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p. 95Endingslocked

  • Bart van Es

Abstract

Did Shakespeare write any comic plays after All’s Well That Ends Well (1604–5)? The conventional story has been that Shakespeare’s comedy ended early in the 17th century, despite having almost a decade of writing for the theatre still to come. If this theory is accepted, what factors can be put forward by way of explanation? ‘Endings’ argues that Shakespeare had a more consistent idea of what comedy was than is now often asserted. Comedy was his mainstay, spreading not just across the eighteen or so plays that can be listed under that heading but, beyond this, into his non-dramatic poetry, his histories, and—most powerfully of all—his tragedies.

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