Table of Contents

Upstart crow.
Three early readers.
Poet and gentleman.
The rival poets.
Silver-tongued Melicert.
Groom of the chamber.
Sweet swan of Avon! "She examines Shakespeare's reputation both from his own viewpoint and from that of his contemporaries, and considers hostile responses as well as admiring ones. Arguing that Shakespeare was a powerful actor as well as a poet throughout his career, Katherine Duncan-Jones finds testimony to his already performing as well as writing during his teenage years in Stratford. At the other end of the chronological spectrum, elegies on him between 1616 and 1623 lament his physical departure from the public stage as well as the end of his creative life"--Back cover.