Sir Thomas More: Third Series (Arden Shakespeare Third #15) (Paperback)
This edition of Sir Thomas More is the first to bring the play into the context of a major Shakespeare series, to provide a substantial critical analysis, and to offer a comprehensive modern stage history. The introduction deals with issues such as the strange involvement of the anti-Catholic spy-hunter Anthony Munday as chief dramatist, the place of Sir Thomas More as a Catholic martyr in Protestant late Elizabethan culture, and the play's representation of a multi-cultural London.The text itself, supported by a searching and detailed commentary, adopts a distinctive presentation that enables readers to keep track of the manuscript and the hands that produced it, whilst engaging with the play as a fascinating theatrical piece.
Sir Thomas More deals with matters so controversial that it may never have reached performance on stage. The authors' determination to deal with rioting and religious politics led to a play that is compelling in its own right but also intriguing as a document of what could, and could not, be articulated in the early modern public theatre. Surviving only as a manuscript text on which Shakespeare was thought to have worked, it can be considered to be the most important play manuscript of the period, owing to its highly complex witness to collaboration between dramatists and to censorship.
"Intriguing...John Jowett, editor of this edition, has provided detailed and accessible notes and commentary which highlight the play's problems and nuances very well."—The Stage "Enthralling publication...Editor John Jowett offers sound reasoning for the imprint’s inclusion of what was for quite some time considered to be Apocrypha. That thanks to modern textual analysis, consensus seems to be moving towards the idea that sole authorship of most texts was anathema to Elizabethan and Jacobean playwrights...Jowett offers biographies of varying complexities for them all and its in these passages that we most understand the world within which such a manuscript could be created with various acting groups competing against one another, manuscripts passed about and edited or amended to suite the needs of production. There have been serious attempts recently to rehabilitate the play both at the RSC and the Globe...and this brilliant Arden edition will definitely help."—thehamletweblog