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This book introduces the students and the general reader to Shakespeare's tragedies and to the problems of interpreting them. Traditional questions and answers regarding the texts, as well as their realization in performance, are examined, and it is shown how the plays do not offer easy of final solutions to the tragic dilemmas presented, but engage the reader and spectator in a debate with more than one possible outcome. Each of the tragedies is examined separately, with discussions of its provenance, its stage history and critical history, and of the problems associated with its categorization as part of the 'tragic' genre. He refers widely to a representative body of Shakespearian criticism, and provides a useful bibliography which indicates the best sources for a reader wishing to pursue individual themes further. The book is carefully written and should serve as a valuable introduction for anyone wanting to gain a sense of the richness of the plays and the diversity of debate and interpretation that has surrounded them.
Cambridge University Press, 9780521316903, 284pp.
Publication Date: January 22, 1987