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How can we look afresh at Shakespeare as a writer of sonnets? What new light might they shed on his career, personality, and sexuality? Shakespeare wrote sonnets for at least thirty years, not only for himself, for professional reasons, and for those he loved, but also in his plays, as prologues, as epilogues, and as part of their poetic texture. This ground-breaking book assembles all of Shakespeare's sonnets in their probable order of composition. An inspiring introduction debunks long-established biographical myths about Shakespeare's sonnets and proposes new insights about how and why he wrote them. Explanatory notes and modern English paraphrases of every poem and dramatic extract illuminate the meaning of these sometimes challenging but always deeply rewarding witnesses to Shakespeare's inner life and professional expertise. Beautifully printed and elegantly presented, this volume will be treasured by students, scholars, and every Shakespeare enthusiast.
The third edition of Hamlet offers a completely new introduction to this rich, mysterious play, examining Shakespeare's transformation of an ancient Nordic legend into a drama whose philosophical, psychological, political, and spiritual complexities have captivated audiences world-wide for over 400 years. Focusing on the ways in which Shakespeare re-imagined the revenge plot and its capacity to investigate the human experiences of love, grief, obligation, and memory, Heather Hirschfeld explores the play's cultural and theatrical contexts, its intricate textual issues, its vibrant critical traditions and controversies, and its history of performance and adaptation by celebrated directors, actors, and authors. Supplemented by an updated reading list, extensive illustrations and helpful appendices, this edition also features revised commentary notes explicitly designed for the student reader, offering the very best in contemporary criticism of this great tragedy.