The Importance of Being Earnest is a comedy of manners set in Victorian England. Algernon lives in London and says he has a sick friend in the country. He uses visits to his imaginary friend to get out of things. His best friend, Ernest, is also Jack and is doing the exact same thing. Misunderstandings abound in thi…Read More »
The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, but it remains deeply controversial. The text may seem anti-Semitic; yet repeatedly, in performance, it has revealed a contrasting nature. Shylock, though vanquished in the law-court, often triumphs in the theatre. In his intensity he can dominate…Read More »
Shakespeare's only thoroughly English comedy, created an archetypal literary figure in the shape of the devious, irrepressible John Falstaff. This edition celebrates the play as a joyous exploration of language, but also places elements of its plot firmly in a continental, specifically Italian, tradition of romantic…Read More »
The Seagull is the first of Anton Checkov's four full-length plays. It explores the romantic and artistic tension in the relationships between a young woman, a fading older lady, her playwright son and a popular story writer. The play references Shakespeare's Hamlet both in text and content. It has a cast of eclecti…Read More »
Renowned as Shakespeare's most boisterous comedy, The Taming of the Shrew is the tale of two young men, the hopeful Lucentio and the worldly Petruchio, and the two sisters they meet in Padua. Lucentio falls in love with Bianca, the apparently ideal younger daughter of the wealthy Baptista Minola. But before they can…Read More »
Prospero, sorcerer and rightful Duke of Milan, along with his daughter Miranda, has lived on an island for many years since his position was usurped by his brother Antonio. Then, as Antonio's ship passes near the island one day, Prospero conjures up a terrible storm…
A short and juicy play that encapsulates man…Read More »
Materially founded upon George Wilkins' popular play, The Miseries of Enforced Marriage. Sir Timothy himself is moulded to some extent upon Sir Francis Ilford, but, as Geneste aptly remarks, he may be considered a new character. In the older drama, Clare, the original of Celinda, dies tragically of a broken heart….Read More »
In this striking tragedy of political conflict, Shakespeare turns to the ancient Roman world and to the famous assassination of Julius Caesar by his republican opponents. The play is one of tumultuous rivalry, of prophetic warnings—'Beware the ides of March'—and of moving public oratory—'_Friends, Romans, countrym…Read More »
First published in 1877, these three stories are dominated by questions of doubt, love, loneliness and religious experience, and together form a triumphant conclusion to Flaubert's literary career. Includes "The Dance of Death," "The Legend of Saint Julian the Hospitaller," and "A Simple Soul."
A wealthy citizen of ancient Greece, Timon delights in entertaining his friends and lavishing them with extravagant gifts. His largesse ultimately exceeds his means, and when creditors begin to press him for repayment, the open-handed host is devastated to discover that the guests — who gladly accepted everything he…Read More »
An embittered Roman General returns from war, having captured the Queen of the Goths and her three sons. Sacrificing the eldest, in memory of his own sons killed in battle, he provokes the queen's unending hatred.
It is the seventh year of the Trojan War. The Greek army is camped outside Troy and Achilles - their military hero - refuses to fight. Inside the city Troilus, the Trojan King's son, falls in love with Cressida, whose father has defected to the Greek camp. In an exchange of prisoners the couple are split - they beli…Read More »
Set in a topsy-turvy world like a holiday revel, this comedy devises a romantic plot around separated twins, misplaced passions, and mistaken identity. Juxtaposed to it is the satirical story of a self-deluded steward who dreams of becoming Count Malvolio only to receive his comeuppance at the hands of the merrymake…Read More »
Two friends, Valentino and Proteus, move temporarily from Verona to Milan for their studies and their development towards adulthood. Valentino has barely arrived in Milan as he falls in love with Silvia, the daughter of the local duke. Proteus dwells still in Verona, where he has sworn eternal fidelity to his belove…Read More »
This structurally and psychologically compact drama takes place on an estate in 19th-century Russia, exploring the complex interrelationships between a retired professor, his second wife, and the daughter and brother-in-law from his first marriage. Interwoven themes of weakness, delusion, and despair are balanced by…Read More »