Publishing Perspectives is proud to launch “The Play’s The Thing,” a one year, roughly chronological exploration of the plays of William Shakespeare. Dennis Abrams will once again lead the group as we explore his work from every angle possible: the plays themselves, the development of character (or what Harold Bloom would call “the invention of the human,” the ways that the plays have been interpreted (and misinterpreted) through the years, and the production history of each play, both on stage and on film.

Most of all, we’ll be tracing Shakespeare’s own development as a playwright, as we witness the playwright of the early comedies and histories become William Shakespeare, the man who, in just one fourteen month period wrote three of literature’s most towering works: King Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra. How is that even possible?

Harold Bloom elaborated on this question. “How could the same dramatist have written ‘As You Like It’ and ‘Othello’, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘King Lear’, ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘Macbeth?’ Yet even that is less enigmatic than wondering, how could anyone have composed ‘Hamlet?’”

I hope you’ll join us as we set out to find out. Subscribe to our RSS feed, or click on the right to subscribe via email.

Dennis Abrams’ previous online reading projects with Publishing Perspectives include:

  • The Cork-Lined Room: a year-long exploration of In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
  • Project D: reading Dostoyevsky’s last four novels: The Idiot, The Demons, Crime and Punishment, and The Brothers Karamazov

16 Responses to About

  1. Jamie Ferguson says:

    YA Shakespeare: do you know Leon Garfield’s _Shakespeare’s Stories_ for kids?

  2. S. Bucay says:

    It’s been some time since I wanted to thank you for this superb endeavour. Yours is one of the best sites on Shakespeare I’ve encountered. Best regards!

  3. Tim Foley says:

    What a splendid site! I giving it out as a Christmas gift to all my friends.

  4. jean says:

    Thank you so much for creating this site. Your commentary on Hamlet is riveting.

  5. indytony says:

    I’ve nominated you for a “Sunshine” award. If you would like to accept and join the fun, check out this post – http://writingforfoodinindy.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/keep-on-the-sunny-side-always-on-the-sunny-side/

  6. Mark says:

    Love it . Thanks Dennis.

  7. My partner and I stumbled over here from a different website and thought I
    might as well check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you.
    Look forward to exploring your web page for a second time.

  8. roncogan says:

    I just wrote a short commentary of Troilus. What do you think of the correctness of it?

    • Nice take. I suspect another reason the play was so rarely performed and had to be “redisovered” (in the same way, let’s say as Titus) is that it’s so dark a take…is there one “honorable” character in the play?

      • roncogan says:

        Hector, I suppose.
        But yes, in bitterness and pessimism it’s almost like King Lear, although not as macabre as Titus.

      • True. But I suspect we see it very differently than, let’s say a Victorian audience. In the same way that although the uber-patriotic Henry V is still a viable read, we can now also read it as a very much anti-war, anti-imperialistic play as well.

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