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This Is Shakespeare

Emma Smith



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03 May 2019
Theatre Studies; Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800; Literary studies: poetry & poets; Shakespeare studies & criticism; Gender studies, gender groups
'The star of her generation of Shakespeare scholars' takes us on a revelatory journey through the world and work of the Bard' A genius and prophet whose timeless works encapsulate the human condition like no others. A writer who surpassed his contemporaries in vision, originality and literary mastery. Who wrote like an angel, putting it all so much better than anyone else.

Is this Shakespeare? Well, sort of.

But it doesn't really tell us the whole truth. So much of what we say about Shakespeare is either not true, or just not relevant, deflecting us from investigating the challenges of his inconsistencies and flaws. This electrifying new book thrives on revealing, not resolving, the ambiguities of Shakespeare's plays and their changing topicality. It introduces an intellectually, theatrically and ethically exciting writer who engages with intersectionality as much as with Ovid, with economics as much as poetry- who writes in strikingly modern ways about individual agency, privacy, politics, celebrity and sex. It takes us into a world of politicking and copy-catting, as we watch him emulating the blockbusters of Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Kyd, the Spielberg and Tarantino of their day; flirting with and skirting round the cut-throat issues of succession politics, religious upheaval and technological change. The Shakespeare in this book poses awkward questions rather than offering bland answers, always implicating us in working out what it might mean.
By:   Emma Smith
Imprint:   Penguin
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 222mm,  Width: 144mm,  Spine: 34mm
Weight:   481g
ISBN:   9780241392157
ISBN 10:   0241392152
Series:   Pelican Books
Pages:   368
Publication Date:   03 May 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Professor Emma J. Smith is lecturer in English at the University of Oxford, Professor of Shakespeare Studies, and a Fellow of Hertford College.

Reviews for This Is Shakespeare

Praise for previous works by Emma Smith Delightful * Telegraph * Praise for previous works by Emma Smith Brilliantly approachable and entertaining ... anarchic, counterintuitive, critical ... perfect -- Alex Preston * Observer * Praise for previous works by Emma Smith: Delightful... there is a bite in Smith's exuberant tales of buying, selling and displaying Shakespeare... beautifully judged, impeccably researched yet wry and affectionate -- Jerry Brotton * Financial Times * Praise for previous works by Emma Smith: A fascinating and provocative book -- Daniel Swift * Spectator * A fascinating new perspective and an absolute pleasure to read -- Eimear McBride, author of A Girl is a Half-formed Thing If I were asked to recommend one guide for readers keen on discovering what's at stake in Shakespeare's plays, This Is Shakespeare would be it. Deeply informed, never dogmatic, and alert to how performance matters, Emma Smith understands that Shakespeare's plays prompt questions rather than provide answers. Her elegantly written and sharply observed book is richly rewarding. -- James Shapiro, author of 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare

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