespeare offers this portable two-volume format. Volume 1, Early Plays and Poems, includes plays through Twelfth Night; Volume 2, Later Plays, opens with Hamlet. The two-volume splits are printed on a heavier paper stock to facilitate note-taking. Individual chronological volumes can be ordered separately.
- Priced for Students
With other leading one-volume complete Shakespeares costing between ten and fifteen dollars more, The Norton Shakespeare is an excellent value for students.
- New Genre Introductions
A much-requested enhancement, each genre volume now opens with an entirely new introduction—Tragedies by Stephen Greenblatt; Comedies by Katharine Eisaman Maus; Histories by Jean E. Howard; Romances by Walter Cohen—exploring the characteristics of each genre as Shakespeare practices it; classical and medieval antecedents; Shakespeare's love of genre-mixing and "mingling kings and clowns"; and critical approaches to and key themes of the genre.
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