This book is a study of four of Shakespeare's major tragedies - "Hamlet", "Othello", "King Lear" and "Macbeth". It looks at these plays in a variety of contexts - both in isolation and in relation to each other and to the cultural, ideological, social and political contexts which produced them.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations. Acknowledgements. Foreword. Introduction. Part One: Shakespeare's England
1. Religious and philosophical developments. 2. Government and authority. 3. Elizabethan and Jacobean society
4. `Words, words, words': Shakespeare's English. 5. Plays into print. Part Two: Shakespeare and the theatre of his time. 6. Elizabethan and Jacobean tragedy. 7. Shakespeare's theatre 8. Plays and audiences Part Three: Critical Analysis 9. Hamlet. 10. Othello. 11. King Lear. 12. Macbeth. Postscript: What lies beyond tragedy?
Part Four: Reference Section Short biographies. Further reading. Appendix: The theatres of Shakespeare's London. Index