Although many of Shakespeare’s allusions would have been familiar to the theater-goers of his day, we’ve come a long way from the language of the Globe Theater. This indispensable dictionary helps modern readers and audiences find their way back to the Elizabethan stage. With more than 3,000 entries, it encompasses all of the plays as well as the poems and sonnets. In addition to the historical, mythical, and fictitious characters themselves, the coverage extends to their references to other people, places, literature, and legends.
Who’s Who in Shakespeare offers an alphabetical guide to these names. It provides a specific identity and context for each, with quotations from the works in which they appear, from the sources which Shakespeare may himself have used, and from the writings of his contemporaries. The author has also contributed his own comments on the accuracy of some of the historical and geographical references, and on the links between the playwright’s life and his choices of names.
Entries for major characters feature brief analyses of their roles, arranged scene by scene. The plays appear under their individual titles, with details of their original publication and probable date of composition. A useful appendix contains family trees of the important ruling and noble houses at the time of the Wars of the Roses, plus a catalog of works included in the First Folio.