Аннотация

Considered to be Shakespeare's most ornately intellectual plays, «Love's Labour's Lost» is a mental adventure in hilarity and wit. Filled with lexical puns, literary allusions, and shifting poetic forms, it is a rich example of the Bard's linguistic mastery. The play opens with King Phillip of Naverre announcing that the men of his court will devote the coming years to ascetic studies. To reduce distractions, no women will be allowed into the court. A series of hilarious events ensue. The women of the court form an alliance to gain entrance, while the men try to escape to find love. «Love's Labour's Lost» shows eros at its most bewildering and beguiling.

Аннотация

This comprehensive anthology provides every single one of Shakespeare's tragedy plays, from the earliest «Titus Andronicus» to «Coriolanus.» Follow one of the greatest love stories ever told in perhaps his most widely known play, «Romeo and Juliet.» In this classic tale, the two young lovers are members of feuding families, but they believe that their love transcends their families' hate. In «Othello,» a Moorish general in the Venetian army is destroyed because of the jealousy and envy that his ensign Iago holds for the distinguished Othello. «Antony and Cleopatra» is a love story about the two real-life lovers Mark Antony of Rome and Queen Cleopatra of Egypt. It is a story of jealousy, power, and death as the two lovers must deal with political unrest amidst their passionate love affair. Other plays included in the collection are «Hamlet,» «Julius Caesar,» and «Macbeth.» In typical Shakespearian fashion the tragedy of these plays is underscored by the fact that in many cases it could have been avoided if not for the fatal flaws of the principal characters. «The Complete Plays (The Tragedies: Volume I of III)» reminds readers of the genius that Shakespeare had for seeing the tragic consequences that men's choices often create for themselves.

Аннотация

"Twelfth Night" is the story of Orsino, a nobleman in the kingdom if Illyria. Following a shipwreck Orsino employs Viola, who when abandoned by the shipwreck disguises herself as a man named Cesario. Soon Viola falls in love with Orsino, however Orsino is in love with Lady Olivia who has fallen for Viola, believing her to be a man. «Twelfth Night» is a classic Shakespearean comedy of mistaken identities.

Аннотация

Though little is known for certain of his early life, Euripides was probably born around 460 b.c.e. to the farmer Mnesarchus and his wife Clito, and his studious nature quickly led him to a literary life in Athens. Eighteen of Euripides' ninety-two works remain today, making his the largest extant collection of work by an ancient playwright. His work sticks out from that of his contemporaries because of his colloquial vocabulary, meter and syntax, distinct from the grandiose language of his predecessors. The Heracleidae in Greek mythology are the descendants of Heracles, who claimed a right to rule because of their ancestor. The Greek tragedians drew inspiration from local legends, which served to glorify the services rendered by Athens to the rulers of Peloponnesus. Euripides' play, «The Heracleidae», follows the children of Heracles and their protectors as they seek the aid of Demophon and the city of Athens against the vengeance of Eurystheus of Argos.

Аннотация

Together with Aeschylus and Sophocles, Euripides provided the canon of Greek tragedy and thereby laid the foundation of Western theatre. Though little is known for certain of his early life, Euripides was probably born around 460 b.c.e. to the farmer Mnesarchus and his wife Clito, and his studious nature quickly led him to a literary life in Athens. His plays are often ironic, pessimistic, and display radical rejection of classical decorum and rules. «Hippolytus» was first produced for the City Dionysia of Athens in 428 b.c.e. and won first prize. It is a religious and psychological retelling of the mythological rivalry between Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and Artemis, the goddess of chastity. The gods play an important role in the story of three main characters – Phaedra, Hippolytus, and Theseus – and help to unveil themes of carnal vs. spiritual love, and passion vs. restraint.

Аннотация

One of Shakespeare's early comedies, «The Merry Wives of Windsor» is unique among the plays for its exclusive focus on the middle class of Elizabethan England. The main character is a fat knight, Sir John Falstaff, who tries to woo two married women for money. They quickly discover his scheming and trick him numerous times in return, creating memorable, humorous scenes at Falstaff's expense. An additional thread is woven into the story concerning the daughter of one of the wives, who loves a man of whom her parents do not approve. Most likely written at the personal request of Queen Elizabeth for a court occasion, this cast of strong female characters fills the stage with spirited action, not always without irony, and creates a plot overlaid with such timeless themes as marriage, cuckoldry, wealth, social class, and love.

Аннотация

William Shakespeare's «Henry V» is the historical English drama of its title character. King Henry V ascends to the throne of England following the death of his father at the beginning of the play. The King soon makes a claim to parts of France based on some distant ancestral ties. When Dauphin, prince of France responds insultingly to Henry's claim, King Henry V orders England to invade France and the two nations soon find themselves at war.

Аннотация

Many consider the tragedy of «Hamlet» to be Shakespeare's masterpiece and one of the greatest plays of all time. It has entertained audiences for centuries and the role of Hamlet is one of the most sought after by actors. It is the story of Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark who learns of the death of his father at the hands of his uncle, Claudius. Claudius murders Hamlet's father, his own brother, to take the throne of Denmark and to marry Hamlet's widowed mother. Hamlet is sunk into a state of great despair as a result of discovering the murder of his father and the infidelity of his mother. Hamlet is torn between his great sadness and his desire for the revenge of his father's murder. «Hamlet» is a work of great complexity and as such has drawn many different critical interpretations. Hamlet has been seen as a victim of circumstance, as an impractical idealist, as the sufferer of an Oedipus complex, as an opportunist wishing to kill his Uncle not for revenge but to ascend to the throne, as the sufferer of a great melancholy, and as a man blinded by his desire for revenge. The true motivations of Hamlet are complex and enigmatic and have been debated for centuries. Read this classic tragedy and decide for yourself where Hamlet's true motivations lie and how they influence his ultimate demise.

Аннотация

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (ca. 4 BCE – 65 AD), known commonly as Seneca, was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman and dramatist of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He is most noted for developing a new type of drama, the Senecan tragedy, which differed greatly from Greek tragedy. While the Greek tragedies were expansive and periodic, Senecan tragedies are more succinct and balanced. In Senecan tragedy, characters do not undergo much change, there is little or no catharsis in the end, and violence is acted out on stage instead of being recalled by characters to the audience. Often, Seneca's plays contain pronounced elements of the macabre, grotesque, and even the supernatural. Not only have these plays withstood the test of time, but they essentially fueled the growth of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama in England many centuries after their creation. Seneca's work exerted significant influence on writers like Thomas Kyd, Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare, to name a few.

Аннотация

It is entirely probable that the date of «The Tempest» is 1611, and that this was the last play completed by Shakespeare before he retired from active connection with the theater to spend the remainder of his life in leisure in his native town of Stratford-on-Avon. The main thread of the plot of the drama seems to have been some folk-tale of a magician and his daughter, which, in the precise form in which Shakespeare knew it, has not been recovered. The storm and the island were, it is believed, suggested by the wreck on the Bermudas in 1609 of one of the English expeditions to Virginia. Traces are found, too, of the author’s reading in contemporary books of travel. But the plot itself is of less importance than usual. Supernatural elements are introduced with great freedom, and the dramatist’s interest was clearly not in the reproduction of lifelike events. The presentation of character and the attractive picturing of the beauty of magnanimity and forgiveness are the things which, along with its delightful poetry, make the charm of this play. It is not to be wondered at that readers have frequently been led to find in the figure of the great magician, laying aside his robes and wonder-working rod in a spirit of love and peace toward all men, a symbol of the dramatist himself at the close of his great career; and it is surely legitimate to play with this idea without assuming that Shakespeare consciously embodied it. One can hardly conceive a more fitting epilogue to the volume which is the crown of the world’s dramatic literature than the romance of «The Tempest.»