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Beginning Shakespeare
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Beginning Shakespeare introduces students to the study of Shakespeare, and grounds their understanding of his work in theoretical discourses. After an introductory survey of the dominant approaches of the past, seven chapters examine the major current critical approaches to Shakespeare: psychoanalysis; New Historicism; Cultural Materialism; gender studies; queer theory; postcolonial criticism and performance criticism. A further chapter looks at the growing roles of biography, attribution and textual studies. Each chapter analyses the strengths and weaknesses of its particular perspective, allowing students to gain a clear critical purchase on the respective approaches, and to make informed choices between them. Each chapter ends with a list of suggested further reading and interactive exercises based on the key issues raised. An invaluable introduction, essential for anyone studying the plays, Beginning Shakespeare offers students a map of the current critical practices, and a sense of the possibilities for developing their own approaches.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Introduction 1. Critical Histories I. 1598-1741: A bumpy ride ii. 1741-1904: Enter Shakespear iii. Enshrinement iv. A.C.Bradley and character study v. The Thirties: images and patterns vi. Tillyard and the 'Elizabethan world picture' vii. Jan Kott: Shakespeare our contemporary 2. Psychoanalysis I. Freud and his early followers ii. C.G. Jung and the theory of 'types and archetypes' iii. Jacques Lacan and the theory of the subject iv. Post-Lacanian psychoanalytical approaches 3. New Historicism I. Stephen Greenblatt: 'invisible bullets' ii. Louis Montrose: New Historicism meets psychoanalysis iii. Leonard Tennenhouse and the interests of power iv. Later developments: New Historicism meets gender 4. Cultural Materialism I. Political Shakespeare: a landmark text ii. Dollimore and Sinfield: literature and power iii. Terence Hawkes and the politics of meaning 5. New factualisms I. The 'new biography' ii. Attribution studies iii. Editing 6. Gender studies and queer theory I. Boy actors ii. Political feminisms iii. Queer theory 7. Postcolonial criticism I. 'The Tempest' ii. Postcolonial 'Tempests' iii. 'Othello' 8. Shakespeare in performance I. 'Henry V' in performance ii. The Olivier version iii. Stratford-upon-Avon iv. Political performance criticism? -- .

About the Author

Lisa Hopkins is Professor of English at Sheffield Hallam University -- .

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