Shakespeare's Dramatic Genres

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The history of genres, or kinds, of drama is one of contradictory traditions and complex cultural assumptions. The divisions established by the original edition of Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies (the First Folio, 1623) give shape to whole curricula; but, as
Lawrence Danson reminds us in this lively book, there is nothing inevitable, and much unsatisfying, about that tripartite scheme. Yet students of Shakespeare cannot avoid thinking about questions of genre; often they are the unspoken reason why classrooms full of smart people fail to agree on basic
interpretive issues. Danson's guide to the kinds of Shakespearean drama provides an accessible account of genre-theory in Shakespeare's day, an overview of the genres on the Elizabethan stage, and a provocative look at the full range of Shakespeare's comedies, histories, and tragedies.
 

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Lawrence Danson is Professor of English at Princeton University and the author of Max Beerbohm and the Act of Writing and Wilde's Intentions.

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