The present work is an attempt to indicate to the student some lines of Shakespearian study which may serve to introduce him to the study of the Plays as plays. No one line is carried out to any extent; but enough is presented, it is hoped, to enable the student, with the additional aid of such easily accessible sources as are noted, to extend the several lines of study indicated. The commentaries presented on Romeo and Juliet, King John, Much A do about Nothing, Hamlet, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra, aim chiefly to present the points of view which are demanded, me judice, for a proper appreciation of Shakespeare sgeneral attitude toward things, and his resultant dramatic art. The moral spirit with which he worked, as distinguished from a moralizing spirit, it is all-important to appreciate. His Plays surpass all those of the contemporary dramatists in their moral proportion in the harmony which they exhibit with the eternal fitness of things in their truthfulness in respect to the fatalism of overmastering passion. Herein consists their transcendent educating value. To come into the fullest possible sympathy with this moral proportion, with this harmony and truthfulness, should be the highest aim of Shakespearian culture. The textual study of the Plays is abundantly provided for by numerous annotated editions, such as Rolfe s, Hudson s, the Clarendon Press, etc. These scholarly editions will not soon be superseded by others having the same general purpose. HIRAM CORSON.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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