Dark undertones and a plot filled with twists and surprises make this one of Shakespeare’s most mystifying plays.
Although classified in the 1623 Folio as a tragedy, Cymbeline defies categorisation. With his two sons stolen in infancy, Cymbeline’s only heir is his daughter Innogen. The Queen, his second wife, schemes for Innogen to wed her son Clotus, but in defiance Innogen marries a commoner who is soon banished by the King. Lives are threatened, loyalties tested and the eventual resolution is both problematic and thrilling.
With its complex plotting and dark undertones Cymbeline is one of Shakespeare’s most puzzling works – sometimes seen as an act of self-parody by the playwright. In Innogen, Shakespeare brings to bear the greatest attributes of his many heroines. She is the anchor to an enigmatic play, the concluding scene of which has more elaborate revelations, surprises and twists than any in the canon.
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.
Roger Warren also edited the Oxford Shakespeare editions of Pericles, Henry VI, Part 2 and (with Stanley Wells) Twelfth Night in the Oxford World's Classics edition. He works extensively in the professional theatre, often in collaboration with Peter Hall.
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