An Ideal Husband

Second Edition, Revised

Author: Oscar Wilde

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408137216

Category: Drama

Page: 208

View: 9552

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One of Wilde's most successful and most frequently revived plays, An Ideal Husband has divided critics more than any other. Treating political intrigue, financial fraud, blackmail, scandal and spin, and the role of women in public life, it is a play which engaged with issues of vital importance to its late-Victorian audience, which continue to resonate today.
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Volpone

Revised Edition

Author: Ben Jonson

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1350007765

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 216

View: 5327

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The sharpest, funniest comedy about money and morals in the 17th century is still the sharpest and funniest about those things in the 21st. The full, modernised play text is accompanied by incisive commentary notes which communicate the devastating comic energy of Volpone's satire. The introduction provides a firm grounding in the play's social and literary contexts, demonstrates how careful close-reading can expand your enjoyment of the comedy, shows the relevance of Jonson's critique to our modern economic systems, and provides a clear picture of how the main relationships in the play function on the page and stage. Supplemented by a plot summary and annotated bibliography, it is ideal for students of Jonson, city comedy and early modern drama.
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The Changeling

Revised Edition

Author: Thomas Middleton,William Rowley

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1474290256

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 200

View: 1732

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“The next good mood I find my father in, I'll get him quite discarded” With these chillingly offhand words, Beatrice-Joanna, the spoilt daughter of a powerful nobleman, plots to get rid of the family servant who has crossed her once too often. The Changeling's vivid tale of sexual appetite, repulsion, betrayal and lunacy remains one of the most compelling tragedies of the 17th century. Exposing the vexed relationship between servants and masters, setting notions of `change' against the revelation of psychological 'secrets' as ways of explaining human behaviour, and exploring the idea of love as a `tame madness', the play reveals the terrifying consequences of ungoverned sexual appetite and betrayal. Featuring the full and modernized play text, this revised edition includes incisive commentary notes which explain the nuances of the play's vibrant, colloquial language and demonstrate its sly delight in the characters' conscious and unconscious wordplay. Michael Neill's illuminating introduction provides a firm grounding in the play's socio-political context, demonstrates how careful close-reading can expand your enjoyment of the play, explains the play's violent linkage of comic and tragic plots and gives theatrical life to the text via a discussion of its stage history, with a particular emphasis on the most interesting recent productions. The New Mermaids plays offer: · Modernized versions of the play text edited to the highest textual standards · Fully annotated student editions with obscure words explained and critical, contextual and staging insight provided on each page · Full Introductions analyzing context, themes, author background and stage history
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Lady Windermere's Fan

Author: Oscar Wilde

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408145189

Category: Drama

Page: 144

View: 1397

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'My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people's' Lady Windermere has a happy marriage - or, at least, that's what she believes until one of London society's gossips, the Duchess of Berwick, arrives with her daughter to voice her suspicions about an affair Lord Windermere appears to be having. It's not just the Duchess who has evidence, however. Windermere's private bank book shows that he's been giving large sums of money to a 'Mrs Erlynne' - on frequent occasions - and he himself even admits to seeing much of the woman. To add insult to injury, Windermere insists that Mrs Erlynne is invited to the ball that is being held for Lady Windermere's birthday. Employing the witty dialogue, social satire and outrageous paradox for which he is still remembered, Wilde's play shows us the destructiveness of gossip and superficial judgement, examines the ambiguous sexual morality and gender politics at the heart of the British ruling class, while simultaneously challenging our perceptions of what constitutes a 'good woman'. This student edition contains a fully annotated version of the playtext. The introduction includes an account of Wilde's life and a detailed analysis of Lady Windermere's Fan as well as its stage history. Ian Small is Professor of English Literature at the University of Birmingham. He is the author of a number of critical studies on Wilde and has edited several of Wilde's works, including a scholarly edition of Wilde's second society comedy, A Woman of No Importance, also published in the New Mermaids series.
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