The Merry Wives of Windsor

The Merry Wives of Windsor

By William Shakespeare; T. W. Craik (Editor)

Oxford University Press, USA, Paperback, 9780199536825, 242pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2008

Description
When a new play was required at short notice for a court occasion in 1597, Shakespeare created The Merry Wives of Windsor, a warm-hearted and spirited "citizen comedy" filled with boisterous action, situational irony, rich characterization--and the likes of Falstaff, Pistol, Mistress Quickly, and Justice Shallow. In his introduction and commentary, Craik examines a wide range of topics, including the play's probable occasion, its relationship to Shakespeare's English history plays and to other sources, its textual history, with particular reference to the widely diverging 1623 Folio and 1602 Quarto, and its quality as drama. In light of various topical, critical, and theatrical interpretations of the play, Craik pays particular attention to defining the literal sense, proposing some new readings, and evoking the many aspects of the stage business.
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About the Author
Arguably the greatest English-language playwright, William Shakespeare was a seventeenth-century writer and dramatist, and is known as the Bard of Avon. Under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth I, he penned more than 30 plays, 154 sonnets, and numerous narrative poems and short verses. Equally accomplished in histories, tragedies, comedy, and romance, Shakespeare s most famous works include Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, The Taming of the Shrew, and As You Like It.

Like many of his contemporaries, including Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare began his career on the stage, eventually rising to become part-owner of Lord Chamberlain s Men, a popular dramatic company of his day, and of the storied Globe Theatre in London.

Extremely popular in his lifetime, Shakespeare s works continue to resonate more than three hundred years after his death. His plays are performed more often than any other playwright s, have been translated into every major language in the world, and are studied widely by scholars and students.