Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Shakespeare and Multiplicity


  • Date Published: November 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521031240

£ 27.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Brian Gibbons presents the idea of multiplicity as a way of understanding the form and style of Shakespeare's plays: composed of many different codes, woven together in a unique pattern for each play, rather than variations on fixed notions of comedy or tragedy. Selecting from different phases of Shakespeare's career, the book's method is comparison, using an imaginative range of texts and new approaches; there is also lively discussion of modern staging. Comparison with major works by Spenser, Sidney and Marlowe is complemented by a demonstration of Shakespeare's re-use of his own previous plays and poems. Far from reducing the plays to a formula, Brian Gibbons shows how criticism articulates what popular audiences have always known, that the plays' sheer abundance and variety is their strength. This 1993 book is scholarly, yet straightforward, on an issue of central interest.

    • Avoids jargon, is independent, humorous, and takes account of recent theory while avoiding obscurity
    • Gibbons refers to a variety of stage productions to make his points, giving the book a theatrical appeal
    • Gibbons is also General Editor of our New Cambridge Shakespeare
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'There is so much of interest in Brian Gibbon's Shakespeare and Multiplicity, each chapter warrants more attention than is here allowed. As an exercise in historicizing a play to open up new, important perspectives in a clear, subtle and engaging manner, his chapter on Cymbeline and Britain is exemplary, and this standard of criticism is sustained throughout the book … All this, and a consistently lively engagement with the plays as theatre, make this a stimulating and important study.' Year's Work in English Studies

    'Reading Shakespeare and Multiplicity feels like a release into a toboggan run. This study is lively, elegantly written, pluralistic in its approaches, and often brilliant in its observations … The result is a book that sparkles with insights not only into Shakespeare but also into Spenser, Sidney, Marlowe, Lodge, Jonson and Nash ... the book is at points so lively that I could not put it down.' C. E. McGee, Modern Language Review

    '[This] book offers, in its six main chapters, several of the best brief studies so far written about Shakespeare's use of literary sources … this is a distinguished book.' Notes and Queries

    'In this continuously stimulating book … studies … are all richly argued, informed by a strong sense of the plays in the theatre, and of the ways in which they can be remade in a contemporary context … This is a consistently readable book, free from jargon, but not therefore from subtlety.' David Lindley, Shakespeare Survey

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521031240
    • length: 256 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 138 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.335kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Fabled Cymbeline
    3. A speechless dialect: interpreting the human body in Shakespeare's plays
    4. Shakespeare's 'road of excess': Titus Andronicus, The Taming of the Shrew, King Lear
    5. Always topical: Measure for Measure
    6. Amorous fictions in As You Like It
    7. Unstable Proteus: Marlowe and Antony and Cleopatra
    8. Multiplicity

  • Author

    Brian Gibbons

Related Books

also by this author

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.