First published in 1987.
This study removes some of the critical puzzles that Shakespeare's comedies of love have posed in the past. The author shows that what distinguishes the comedies is not their similarity but their variety - the way in which each play is a new combination of essentially similar ingredients, so that, for example, the boy/girl changes in The Merchant of Venice are seen to have a quite different significance from those in As You Like It.
'A thoughtful and open-minded book, which should prove helpful both to the general reader and to students of Shakespeare.' The Times Higher Education Supplement
'For a sane conspectus of Shakespeare's comedies….Leggatt can hardly be bettered…perhaps the best book on the comedies.' Kenneth Muir, The Literary Half-Year.