Return to the homepage
Start a search
Archive fees
Search tips
Customer service
new search | back to results | go to best part | view printable version

Shakespeare, the great reviser

DATE: 03-25-2001
PUBLICATION: Providence Journal Company
PAGE: K-09 
A recent New Yorker cartoon says it all: "I could go for something Shakespearean, just as long as it's not Shakespeare." And yet, just when we think we've had enough, a new spate of scholarly works help return the edge to one's appetite for the Bard. 

Oxford University Press put its stamp on Shakespeare in 1986 when it published a complete works that represented the most thorough reworking of the text in centuries. In presenting its strange new texts sometimes in two versions of plays we had considered "finished," the Oxford editors created a sense of crisis in Shakespeare studies. Their effort met with mixed reviews; it is still controversial. 

... try a volume in the new Oxford Shakespeare Topics series. These short books present new scholarship without pedantry, everything from Shakespeare and Eastern Europe to Shakespeare and the Bible or Shakespeare's Reading. New titles arrive each season. (I particularly look forward to studies of Shakespeare's rhetoric and his handling of genre).

Perhaps my favorite among the new Shakespeare Topics series is Shakespeare and the Bible (OUP, 176 pages, $39.95). Here, Steven Marx follows out the implications of the first publication of the Comedies, Histories and Tragedies of Mr. William Shakespeare (1623). In a tour-de-force of interpretation, he shows how this text of Shakespeare was modeled on the new King James Bible (1611). 


Tom D'Evelyn of Providence is a frequent reviewer. 


Copyright © 2001 The Providence Journal Company
Powered by ProQuest Archiver
Privacy policy