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Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $69.00
  • February 2008
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-92991-1
  • 3440 pages
  • Volume(s): One-Volume Clothbound
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

The Norton Shakespeare

Based on the Oxford Edition

Second Edition


Volume(s): One-Volume Clothbound

Stephen Greenblatt (General Editor, Harvard University), Walter Cohen (Editor, University of Michigan), Jean E. Howard (Editor, Columbia University), Katharine Eisaman Maus (Editor, University of Virginia)


Upon publication in 1997, The Norton Shakespeare set a new standard for teaching editions of Shakespeare's complete works.

Instructors and students worldwide welcomed the fresh scholarship, lively and accessible introductions, helpful marginal glosses and notes, readable single-column format, all designed in support of the goal of the Oxford text: to bring the modern reader closer than before possible to Shakespeare's plays as they were first acted. Now, under Stephen Greenblatt's direction, the editors have considered afresh each introduction and all of the apparatus to make the Second Edition an even better teaching tool.


Acclaimed Introductions Revised

Building on its greatest strength, The Norton Shakespeare's much-praised introductions are now even better. Stephen Greenblatt's General Introduction and the individual play introductions have been thoughtfully revised in response to instructors' suggestions. New discussions in the General Introduction of the "confessional tensions" in the plays, the economic status of women, genre-mixing, exorcisms, and Shakespeare's fascination with monarchy, among other topics, reflect recent scholarship. Introductions to Macbeth, Hamlet (whose Textual Note now includes several parallel passages from the Second Quarto and First Folio), The Taming of the Shrew, Julius Caesar, Coriolanus, Loves Labour's Lost, and Othello, among other plays, have been substantially revised and in some cases rewritten, to be clearer and more accessible. A new introduction to King Edward III has been added. Textual Notes throughout have been updated in response to recent findings.

New and Fine-tuned Glosses and Notes

Students and instructors alike appreciate the succinct marginal glosses and clear annotations in The Norton Shakespeare. In the Second Edition, glosses and notes throughout have been fine-tuned, with several hundred newly added in response to instructors' suggestions.

Helpful New Features

  • 6 maps, three new, showing places important to Shakespeare's plays, and three archival, accompanied by Jean E. Howard's new introduction, "Early Modern Map Culture."
  • Selected Bibliographies for each play are newly annotated and extensively updated.
  • Reorganized General Bibliography significantly updated with over 350 new entries and 7 new sections.
  • Annotated Film Lists (over 50 films are included) follow the play introductions.
  • Texts/Contexts Timeline
  • Redesigned Genealogies and new Tudor/Stuart genealogy
  • List of illustrations

Single-column Page; Flexible New Formats

The Norton Shakespeare is the first and only one-volume student Shakespeare to provide a single-column text with marginal glosses, a page-design that facilitates comprehension and makes reading more enjoyable. Now, the Second Edition offers that readable page design in three different formats: the familiar one-volume clothbound edition, four genre paperbacks, and new two-volume chronological splits—priced the same as the one-volume edition. No other complete Shakespeare offers this portable two-volume format. Volume 1, Early Plays and Poems, includes plays through Twelfth Night; Volume 2, Later Plays, opens with Hamlet. The two-volume splits are printed on a heavier paper stock to facilitate note-taking. Individual chronological volumes can be ordered separately.

Priced for Students

With other leading one-volume complete Shakespeares costing between ten and fifteen dollars more, The Norton Shakespeare is an excellent value for students.

New Genre Introductions

A much-requested enhancement, each genre volume now opens with an entirely new introduction—Tragedies by Stephen Greenblatt; Comedies by Katharine Eisaman Maus; Histories by Jean E. Howard; Romances by Walter Cohen—exploring the characteristics of each genre as Shakespeare practices it; classical and medieval antecedents; Shakespeare's love of genre-mixing and "mingling kings and clowns"; and critical approaches to and key themes of the genre.

    1. Contents: By Genre
    2. List of Illustrations
    3. Preface
    4. Acknowledgments

    GENERAL INTRODUCTION by Stephen Greenblatt


    1. Life and Death
    2. Wealth
    3. Imports, Patents, and Monopolies
    4. Haves and Have-Nots
    5. Riot and Disorder
    6. The Legal Status of Women
    7. Women and Print
    8. Henry VIII and the English Reformation
    9. Henry VIII’s Children: Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth
    10. The English Bible
    11. A Female Monarch in a Male World
    12. The Kingdom in Danger
    13. The English and Otherness
    14. James I and the Union of the Crowns
    15. The Jacobean Court
    16. James’s Religious Policy and the Persecution of Witches


    1. Cosmic Spectacles
    2. Music and Dance
    3. Alternative Entertainments
    4. The Enemies of the Stage
    5. Censorship and Regulation
    6. Theatrical Innovations


    1. Shakespeare’s Family
    2. Education
    3. Traces of a Life
    4. Portrait of the Playwright as a Young Provincial
    5. The Theater of the Nation
    6. Shakespeare Comes to London
    7. The Shakespearean Trajectory
    8. The Fetishism of Dress
    9. The Paradoxes of Identity
    10. The Poet of Nature
    11. The Play of Language


    1. Shakespeare and the Printed Book
    2. From Foul to Fair: the Making of the Printed Play
    3. The Oxford Shakespeare
    4. The Norton Shakespeare


    1. Publication by Performance
    2. The Shakespearean Mindset
    3. London Playgoing and the Law
    4. The Design of the Globe
    5. The Original Staging Techniques
    6. Shakespeare’s Companies and Their Playhouses

    The Complete Works

    1. The Two Gentlemen of Verona
    2. The Taming of the Shrew
    3. The First Part of the Contention of the Two Famous Houses of York and Lancaster (2 Henry VI)
    4. The True Tragedy of Richard Duke of York and the Good King Henry the Sixth (3 Henry VI)
    5. Titus andronicus
    6. The First Part of Henry the Sixth
    7. The Tragedy of King Richard the Third
    8. Venus and Adonis
    9. The Rape of Lucrece
    10. The Reign of King Edward the Third
    11. The Comedy of Errors
    12. Love’s Labour’s Lost
    13. Love’s Labour’s Won: A Brief Account
    14. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
    15. The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet
    16. The Tragedy of King Richard the Second
    17. The Life and Death of King John
    18. The Comical History of the Merchant of Venice, Or Otherwise Called the Jew of Venice
    19. The History of Henry the Fourth (1 Henry IV)
    20. The Merry Wives of Windsor
    21. The Second Part of Henry the Fourth
    22. Much Ado About Nothing
    23. The Life of Henry the Fifth
    24. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
    25. As You Like It
    26. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
    27. Twelfth Night, Or What You Will
    28. Troilus and Cressida
    29. The Sonnets and “A Lover’s Complaint”
    30. Various Poems
    31. Sir Thomas More: Passages Attributed To Shakespeare
    32. Measure For Measure
    33. The Tragedy of Othello the Moor of Venice
    34. All’s Well That Ends Well
    35. The Life of Timon of Athens
    36. King Lear
      1. The History of King Lear: the Quarto Text
      2. The Tragedy of King Lear: the Folio Text
      3. The Tragedy of King Lear: A Conflated Text
    37. The Tragedy of Macbeth
    38. The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra
    39. Pericles, Prince of Tyre
    40. The Tragedy of Coriolanus
    41. The Winter’s Tale
    42. Cymbeline, King of Britain
    43. The Tempest
    44. Cardenio: A Brief Account
    45. All Is True (Henry VIII)
    46. The Two Noble Kinsmen




    1. Early Modern Map Culture by Jean E. Howard
    2. Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, and Western France: Places of Importance to Shakespeare’s Plays
    3. London: Places of Importance to Shakespeare’s Plays and London Play-Going
    4. The Mediterranean World: Places of Importance to Shakespeare’s Plays
    5. Map of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland taken from John Speed’s 1612 edition of The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine
    6. Early printed map of London, 1574, taken from a German atlas of European Cities by Braun and Hogenberg
    7. Map of the Holy Land included in the Theodore de Beze Bible printed in London, 1592.


    1. Robert Greene on Shakespeare (1592)
    2. Thomas Nashe on 1 Henry VI (1592)
    3. Henry Chettle on Greene and Shakespeare (1592)
    4. Gesta Grayorum on The Comedy of Errors (December 28, 1594)
    5. Francis Meres on Shakespeare (1598)
    6. Parnassus Plays on Shakespeare (1598–1601)
    7. Epilogue to the Queen, possibly by Shakespeare (1599)
    8. John Weever on Shakespeare (1599)
    9. Thomas Platter on Julius Caesar (September 21, 1599)
    10. Gabriel Harvey on Hamlet, Venus and Adonis, and The Rape of Lucrece (1598–1603)
    11. Contract for the Building of the Fortune Theatre (1600)
    12. Augustine Phillips, Francis Bacon, et al. on Richard III (1601)
    13. John Manningham on Twelfth Night and Richard III (1602)
    14. Letters Patent formalizing the adoption of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men as the King’s Men (May 19, 1603)
    15. Master of the Wardrobe’s Account (March 1604)
    16. Henry Jackson on Othello (September 1610)
    17. Simon Forman on Macbeth, Cymbeline, and The Winter’s Tale (1611)
    18. Chambers Account of Performances by the King’s Men (May 1613)
    19. Sir Henry Wotton on All Is True (Henry VIII) and the Burning of the Globe (1613)
    20. Ballad on the Burning of the Globe (June 30, 1613)
    21. Ben Jonson on The Tempest (and Titus andronicus) (1614)
    22. Francis Beaumont (?) on Shakespeare (1615)
    23. Shakespeare’s Will (March 25, 1616)
    24. William Basse’s Elegy for Shakespeare (1616–23)
    25. Nicholas Richardson on Romeo and Juliet (1620)
    26. Front Matter from the First Folio of Shakespeare’s Plays (1623)
    27. Leonard Digges on Shakespeare (1623–35)
    28. Richard James on Falstaff (c. 1625)
    29. Milton on Shakespeare (1630)
    30. Ben Jonson on Shakespeare (1623–37)
    31. John Aubrey on Shakespeare (1681)

    Textual Variants


    General Bibliography

    Illustration Acknowledgments

    Index of Poems: Titles and First Lines

    Index of Songs

    Index of Plays

    Endpaper Genealogies

    1. A Shakespearean Genealogy
    2. The Kings and Queens of England, 1377–1625
    3. The House of Lancaster
    4. The House of York
    5. the Houses of Tudor and Stuart