This exuberant comedy is full of sparkling repartee, thanks to the witty characters of Beatrice and Benedick; theirs is one of the best-loved relationships in literature.
The quick, coequal wits of Beatrice and Benedick have made their relationship one of the most beloved in literature, from their first quarrelsome banter and the comic trick which initially attracts each to the other, to the final skirmish which can only end with: Peace, I will stop your mouth. They are the perfect foil to the romantic ideas of Claudio, who despite all his professions of love for Hero is easily conned into believing her unfaithful. Meanwhile Dogberry and his watchmen, with their malapropisms and confusions, remain some of the funniest of Shakespeare’s comic creations.
Published by Oxford University Press and bound in hardback buckram by The Folio Society, The Oxford Shakespeare series offers authoritative editions of Shakespeare’s plays. The early printings have been scrupulously re-examined and interpreted by eminent scholars, who also provide introductory essays covering all relevant background information, together with an appraisal of critical views and of the plays in performance. The exhaustive commentaries pay particular attention to language and staging. Reprints of sources, music for songs, genealogical tables and maps are included where necessary; many of the volumes are illustrated, and all contain an index.
Each book has an individual editor, with the whole series overseen by Stanley Wells.
Sheldon P. Zitner is Professor Emeritus, Trinity College, University of Toronto. He has written extensively on Renaissance Literature, including a recent book-length study of All's Well That Ends Well (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1989)
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