Tragedy: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Adrian Poole

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192802356

Category: Drama

Page: 147

View: 5332

What has tragedy been made to mean by dramatists, story-tellers, critics, philosophers, politicians, and journalists? This work shows the relevance of tragedy to the modern world, and extends beyond drama and literature into visual art and everyday experience.

Shakespeare's Tragedies

Author: Stanley Wells

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198785291

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 144

View: 7477

Tragedy, including grief, pain and suffering, is a common theme in Shakespeare's plays, often leading to the death of at least one character, if not several. Yet such themes can also be found in Shakespearian plays which are classed as comedies, or histories. What is it which makes a Shakespearian tragedy, and what dramatic themes and conventions did the bard draw upon when writing them? In this Very Short Introduction Stanley Wells considers what is meant by the word 'tragedy', and discusses nine of Shakespeare's iconic tragic plays. He explores how the early definitions and theoretical discussions of the concept of tragedy in Shakespeare's time would have influenced these plays, along with the literary influence of Seneca. Wells also considers Shakespeare's uses of the word 'tragedy' itself, analysing whether he had any overall concept of the genre in relation to the drama, and looking at the ways in which the theatrical conventions of his time shaped his plays, such as the use of boy players in women's roles and the physical structures of the playhouses. Offering a critical analysis of each of the nine plays in turn, Wells concludes by discussing why tragedy is regarded as fit subject for entertainment, and what it is about tragic plays that audiences find so enjoyable. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Tragedy: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Adrian Poole

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191577626

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 160

View: 5609

What do we mean by 'tragedy' in present-day usage? When we turn on the news, does a report of the latest atrocity have any connection with the masterpieces of Sophocles, Shakespeare and Racine? What has tragedy been made to mean by dramatists, story-tellers, critics, philosophers, politicians and journalists over the last two and a half millennia? Why do we still read, re-write, and stage these old plays? This book argues for the continuities between 'then' and 'now'. Addressing questions about belief, blame, mourning, revenge, pain, witnessing, timing and ending, Adrian Poole demonstrates the age-old significance of our attempts to make sense of terrible suffering. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Comedy: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Matthew Bevis

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199601712

Category: Humor

Page: 150

View: 7349

With a broad scope across the millennia, from high literature to popular culture, between page and stage and screen, this Very Short Introduction considers comedy not only as a literary genre, but also as a broader impulse at work in many other historical and contemporary forms of satire, parody, and play.

The Cambridge Introduction to Tragedy

Author: Jennifer Wallace

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 052185539X

Category: Drama

Page: 243

View: 7953

An introductory study into tragedy in drama and literature, and in the real world.

English Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan Bate

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191614297

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 192

View: 8756

Sweeping across two millennia and every literary genre, acclaimed scholar and biographer Jonathan Bate provides a dazzling introduction to English Literature. The focus is wide, shifting from the birth of the novel and the brilliance of English comedy to the deep Englishness of landscape poetry and the ethnic diversity of Britain's Nobel literature laureates. It goes on to provide a more in-depth analysis, with close readings from an extraordinary scene in King Lear to a war poem by Carol Ann Duffy, and a series of striking examples of how literary texts change as they are transmitted from writer to reader. The narrative embraces not only the major literary movements such as Romanticism and Modernism, together with the most influential authors including Chaucer, Donne, Johnson, Wordsworth, Austen, Dickens and Woolf, but also little-known stories such as the identity of the first English woman poet to be honoured with a collected edition of her works. Written with the flair and passion for which Jonathan Bate has become renowned, this book is the perfect Very Short Introduction for all readers and students of the incomparable literary heritage of these islands. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Preface: Why Shakespeare? ;Shakespeare and Stratford-upon-Avon ;Theatre in Shakespeare's time ;Shakespeare in London ;Plays of the 1590s ;Shakespeare and comic form ;Return to tragedy ;The classical plays ;Tragi-comedy ;Epilogue ;Chronology: Shakespeare's works ;Further reading ;Index

Author: Stanley Wells

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0198718624

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 125

View: 3839

Looking at his early life and education, this title explores Shakespeare's social and intellectual background and the literary traditions on which he drew. Examining the theatres and theatrical profession of the time, it also considers how Shakespeare experienced this world, both as an actor and as a writer. Examining Shakespeare's narrative poems, sonnets, and all of his plays, this VSI outlines their sources, style, and originality over the course of Shakespeare's career, to consider the fundamental impact his work has had for subsequent generations.

Classical Literature

A Very Short Introduction

Author: William Allan

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199665451

Category: Fiction

Page: 135

View: 3858

William Allan's Very Short Introduction provides a concise and lively guide to the major authors, genres, and periods of classical literature. Drawing upon a wealth of material, he reveals just what makes the 'classics' such masterpieces and why they continue to influence and fascinate today.

Witchcraft: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Malcolm Gaskill

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191613681

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 168

View: 874

Witchcraft is a subject that fascinates us all, and everyone knows what a witch is - or do they? From childhood most of us develop a sense of the mysterious, malign person, usually an old woman. Historically, too, we recognize witch-hunting as a feature of pre-modern societies. But why do witches still feature so heavily in our cultures and consciousness? From Halloween to superstitions, and literary references such as Faust and even Harry Potter, witches still feature heavily in our society. In this Very Short Introduction Malcolm Gaskill challenges all of this, and argues that what we think we know is, in fact, wrong. Taking a historical perspective from the ancient world to contemporary paganism, Gaskill reveals how witchcraft has meant different things to different people and that in every age it has raised questions about the distinction between fantasy and reality, faith and proof. Telling stories, delving into court records, and challenging myths, Gaskill examines the witch-hunts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and explores the reinvention of witchcraft - as history, religion, fiction, and metaphor. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Shakespeare's Comedies: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Bart van Es

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191034967

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 144

View: 6541

From The Two Gentlemen of Verona in the early 1590s to The Two Noble Kinsmen at the end of his career around 1614, Shakespeare wrote at least eighteen plays that can be called 'comedies': a far higher number than that for any other genre in which he wrote. So what is a Shakespearean comedy? We associate these plays with such themes as mistaken identities, happy marriages, and exuberant cross dressing, but how representative are these of the oeuvre as a whole? In this Very Short Introduction, Bart van Es explores the full range of the playwright's comic writing, from the neat classical plotting of early works like The Comedy of Errors to the corrupt world of the so-called problem plays, written in the middle years of Shakespeare's life. Examining Shakespeare's influences and sources, van Es compares his plays to those of his rivals, and looks at the history of the plays in performance, from the biographies of Shakespeare's original actors to the plays' endless reinvention in modern stage productions and in films. Identifying the key qualities that make Shakespearean comedy distinctive, van Es traces the changing nature of Shakespeare's comic writing over the course of a career that spanned nearly a quarter century of theatrical change. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Gothic: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Nick Groom

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191642398

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 184

View: 5287

The Gothic is wildly diverse. It can refer to ecclesiastical architecture, supernatural fiction, cult horror films, and a distinctive style of rock music. It has influenced political theorists and social reformers, as well as Victorian home décor and contemporary fashion. Nick Groom shows how the Gothic has come to encompass so many meanings by telling the story of the Gothic from the ancient tribe who sacked Rome to the alternative subculture of the present day. This unique Very Short Introduction reveals that the Gothic has predominantly been a way of understanding and responding to the past. Time after time, the Gothic has been invoked in order to reveal what lies behind conventional history. It is a way of disclosing secrets, whether in the constitutional politics of seventeenth-century England or the racial politics of the United States. While contexts change, the Gothic perpetually regards the past with fascination, both yearning and horrified. It reminds us that neither societies nor individuals can escape the consequences of their actions. The anatomy of the Gothic is richly complex and perversely contradictory, and so the thirteen chapters here range deliberately widely. This is the first time that the entire story of the Gothic has been written as a continuous history: from the historians of late antiquity to the gardens of Georgian England, from the mediaeval cult of the macabre to German Expressionist cinema, from Elizabethan Revenge Tragedy to American consumer society, from folk ballads to vampires, from the past to the present. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

American History: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Paul S. Boyer

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199911657

Category: History

Page: 184

View: 7631

This volume in Oxford's A Very Short Introduction series offers a concise, readable narrative of the vast span of American history, from the earliest human migrations to the early twenty-first century when the United States loomed as a global power and comprised a complex multi-cultural society of more than 300 million people. The narrative is organized around major interpretive themes, with facts and dates introduced as needed to illustrate these themes. The emphasis throughout is on clarity and accessibility to the interested non-specialist.

Shakespeare's Sonnets and Poems: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan F. S. Post

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019102709X

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 144

View: 2472

Not for nothing is William Shakespeare considered possibly the most famous writer in history; his works have had a lasting effect on culture, vocabularies, and art. His plays contain some of our most well-known lines (how often have you heard the phrase 'To be or not to be'?), yet whilst his poems may often feel less familiar than his plays they have also seeped into our cultural history (who has not heard of ''Shall I compare thee to a summer's day'?). In this Very Short Introduction Jonathan Post introduces all of Shakespeare's poetry: the Sonnets; the two great narrative poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece; A Lover's Complaint; and The Phoenix and Turtle. Describing Shakespeare's double identity as both poet and playwright, in conjunction with several of his contemporaries, Post evaluates the reciprocal advantages as well as the different strategies and strains that came with writing for the stage and the page. Tackling the debates surrounding the disputed authorship of Shakespeare's poems, he also considers the printing history of Shakespeare's canon, and the genres favoured by the bard. Exploring their reception, both with contemporary audiences and through the ages until today, Post explores the core themes of love and lust, and analyzes how the sonnets compare with other great love poetry of the English Renaissance. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Goethe: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Ritchie Robertson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199689253

Category:

Page: 160

View: 1484

In 1878 the Victorian critic Matthew Arnold wrote: 'Goethe is the greatest poet of modern times... because having a very considerable gift for poetry, he was at the same time, in the width, depth, and richness of his criticism of life, by far our greatest modern man.' In this Very Short Introduction Ritchie Robertson covers the life and work of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832): scientist, administrator, artist, art critic and supreme literary writer in a vast variety of genres. Looking at Goethe's poetry, novels and drama pieces, as well as his travel writing, autobiography, and essays on art and aesthetics, Robertson analyses some of the key themes in his works: love, nature, religion and tragedy. Dispelling the misconception of Goethe as a sedate Victorian sage, Robertson shows how much of his art was rooted in turbulent personal conflicts, and draws on recent research to present a complete portrait of the scientific work and political activity which accompanied Goethe's writings. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Modern Drama: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Kirsten Shepherd-Barr

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191636126

Category: Drama

Page: 160

View: 8790

The story of modern drama is a tale of extremes, testing both audiences and actors to their limits through hostility and contrarianism. Spanning 1880 to the present, Kirsten E. Shepherd-Barr shows how truly international a phenomenon modern drama has become, and how vibrant and diverse in both text and performance. This Very Short Introduction explores the major developments of modern drama, covering two decades per chapter, from early modernist theatre through post-war developments to more recent and contemporary theatre. Shepherd-Barr tracks the emergence of new theories from the likes of Brecht and Beckett alongside groundbreaking productions to illuminate the fascinating evolution of modern drama. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Spanish Civil War: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Helen Graham

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 019162229X

Category: History

Page: 192

View: 8181

This Very Short Introduction offers a powerfully-written explanation of the war's complex origins and course, and explores its impact on a personal and international scale. It also provides an ethical reflection on the war in the context of Europe's tumultuous twentieth century, highlighting why it has inspired some of the greatest writers of our time, and how it continues to resonate today in Britain, continental Europe, and beyond. Throughout the book, the focus is on the war as an arena of social change where ideas about culture were forged or resisted, and in which both Spaniards and non-Spaniards participated alike. These were conflicts that during the Second World War would stretch from Franco's regime, which envisaged itself as part of the Nazi new order, to Europe and beyond. Accordingly, this book examines Spanish participation in European resistance movements during World War II and also the ongoing civil war waged politically, economically, judicially and culturally inside Spain by Francoism after its military victory in 1939. History writing itself became a battleground and the book charts the Franco regime's attempt to appropriate the past. It also indicates its ultimate failure - as evident in new writings on the war and, above all, in the return of Republican memory now occurring in Spain during the opening years of the twenty-first century. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Nietzsche: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Michael Tanner

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191540404

Category: Philosophy

Page: 128

View: 7190

The philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) was almost wholly neglected during his sane life, which came to an abrupt end in 1889. Since then he has been appropriated as an icon by an astonishingly diverse spectrum of people, whose interpretations of his thought range from the highly irrational to the firmly analytical. Thus Spoke Zarathustra introduced the 'superman' and The Twilight of the Idols developed the 'Will to Power' concept; these term, together with 'Sklavenmoral' and 'Herrenmoral', became confused with the rise of nationalism in Germany. Idiosyncratic and aphoristic, Nietzsche is always bracing and provocative, and temptingly easy to dip into. Michael Tanner's readable introduction to the philosopher's life and work examines the numerous ambiguities inherent in his writings. It also explodes the many misconceptions fostered in the hundred years since Nietzsche wrote, prophetically: 'Do not, above all, confound me with what I am not!' ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

An Introduction to Greek Tragedy

Author: Ruth Scodel

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139493493

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 352

This book provides an accessible introduction for students and anyone interested in increasing their enjoyment of Greek tragic plays. Whether readers are studying Greek culture, performing a Greek tragedy, or simply interested in reading a Greek play, this book will help them to understand and enjoy this challenging and rewarding genre. An Introduction to Greek Tragedy provides background information, helps readers appreciate, enjoy and engage with the plays themselves, and gives them an idea of the important questions in current scholarship on tragedy. Ruth Scodel seeks to dispel misleading assumptions about tragedy, stressing how open the plays are to different interpretations and reactions. In addition to general background, the book also includes chapters on specific plays, both the most familiar titles and some lesser-known plays - Persians, Helen and Orestes - in order to convey the variety that the tragedies offer readers.

Classical Mythology: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Helen Morales

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192804766

Category: History

Page: 144

View: 9642

From Zeus and Europa, to Diana, Pan, and Prometheus, the myths of ancient Greece and Rome seem to exert a timeless power over us. But what do those myths represent, and why are they so enduringly fascinating? This imaginative and stimulating Very Short Introduction goes beyond a simple retelling of the stories to explore the rich history and diverse interpretations of classical myths in both high art and popular culture.