The Two Noble Kinsmen

The Two Noble Kinsmen

William Shakespeare, John Fletcher

Language: English

Pages: 278

ISBN: 0548287724

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Considered by Thomas de Quincey to be 'perhaps the most superb work in the language', The Two Noble Kinsmen is set in Athens and was co-written by Shakespeare with John Fletcher. This Penguin Shakespeare edition is edited by N. W. Bawcutt with an introduction by Peter Swaab.

'Once, he kissed me.
I loved my lips the better ten days after'

When Theseus, Duke of Athens, learns that the ruler of Thebes has killed three noble kings he swears to take revenge. But after Athens triumphs over the rival city, Theseus is struck by the bravery of two Theban cousins and orders his surgeons to attend to them. Soon, the cousins' lifelong friendship is threatened, as both become overwhelmed with love for the duke's beautiful sister.

This book contains a general introduction to Shakespeare's life and Elizabethan theatre, a separate introduction to the play, a chronology, suggestions for further reading, an essay discussing performance options on both stage and screen, and a commentary.

The Collected Plays

Who Was William Shakespeare: An Introduction to the Life and Works

A Streetcar Named Desire

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of the paradoxes about the one and the many in Shakespeare’s great love poem ‘The Phoenix and the Turtle’, the tone of which seems a precursor to this scene. Love is figured not just as a concord but as something transformative and literally perplexing. Shakespeare here expresses the play’s characteristic idea that you can be estranged from yourself by being attached to others. Montaigne’s essay draws on the classical ideals of male friendship articulated by Aristotle and Cicero, in which the

The Play in Performance On its first publication, in 1634, some twenty years after it was first performed, The Two Noble Kinsmen was said on its title page to have been ‘Presented at the Blackfriers by the Kings Maiesties servants, with great applause’. The Blackfriars had been in use by the King’s Men as their indoor, winter house since 1609. They continued to use the Globe, and plays must sometimes have been adapted to suit one or the other auditorium, but certain characteristics of the indoor

can be found in his Selected Writings (1971), pp. 31–45: Olson argues that The Two Noble Kinsmen marks the start of a new Shakespearian style. CRITICAL ESSAYS In one of the most influential general accounts of the play, Theodore Spencer, in ‘The Two Noble Kinsmen’, in Modern Philology 36 (1939), pp. 255–76, argued that there was a tired and slack quality to its dramatic design, characterization and poetry. Philip Edwards took issue with Spencer in ‘On the Design of The Two Noble Kinsmen’, in

man, He made such scruples of the wrong he did To me and to my father. Yet I hope, When he considers more, this love of mine Will take more root within him. Let him do What he will with me, so he use me kindly; 30        For use me so he shall, or I’ll proclaim him, And to his face, no man. I’ll presently Provide him necessaries, and pack my clothes up, And where there is a path of ground I’ll venture, So he be with me; by him, like a shadow, I’ll ever dwell. Within this hour the

103    from: Go away from. 104    still preserve her: Constantly behave towards her. V.3 2    hawk at: Pursue. 3    decision: Settlement of the quarrel. 6    bell: Tolling for the dead. 9    No deafing, but to hear: No way of drowning the sound, so as not to hear. but meaning ‘in order to prevent’ is a normal Shakespearian construction. 12    in their kind: In their true nature. 13    pencilled: When depicted in painting. Nature: Rather than Art. 14    make and act: Create and perform.

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