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Twelfth Night
William Shakespeare

Paperback $14.99 - Penguin UK
Plays, Theatre & Dance - Published: 26/Aug/2015 - ISBN: 9780141396446

'If music be the food of love, play on, Give me excess of it'

Separated from her twin brother Sebastian after a shipwreck, Viola disguises herself as a boy to serve the Duke Orsino. Wooing a countess on his behalf, she is stunned to find herself the object of her affections. Amorous intrigues, practical jokes, sexual confusion and riotous disorder ensue in this lyrical, hugely popular romantic comedy, which shows both the delights and the perils of desire.

General Introduction on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan theatre by Stanley Wells
Edited by M. M. Mahood with an introduction by Michael Dobson

'Unrequited love, melancholy, cruelty and joy held in perfect balance.' Nicholas Hytner

William Shakespeare was born at Stratford upon Avon in April, 1564. He was the third child, and eldest son, of John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. His father was one of the most prosperous men of Stratford, who held in turn the chief offices in the town. His mother was of gentle birth, the daughter of Robert Arden of Wilmcote. In December, 1582, Shakespeare married Ann Hathaway, daughter of a farmer of Shottery, near Stratford; their first child Susanna was baptized on May 6, 1583, and twins, Hamnet and Judith, on February 22, 1585. Little is known of Shakespeare's early life; but it is unlikely that a writer who dramatized such an incomparable range and variety of human kinds and experiences should have spent his early manhood entirely in placid pursuits in a country town. There is one tradition, not universally accepted, that he fled from Stratford because he was in trouble for deer stealing, and had fallen foul of Sir Thomas Lucy, the local magnate; another that he was for some time a schoolmaster.

From 1592 onwards the records are much fuller. In March, 1592, the Lord Strange's players produced a new play at the Rose Theatre called Harry the Sixth, which was very successful, and was probably the First Part of Henry VI. In the autumn of 1592 Robert Greene, the best known of the professional writers, as he was dying wrote a

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