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Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare


Order now to get it by: Monday December 26 - Wednesday December 28

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Product ID: 237633

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There's no shortage of good Shakespearean biographies. But Stephen Greenblatt, brilliant scholar and author of Will in
the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare, reminds us that the "surviving traces" are "abundant but thin" as to
known facts. He acknowledges the paradox of the many biographies spun out of conjecture but then produces a book so
persuasive and breathtakingly enjoyable that one wonders what he could have done if the usual stuff of biographical
inquiry--memoirs, interviews, manuscripts, and drafts--had been at his disposal. Greenblatt uses the "verbal traces" in
Shakespeare's work to take us "back into the life he lived and into the world to which he was so open." Whenever
possible, he also ushers us from the extraordinary life into the luminous work. The result is a marvelous blend of
scholarship, insight, observation, and, yes, conjecture--but conjecture always based on the most convincing and inspired
reasoning and evidence. Particularly compelling are Greenblatt's discussions of the playwright's relationship with the
university wit Robert Greene (discussed as a chief source for the character of Falstaff) and of Hamlet in relation to
the death of Shakespeare's son Hamnet, his aging father, and the "world of damaged rituals" that England's Catholics
were forced to endure.

Will in the World is not just the life story of the world's most revered writer. It is the story, too, of 16th- and
17th-century England writ large, the story of religious upheaval and political intrigue, of country festivals and brutal
public executions, of the court and the theater, of Stratford and London, of martyrdom and recusancy, of witchcraft and
magic, of love and death: in short, of the private but engaged William Shakespeare in his remarkable world. Throughout
the book, Greenblatt's style is breezy and familiar. He often refers to the poet simply as Will. Yet for all his
alacrity of style and the book's accessibility, Will in the World is profoundly erudite, an enormous contribution to the
world of Shakespearean letters. --Silvana Tropea

Interview with Stephen Greenblatt
Stephen Greenblatt shares his thoughts about what make Shakespeare Shakespeare and why the Bard continues to fascinate
us endlessly.

more...

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