BECAUSE MANY of the following pages deal with the structure of plays, with details whereby a character is portrayed, and with the reflection of ready-made concepts and current representational methods in the dramas of Shakespeare and his early contemporaries, I probably should note at the outset that the reader may find it helpful to have the text of a play before him -- although I hope, of course, that the main point of any discussion will be clear without his having to turn to the drama being considered.
Since the purpose and the point of view of the present essay are expressed in the first chapter, my pleasant duty here is to record my indebtedness. I am deeply grateful to Dr. James G. McManaway for his patient criticism of the entire study. I am also indebted to Professor D. T. Starnes for reading and criticizing some of the following chapters. If I have not profited from their suggestions, the fault is mine. I also owe much to my colleagues C. Hugh Holman and George M. Harper. They graciously volunteered to lighten my departmental duties during the final stages of preparing the manuscript of this study and of the related one entitled The Problem of Order. I wish to acknowledge my indebtedness to the Alumni Annual Giving funds of The University of North Carolina, administered by the University Research Council, for aid in the publication of this book and to the Ford Foundation for a grant under its program for assisting American university presses in the publication of works in the humanities and social sciences.
E. W. T.