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Encyclopedias & Handbooks
A Dictionary of Shakespeare (Stanley Wells)
Compiled by one of the best-known authorities on the Bard's works, this dictionary offers up-to-date information on all aspects of Shakespeare in his own time and on his impact and influence on later ages. It includes entries on the plays and the major characters, on Shakespeare's life and his contemporaries, on actors from Edmund Kean to Peter O'Toole, on theatres and directors, plus comments on Shakespeare by later authors such as Jane Austen, Dr Johnson, and Bernard Levin.
All things Shakespeare : an Encyclopedia of Shakespeare's World - Humanities Reference PR 2892 .O56 2002
By Kirsten Olsen. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2002.
Biblical References in Shakespeare's Plays - Humanities Reference PR 3012.S53 1999
Naseeb Shaheen. Newark: University of Delaware; London; Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses, c1999.
Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare - Humanities Reference PR 2976 .O94x 2012
Who's Who and What's What in Shakespeare : Giving References by Topics to Notable Passages and Significant Expressions, Brief Histories of the Plays, Geographical Names and Historical Incidents, Mention of All Characters... - Humanities Reference PR 2892
By Evangeline M. O'Connor ; with a foreword by Alice Sachs. New York: Avenel Books: distributed by Crown Publishers, c1978.
William Shakespeare, a Textual Companion - Humanities Reference PR 3071 .W44 1987
By Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor, with John Jowett, and William Montgomery. Oxford [Oxfordshire] : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1987.
Shakespeare : a Study and Research Guide - Humanities Reference PR 2987 .B44x 1995
By David M. Bergeron & Geraldo U. de Sousa. 3rd ed., rev. Lawrence : University Press of Kansas, c1995.
The Shakespeare Name Dictionary - Humanities Reference PR 2892 .D33 1995
J. Madison Davis, A. Daniel Frankforter. New York : Garland, c1995.
Shakespeare's Language : a Glossary of Unfamiliar Words in Shakespeare's Plays & Poems - Humanities Reference PR 2892 .S447 1996
Eugene F. Shewmaker. New York : Facts On File, c1996.
A Dictionary of Shakespeare's Semantic Wordplay - Humanities Reference PR 2997 .P8 W47 1998
By Gilian West. Lewiston, NY : E. Mellen Press, 1998.
Oxford English Dictionary Online - OED
The OED Online contains the complete searchable text of over half a million words from the 20 volume 2nd Edition. The dictionary traces the usage of words through 2.5 million quotations, offers etymological analysis, listings of variant spellings, and shows pronunciations. 1000 new and revised entries added quarterly. NOTE: The reference to the hard copy of the Oxford English Dictionary is HUM REF PE 1625 .O87
Shakespearean Criticism : Excerpts from the Criticism of William Shakespeare's Plays and Poetry, From the First Published Appraisals to Current Evaluations - Humanities Reference PR 2965 .S43
A great source.Indexes are especially good: you can look up a theme, a motif, to learn where it's been treated in relation to a play, character, etc. Or, you can begin with a play, a specific character, and see the connections with theme and/or motif. Articles/essays (written by noteworthy, even famous critics/ contemporaries) are arranged in chronological order revealing trends in criticism over the life of the author/work. Full text.
Literature Criticism Online
Literary criticism essays covering all area of literature including including electronic version of writings found in Shakespearean Criticism print volumes.
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