Governor General's Literary Awards for Non-Fiction winner
Well-known as a critic, Northrop Frye is also a renowned educator. This book, for the first time,
allows us access to his classroom. Here he discusses Shakespeare's comedies, histories and
tragedies, and introduces us to a new category - Shakespeare's romances, those glittering,
frightening, magical plays of the playwright's later years.
Dr. Frye presents lucid expositions of Romeo and Juliet,
A Midsummer Night's Dream, Richard II, Henry IV, Measure for Measure, Hamlet, King Lear,
Anthony and Cleopatra, The Winter's Tale,
and The Tempest, relating each of these works to others in the Shakespeare canon so that by the end of the book new light has been shed on all of Shakespeare's plays. Within
this framework, Frye discusses many of the central elements of Shakespearean drama - from the traditions of comedy and tragedy to the historical background of the plays, from imagery and patterning to characterization, from the use of myth, folklore, and the supernatural to the anthropological roots of Shakespeare's ideas.
Northrop Frye on Shakespeare will be invaluable to any student of literature, but its clarity and accessibility will also attract anyone with an interest in Shakespearean drama. It is as useful to the
playgoer as it is to the academic, and proves that literary criticism can be as amusing as it is rewarding.
Northrop Frye (1912-1991) was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, and educated at the University of Toronto and Oxford University. He joined the University of Toronto in 1939, which began one of the most distinguished careers in the history of literary criticism. Over his lifetime Frye was awarded 30 honorary degrees world-wide, was a recipient of the Order of Canada, The Royal Society's Molson and Lorne Pierce Prizes, the Canada Council Medal, among others. His many publications include The Great Code, The Well-Tempered Critic, Anatomy of Criticism, and Fearful Symmetry.
Check out his web site at www.northropfrye.com.