Shakespearean Scholarship: A Guide for Actors and Students

Shakespearean Scholarship: A Guide for Actors and Students

Shakespearean Scholarship: A Guide for Actors and Students

Shakespearean Scholarship: A Guide for Actors and Students


More has been written about Shakespeare than about any other author, and many of these works are of interest primarily to scholars. At the same time, a great many works exist that are of inestimable value to theatre professionals, and many actors and directors have little need for more arcane scholarly studies. This reference conveniently discusses scholarship on Shakespeare that is of particular value to members of the dramatic community. Included are chapters on how to locate works in an academic library, the merits of various editions and commentaries, available reference works, studies of the Elizabethan world, and Shakespeare's stage history.


In writing this book, I have attempted to share with the reader some of the riches I have found in books, which has proven useful in the preparation of the plays of Shakespeare for public performance in the last years of the twentieth century. I encourage readers to use this book in the same manner I suggest for all books: browse, use the index and table of contents, and take from it only what enhances your work as an actor.


At the end of all but the first and last chapters you will find a long list of books under the heading Recommended Reading, divided into general categories to match the contents of that chapter. in addition, at the end of the book you will find a lengthy list of works from which I have quoted or to which I have referred but not recommended, for one reason or another. I intend no disrespect by thus proverbially separating the sheep from the goats. Rather, I wish to acknowledge that the standards of excellence in academia at times can interfere with the usefulness of certain publications for a more general readership and, in particular, for actors working on a specific role or students seeking to acquire an understanding of how Shakespeare works in the theatre.

In the Recommended Reading section for the second chapter you will find information about various editions of Shakespeare’s plays. At the end of the book I have listed only those editions from which I have quoted editorial notes; for that reason, they appear under the name of the editor rather than the author.

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