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Palgrave Macmillan

Shakespeare: The Histories

ISBN 9780230299580
Publication Date November 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Analysing Texts

The History plays established Shakespeare's reputation as an enormously popular and dramatic storyteller, demonstrating his skill in drawing such astonishing characters as Richard III and Sir John Falstaff. Featuring detailed analyses of extracts, John Blades guides the student through four of Shakespeare's most compelling Histories.

Part I of this stimulating study:
• provides clear and engaging close readings of passages from Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, and Richard III
• examines major themes, characters, language and Shakespeare's dramatic techniques
• offers suggestions for further work and summarizes the methods of analysis.

Part II supplies essential background material, including:
• a detailed survey of Shakespeare's literary and historical contexts
• samples of criticism from leading scholars.

With a helpful Glossary and Further Reading section, this lucid study is ideal for anyone who wishes to appreciate and explore the remarkable writing of Shakespeare's History plays for themselves.

John Blades has lectured in English Literature at the universities of Leeds and Durham, UK.

General Editor's Preface
Family Tree (Houses of Lancaster and York)
Introduction
PART I: ANALYSING SHAKESPEARE'S HISTORIES
1. Richard II: History as Tragedy
2. Henry IV, Part 1: History as Comedy
3. Henry IV, Part 2: History as Carnival
4. Richard III: History as Problem Play?
Methods of Analysis
PART II: THE CONTEXT AND THE CRITICS
5. Shakespeare and the Writing of History in the Elizabethan Period
6. Some Critical Responses to the Histories
A Glossary of Literary Terms
Further Reading
Index

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