As You Like it

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Clarendon Press, 1993 - 245 pàgines
As You Like It, Shakespeare's most lighthearted comedy and one of the best-loved and most performed of all his plays, was probably written in 1599 or 1600, though it was not printed until the First Folio of 1623. As its witty heroine is Shakespeare's longest female role, the play's performance history is marked by notable Rosalinds, from Hannah Pritchard and Margaret Woffington (giving rival performances in 1741), to Helen Faucit, Ada Rehan, Peggy Ashcroft, Katharine Hepburn, Vanessa Redgrave, Ronald Pickup (in an all-male production of 1967), Juliet Stevenson, and many others. In his introduction to this new edition Alan Brissenden suggests reasons for its delayed publication and discusses in detail how productions have changed radically over the years. Shakespeare's use of his sources, his handling of the themes of love, doubleness, and pastoral are also dealt with, as well as the significance of boys playing women's parts on the Elizabethan stage. Detailed annotations explain allusions, puns, and difficult passages, enabling student, reader, actor, and director to savour the humour and the seriousness of the play to the full. There are illustrations, and appendices on 'wit' and the songs, for which the earliest known music is printed.

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Sobre l'autor (1993)

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School. At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry. By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true. Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

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