The Oxford Handbook of Shakespearean Comedy

ISBN : 9780192894496

Heather Hirschfeld
594 Pages
171 x 246 mm
Pub date
Jan 2022
Oxford Handbooks
Send mail

The Oxford Handbook of Shakespearean Comedy offers critical and contemporary resources for studying Shakespeare's comic enterprises. It engages with perennial, yet still urgent questions raised by the comedies and looks at them from a range of new perspectives that represent the most recent methodological approaches to Shakespeare, genre, and early modern drama. Several chapters take up firmly established topics of inquiry such Shakespeare's source materials, gender and sexuality, hetero- and homoerotic desire, race, and religion, and they reformulate these topics in the materialist, formalist, phenomenological, or revisionist terms of current scholarship and critical debate. Others explore subjects that have only relatively recently become pressing concerns for sustained scholarly interrogation, such as ecology, cross-species interaction, and humoral theory. Some contributions, informed by increasingly sophisticated approaches to the material conditions and embodied experience of theatrical practice, speak to a resurgence of interest in performance, from Shakespeare's period through the first decades of the twenty-first century. Others still investigate distinct sets of plays from unexpected and often polemical angles, noting connections between the comedies under inventive, unpredicted banners such as the theology of adultery, early modern pedagogy, global exploration, or monarchical rule. All the chapters offer contemporary perspectives on the plays even as they gesture to critical traditions, and they illuminate as well as challenge some of our most cherished expectations about the ways in which Shakespearean comedy affects its audiences. The Handbook situates these approaches against the long history of criticism and provides a valuable overview of the most up-to-date work in the field.


Heather Hirschfeld: Introduction: Encountering Shakespearean Comedy
Part I: Settings, Sources, Influences
1 James Bednarz: Encountering the Elizabethan Stage
2 Robert Miola: Encountering the Past I: Shakespeare's Reception of Classical Comedy
3 Helen Cooper: Encountering the Past II: Shakespearean Comedy, Chaucer, and Medievalism
4 Kirk Melnikoff: Encountering the Present I: Shakespeare's Early Urban Comedies and the Lure of True Crime and Satire
5 Andy Kesson: Encountering the Present II: Shakespearean Comedy and Elizabethan Drama
Part II: Themes and Conventions
6 Kenneth Graham: Shakespearean Comedy and Early Modern Religious Culture
7 Amanda Bailey: Shakespearean Comedy and the Early Modern Marketplace: Sympathetic Economies
8 Catherine Richardson: Shakespearean Comedy and the Early Modern Domestic Sphere
9 Kent Cartwright: Place and Being in Shakespearean Comedy
10 Geraldo U. de Sousa: Shakespearean Comedy and the Question of Race
11 Simon Barker: Farce and Force: Shakespearean Comedy, Militarism, and Violence
12 Julie Sanders: Water Memory and the Art of Preserving: Shakespearean Comedy and Early Modern Cultures of Remembrance
13 Matthew Steggle: The Humors in Humor: Shakespeare and Early Modern Psychology
14 Kevin Curran: Shakespearean Comedy and the Senses
15 Steve Mentz: Green Comedy: Shakespeare and Ecology
16 Carolyn Sale: The Laws of Comedy: Shakespeare and Early Modern Legal Culture
17 Judith Haber: Comedy and Eros: Sexualities on Shakespeare's Stage
18 David L. Orvis: Queer Comedy
19 Erin Minear: The Music of Shakespearean Comedy
20 Michelle M. Dowd: Gender and Genre: Shakespeare's Comic Women
21 Anne M. Myers: The Architecture of Shakespearean Comedy: Domesticity, Performance, and the Empty Room
22 Laurie Shannon: Poor Things, Vile Things: Shakespeare's Comedy of Kinds
Part III: Conditions and Performance
23 Lina Perkins Wilder: Stage Props and Shakespeare's Comedies: Keeping Safe Nerissa's Ring
24 Frederick Kiefer: Shakespearean Comedy and the Discourses of Print
25 Jeremy Lopez: Imagining Shakespeare's Audience
26 Erika T. Lin: Comedy on the Boards: Shakespeare's Use of Playhouse Space
27 Katherine Scheil: Adapting Shakespeare's Comedies
28 Bridget Escolme: Brexit Dreams: Comedy, Nostalgia, and Critique in Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night's Dream
29 Doug Lanier: Shakespearean Comedy on Screen
Part IV: Plays
30 John Parker: Holy Adultery: Marriage in The Comedy of Errors, The Merchant of Venice, and The Merry Wives of Windsor
31 Joanne Diaz: Comedies of Tough Love: Two Gentlemen of Verona, Love's Labour's Lost, The Taming of the Shrew, and Much Ado About Nothing
32 Lisa Hopkins: Comedies of the Green World: A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night
33 Oliver Arnold: Problem Comedies: Troilus and Cressida, Measure for Measure, and All's Well That Ends Well

About the author: 

Heather Hirschfeld is Professor of English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is the author of Joint Enterprises: Collaborative Drama and the Institutionalization of the English Renaissance Theater (U Mass P, 2004) and The End of Satisfaction: Drama and Repentance in the Age of Shakespeare (Cornell UP, 2014). She has been the recipient of NEH and Folger Shakespeare Library fellowships.

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.