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Drama & Plays

The Tempest (USED)

The Tempest (USED)

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This joyous play, the last comedy of Shakespeare's career, sums up his stagecraft with a display of seemingly effortless skill. Prospero, exiled Duke of Milan, living on an enchanted island, has the opportunity to punish and forgive his enemies when he raises a tempest that drives them ashore--as well as to forestall a rebellion, to arrange the meeting of his daughter, Miranda, with an eminently suitable young prince, and, more important, to relinquish his magic powers in recognition of his advancing age. Richly filled with music and magic, romance and comedy, the play's theme of love and reconciliation offers a splendid feast for the senses and the heart.
Three Plays: The New Tenant, Victims of Duty, Amedee (USED)

Three Plays: The New Tenant, Victims of Duty, Amedee (USED)

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The author of such modern classics as The Bald Soprano, Exit the King, Rhinoceros, and The Chairs, Eugène Ionesco is "one of the most important and influential figures in the modern theater" (Library Journal). This crucial collection combines The New Tenant with Amédée and Victims of Duty--the plays Richard Gilman has called, along with The Killer, Ionesco's "greatest plays, works of the same solidity, fulness, and permanence as [those of] his predecessors in the dramatic revolution that began with Ibsen and is still going on."

In Amédée, the title character and his wife have a problem--not so much the corpse in their bedroom as the fact that it's been there for fifteen years and is now growing, slowly but surely crowding them out of their apartment.

In The New Tenant a similar crowding is caused by an excess of furniture--as Harold Hobson said in the London Times, "there is not dramatist . . . who can make furniture speak as eloquently as Ionesco, and here he makes it the perfect, the terrifying symbol of the deranged mind."

In Victims of Duty, Ionesco parodies the conformity of modern life by plunging his characters into an obscure search for "Mallot with a t." In these as in all his plays, Ionesco poses and solves his tragicomic dilemmas with the brilliant blend of gravity and hilarity that is the hallmark of the absurdist theater.

Twelfth Night (USED)

Twelfth Night (USED)

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Named for the twelfth night after Christmas, the end of the Christmas season, Twelfth Night plays with love and power. The Countess Olivia, a woman with her own household, attracts Duke (or Count) Orsino. Two other would-be suitors are her pretentious steward, Malvolio, and Sir Andrew Aguecheek.

Onto this scene arrive the twins Viola and Sebastian; caught in a shipwreck, each thinks the other has drowned. Viola disguises herself as a male page and enters Orsino's service. Orsino sends her as his envoy to Olivia--only to have Olivia fall in love with the messenger. The play complicates, then wonderfully untangles, these relationships.

The authoritative edition of Twelfth Night from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:

-Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play

-Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play

-Scene-by-scene plot summaries

-A key to the play's famous lines and phrases

-An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language

-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play

-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books

-An annotated guide to further reading

Essay by Catherine Belsey

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit Folger.edu.

Twelfth Night (USED)

Twelfth Night (USED)

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The acclaimed Pelican Shakespeare series edited by A. R. Braunmuller and Stephen Orgel
The legendary Pelican Shakespeare series features authoritative and meticulously researched texts paired with scholarship by renowned Shakespeareans. Each book includes an essay on the theatrical world of Shakespeare s time, an introduction to the individual play, and a detailed note on the text used. Updated by general editors Stephen Orgel and A. R. Braunmuller, these easy-to-read editions incorporate over thirty years of Shakespeare scholarship undertaken since the original series, edited by Alfred Harbage, appeared between 1956 and 1967. With definitive texts and illuminating essays, the Pelican Shakespeare will remain a valued resource for students, teachers, and theater professionals for many years to come.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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Waiting for Godot (USED)

Waiting for Godot (USED)

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A seminal work of twentieth-century drama, Waiting for Godot was Samuel Beckett's first professionally produced play. It opened in Paris in 1953 at the tiny Left Bank Theatre de Babylone, and has since become a cornerstone of twentieth-century theater.

The story line revolves around two seemingly homeless men waiting for someone--or something--named Godot. Vladimir and Estragon wait near a tree on a barren stretch of road, inhabiting a drama spun from their own consciousness. The result is a comical wordplay of poetry, dreamscapes, and nonsense, which has been interpreted as a somber summation of mankind's inexhaustible search for meaning. Beckett's language pioneered an expressionistic minimalism that captured the existentialism of post-World War II Europe. His play remains one of the most magical and beautiful allegories of our time.