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Shakespeare: The Seven Ages of Human Experience, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-4051-2753-0
278 pages
June 2005, ©2005, Wiley-Blackwell
Shakespeare: The Seven Ages of Human Experience, 2nd Edition (1405127538) cover image
The extended second edition of this inspiring introduction to Shakespeare offers readers more insights into what makes Shakespeare great, and why we still read and perform his works.

  • A highly innovative introduction to the extraordinary phenomenon of Shakespeare

  • Explores Shakespeares works through the "Seven Ages of Man", from childhood to "second childishness and mere oblivion"

  • Now includes more material on fathers and sons, the perils of courtship, the circumstances of Shakespeares own life, the performance history of his plays on stage and on screen, and more

  • A new final chapter on "Shakespeare Today" looks at the remarkable diversity of interpretations in modern criticism and performance of Shakespeare

  • Discusses a wide range of plays and poems

  • Suitable for both non-specialist readers, and scholars seeking a fresh approach to the study of Shakespeare
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List of illustrations.

To the Reader.

1 All the World’s a Stage: Poetry and Theatre.

2 Creeping Like Snail: Childhood, Education, Early Friendship, Sibling Rivalries.

3 Sighing Like Furnace: Courtship and Sexual Desire.

4 Full of Strange Oaths and Bearded Like the Pard: The Coming-of-Age of the Male.

5 Jealous in Honour: Love and Friendship in Crises.

6 Wise Saws: Political and Social Disillusionment, Humankind’s Relationship to the Divine, and Philosophical Scepticism.

7 Modern Instances: Misogyny, Jealousy, Pessimism, and Midlife Crises.

8 The Lean and Slippered Pantaloon: Ageing Fathers and their Daughters.

9 Last Scene of All: Retirement from the Theatre.

10 Shakespeare Today.

Notes.

Further Reading.

Index

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David Bevington is the Phyllis Fay Horton Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. His numerous publications include The Bantam Shakespeare, in 29 paperback volumes (1988, new edition forthcoming), and The Complete Works of Shakespeare (fifth edition, 2003), as well as the Oxford Shakespeare edition of Henry IV Part I (1987), the New Cambridge Shakespeare edition of Antony and Cleopatra (second edition, 2005), and the Arden Shakespeare edition of Troilus and Cressida (1998). He is the senior editor of the Revels Student Editions, and is a senior editor of the Revels Plays and of the forthcoming Cambridge edition of the works of Ben Jonson. He is also general editor of English Renaissance Drama: A Norton Anthology (2002).
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  • Second edition of this highly innovative introduction to the extraordinary phenomenon of Shakespeare.

  • Offers readers insights into what makes Shakespeare great, and why we still read and perform his works.

  • Explores Shakespeare’s works through the ‘Seven Ages of Man’, from childhood to “second childishness and mere oblivion”.

  • Now includes more material on fathers and sons, on the perils of courtship, about the circumstances of Shakespeare’s own life, about the performance history of his plays on stage and on screen, and more.

  • A new final chapter on ‘Shakespeare Today’ looks at the remarkable diversity of interpretations in modern criticism and performance of Shakespeare.

  • Discusses a wide range of plays and poems.

  • Suitable for both non-specialist readers, and scholars seeking a fresh approach to the study of Shakespeare.
See More
"David Bevington’s knowledge of Shakespeare is formidable. In this wonderful new book, Bevington uses the “seven ages of man” speech from As You Like It to weave together Shakespeare’s plays and poems with what is known of Shakespeare’s life."
Barbara Mowat, Folger Shakespeare Institute [of the first edition]<!--end-->

"This is a book from […] one of the great Shakespeare scholars of his generation. The book is well-written, at once lively and learned, engaging and informative. It is perfectly designed to help non-specialist readers enjoy Shakespeare's plays better and yet it is also rich with insights that will challenge the specialist reader." David Scott Kastan, Columbia University [of the first edition]

"Recommended for all public and academic libraries in need of fresh introductory materials on Shakespeare."
Library Journal [of the first edition]

"Essential. A must for lower- and upper-division undergraduates; a pleasure for graduate students through faculty and for general readers."
Choice [of the first edition]

"[This book] is sensible and persuasive in its linking of criticism and biography. Its primary audience is students, who will find the treatments of individual plays excellent as stand-alone studies as well as part of a larger argument."
English Association Journal for Teachers of English

"Objective and personal, too, the book is likely to be useful for long to come"
Notes and Queries

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