The Two Noble Kinsmen

The Two Noble Kinsmen

The Two Noble Kinsmen

The Two Noble Kinsmen

Synopsis

Based on Chaucer's Knight's Tale, The Two Noble Kinsmen was written at the end of Shakespeare's career, as a collaboration with the rising young dramatist John Fletcher. Neglected until recently by directors and teachers, the play deserves to be better known for its moving dramatization of the conflict of love and friendship. This new edition, compiled by distinguished scholar Eugene M. Waith, offers helpful new material on the play's authenticity as a work of Shakespeare, his collaboration with Fletcher, the relevance to the play of the contemporary ideals of chivalry and friendship, and its limited but increasing stage history. Based on the Quarto of 1634, Waith's edition also sets out to clarify the stage directions, address problems of mislineation, and provide useful guides to unfamiliar words, stage business, allusions, and textual problems.

Excerpt

My acknowledgement of indebtedness must begin with the General Editor, Stanley Wells, whose scrupulous oversight has saved me from many errors, and whose suggestions have been of enormous assistance. William Montgomery generously sent me proofs of his own edition of the play for the Oxford Complete Works before it appeared and answered a number of queries. With equal generosity Fredson Bowers, also working on an edition, shared with me his opinions on lineation and the division of certain scenes into prose and poetry. On these and other matters both Cyrus Hoy and Robert K. Turner were also most helpful. Derek Attridge and Edward Weismiller gave me valuable advice on metrics; Gail Kern Paster did some research for me at the Folger Library; and both Nicholas Brooke and Lee Bliss gave me answers to troublesome questions. Godfrey Brown very kindly wrote me at length about the history of the Betley window. I am much indebted to the staff of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library for assisting my work, and also to Pamela Jordan of the Yale Drama Library. Finally, I thank Hugh Richmond and Paul Werstine for allowing me to quote from unpublished papers on the subject of this play.

EUGENE M. WAITH

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