From the conjectured identity of the Dark Lady of the Sonnets to misprints in the First Folio, from Shakespeare's favorite figures of speech to the staging of Othello in South Africa, The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare offers the most comprehensive coverage available on all aspects of Shakespeare's life and works.
Illustrated with more than 100 photographs and boasting contributions from a team of internationally renowned scholars (including such noted Shakespeare authorities as Helen Vendler, Park Honan, and Jonathan Bate), the Companion has more than 3,000 entries that offer succinct, stimulating, and authoritative commentary on Shakespeare's life and times, his plays and poems, and their interpretation around the world over the last four centuries. All Shakespeare's plays--from As You Like It and All's Well that Ends Well to King Lear and Hamlet--are covered in major articles. There are concise descriptions of allusions in Shakespeare (Ajax, Agamemnon), well-known critics (Samuel Johnson, John Dryden), great Shakespearian actors (Richard Burbage, Lawrence Olivier, Kenneth Branagh), characters in the plays (Mercutio, Ophelia), figures of speech (metaphor, metonymy, oxymoron), and much more. Longer articles explore topics such as Shakespeare's birthplace, censorship, the Chamberlain's Men, film, and Shakespeare's reception in such countries as China, Italy, and the United States.
Bringing its readers up to date not only with the latest in Shakespearian scholarship and controversy but with the plays' most recent incarnations on stage, film, and in international popular culture, this is the perfect companion to Shakespeare's works, covering everything from Aaron to Zeffirelli, and from Shakespeare in schools to Shakespeare in Love. [via]