Shakespeare forged his tremendous art in the crucible of his comic imagination, which throughout his life enveloped and contained his tragic one. His early comedies—with their baroque poetic exuberance, intense theatricality, explosive bursts of humor, and superbly concrete realizations of the dialects of love—capture as in a chrysalis all that he was to become. They provide a complete inventory of the mind of our greatest writer in the middle of his golden youth.
This volume contains The Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Love's Labor's Lost, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and it's companion piece, Romeo and Juliet, which Tony Tanner describes in his introduction as "a tragedy by less than one minute." The texts, authoritatively edited by Sylvan Barnet, are supplemented with textual notes, bibliographies, a detailed chronology of Shakespeare's life and times, and a substantial introduction in which Tanner discusses each play individually and in the context of Shakespeare's oeuvre.
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