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  • Published: 29 October 2009
  • ISBN: 9780141932644
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

The Two Noble Kinsmen




Part of the authoritative and acclaimed Penguin Shakespeare series, now rejacketed in the celebrated Penguin Classics livery

When Theseus, Duke of Athens, learns that the ruler of Thebes has killed three noble kings he swears to take revenge. But after Athens triumphs over the rival city, Theseus is struck by the bravery of two Theban cousins and orders his surgeons to attend to them. Soon, the cousins' lifelong friendship is threatened, as both become overwhelmed with love for the duke's beautiful sister.%%%Considered by Thomas de Quincey to be 'perhaps the most superb work in the language', The Two Noble Kinsmen is set in Athens and was co-written by Shakespeare with John Fletcher. This Penguin Shakespeare edition is edited by N. W. Bawcutt with an introduction by Peter Swaab.
'Once, he kissed me.
I loved my lips the better ten days after'
When Theseus, Duke of Athens, learns that the ruler of Thebes has killed three noble kings he swears to take revenge. But after Athens triumphs over the rival city, Theseus is struck by the bravery of two Theban cousins and orders his surgeons to attend to them. Soon, the cousins' lifelong friendship is threatened, as both become overwhelmed with love for the duke's beautiful sister.
This book contains a general introduction to Shakespeare's life and Elizabethan theatre, a separate introduction to the play, a chronology, suggestions for further reading, an essay discussing performance options on both stage and screen, and a commentary.

  • Published: 29 October 2009
  • ISBN: 9780141932644
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

About the author

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, and was baptised on 26 April 1564. His father was a glove maker and wool merchant and his mother, Mary Arden, was the daughter of a well-to-do local land owner. Shakespeare was probably educated in Stratford’s grammar school. In 1582 he married Anne Hathaway, and the couple had a daughter the following year and twins in 1585.

Shakespeare’s theatrical life seems to have commenced around 1590. We do know that he was part of the Lord Chamberlain’s Company, which was renamed the King’s Company in 1603 when James I succeeded to the throne. The Company acquired interests in two theatres in the Southwark area of London, near the banks of the Thames - the Globe and the Blackfriars.

Shakespeare’s poetry was published before his plays, with two poems appearing in 1593 and 1594, dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton. Most of Shakespeare’s sonnets were probably written at this time as well.

Records of Shakespeare’s plays begin to appear in 1594, and he produced roughly two a year until around 1611. His earliest plays include Henry VI and Titus Andronicus. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Richard II all date from the mid to late 1590s. Some of his most famous tragedies were written in the early 1600s; these include Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth and Antony & Cleopatra. His late plays, often known as the Romances, date from 1608 onwards and include The Tempest.

Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616 and was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. The first collected edition of his works was published in 1623 and is known as ‘the First Folio’.

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