The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare is the most comprehensive reference work available on Shakespeare's life, times, works, and his 400-year global legacy. In addition to the authoritative A-Z entries, it includes nearly 100 illustrations, a chronology, a guide to further reading, a thematic contents list, and special feature entries on each of Shakespeare's works. Tying in with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, this much-loved Companion has been revised and updated, reflecting developments and discoveries made in recent years and to cover the performance, interpretation, and the influence of Shakespeare's works up to the present day.
First published in 2001, the online edition was revised in 2011, with updates to over 200 entries plus 16 new entries. These online updates appear in print for the first time in this second edition, along with a further 35,000 new and revised words. These include more than 80 new entries, ranging from important performers, directors, and scholars (such as Lucy Bailey, Samuel West, and Alfredo Michel Modenessi), to topics as diverse as Shakespeare in the digital age and the ubiquity of plants in Shakespeare's works, to the interpretation of Shakespeare globally, from Finland to Iraq. To make information on Shakespeare's major works easier to find, the feature entries have been grouped and placed in a centre section (fully cross-referenced from the A-Z). The thematic listing of entries - described in the press as 'an invaluable panorama of the contents' - has been updated to include all of the new entries. This edition contains a preface written by much-lauded Shakespearian actor Simon Russell Beale.
Full of both entertaining trivia and scholarly detail, this authoritative Companion will delight the browser and reward students, academics, as well as anyone wanting to know more about Shakespeare.
About the Author
Michael Dobson is Professor of Shakespeare Studies and Director of the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, an executive trustee of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and an honorary governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company: his previous appointments include posts at Oxford, Harvard, the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of London, and he has held fellowships and visiting appointments in California, Sweden and China. His publications include The Making of the National Poet (1992), England's Elizabeth (with Nicola Watson, 2002), Performing Shakespeare's Tragedies Today (2006), and Shakespeare and Amateur Performance (2011).
Stanley Wells, CBE, FRSL, is Honorary President, Life Trustee, and former Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. He was Professor of Shakespeare Studies and Director of the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, from 1988-1997, and is now Emeritus Professor. He is an Honorary Emeritus Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has been General Editor of the Oxford Shakespeare since 1978 and is General Editor of the Penguin Shakespeare. One of the most distinguished Shakespearian scholars currently working, his publications include The Oxford Dictionary of Shakespeare (1998), Shakespeare: The Poet and his Plays (2001), The Oxford Shakespeare: King Lear (2001), Shakespeare For All Time (2002), Shakespeare & Co (2006), Shakespeare, Sex, and Love (2010), Great Shakespeare Actors (2015), and Shakespeare: A Very Short Introduction (2015).
Will Sharpe is a teaching fellow at the University of Birmingham. He contributed a monograph-length study on 'Authorship and Attribution' to the RSC/Palgrave volume William Shakespeare and Others: Collaborative Plays (2013). He has prepared textual commentaries on Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, and Henry VIII for the New Oxford Shakespeare (2016).
Erin Sullivan is a lecturer and fellow at the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham. Her research focuses on Shakespeare and the history of emotions and Shakespeare and cultural celebration. She is co-editor of The Renaissance of Emotion (Manchester, 2015), Shakespeare on the Global Stage (Arden, 2015), and A Year of Shakespeare (Arden, 2015).
Reviews from previous edition:`Ought to find a place on every relevant bookshelf' - Times Literary Supplement`the splendid new Oxford Companion ... will prove a true and long-lasting friend to anyone with an interest in Shakespeare ... This Companion will be a valuable first port of call for the research student and for the general reader or playgoer with a particular question in mind. It is also eminently suitable for the browser ... entertains and informs in equal measure.' - Around the Globe`The reference book to which I expect to be referring the most in this year's crop is The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare. Opening such books is like sitting down with a knowledgeable friend. Not a bore or a know-all, but a genuinely well-informed chum. The new Shakespeare has already distracted me for hours.' - Sunday Times`Now this is fun ... plenty of room for teeming fact and teasing marginality. The contributors keep their prose elegant and their tone dry.' - Plays International`Packed with information ... one of the most comprehensive reference works on the Elizabethan author's life, works and times' - Writers News`The most authoritative guide to the literary and theatrical canon that it defined.' - The Times