When a new play was required at short notice for a court occasion in 1597, Shakespeare created The Merry Wives of Windsor, a warm-hearted and spirited "citizen comedy" filled with boisterous action, situational irony, rich characterization--and the likes of Falstaff, Pistol, Mistress Quickly, and Justice Shallow. In his introduction and commentary, Craik examines a wide range of topics, including the play's probable occasion, its relationship to Shakespeare's English history plays and to other sources, its textual history, with particular reference to the widely diverging 1623 Folio and 1602 Quarto, and its quality as drama. In light of various topical, critical, and theatrical interpretations of the play, Craik pays particular attention to defining the literal sense, proposing some new readings, and evoking the many aspects of the stage business.
About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
`T.W. Craik's edition of The Merry Wives is excellent ... can be recommended as one of the most scholarly, helpful, and authoritative texts so far to appear in the Oxford series.'
The Review of English Studies
`One of the strengths of Craik's edition is his careful and subtle analysis of the construction of the play ... Professor Craik's close attention to structure and staging is particularly valuable in dealing with the conundrums of the last act in Windsor Forest ... The commentary to this edition is as careful and thoughtful as the introduction, and, in its scrupulous distinction between material accepted from earlier editors and new material, it shows a
scholarly responsibility that is now positively old-fashioned. The commentary is particularly helpful on the double meanings which so many characters accidentally stumble into.'
Durham University Journal
'Craik is as good an advocate as one could wish for The Merry Wives, ... his disapproval of 'irony-obsessed' critics who are determined to deny it a happy ending is admirable'
English Studies, Volume 72, Number 6, December 1991
List of illustrations; Introduction: Shakespeare's Garter Play: The occasion and the date of The Merry Wives of Windsor; Shakespeare's English Comedy: The substance and the dramatic structure of the play; Interpretations, critical and theatrical, of the play; The quarto and folio texts; Editorial procedures; Abbreviations and references; THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR; Appendix A: The Textual Crux at 1.1.20-1; Appendix B: Evan's Song in Act 3, Scene 1;
Appendix C: Falstaff's Disguise as Herne the Hunter; Appendix D: Alterations to Lineation of the Folio
Series: Oxford Shakespeare (Hardcover)
For Ages: 14+ years old
For Grades: 9+
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 1st February 1990
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.3 x 16.1
Weight (kg): 0.44