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INTRODUCTION The three plays here presented were the outcome of a period when Björnson's views on many topics were undergoing a drastic revision and he was abandoning much of his previous orthodoxy in many directions. Two of them were written during, and one immediately after, a three years' absence from Norway—years spent almost entirely in southern Europe. [Note: Further details respecting Björnson's life will be found in the... more...

ACT I At the most wretched hour between a black night and a wintry morning in the year 1777, Mrs. Dudgeon, of New Hampshire, is sitting up in the kitchen and general dwelling room of her farm house on the outskirts of the town of Websterbridge. She is not a prepossessing woman. No woman looks her best after sitting up all night; and Mrs. Dudgeon's face, even at its best, is grimly trenched by the channels into which the barren forms and... more...

ACT IV SCENE I.   Cyprus.  Before the Castle. [Enter Othello and Iago.] IAGOWill you think so?OTHELLO                              Think so, Iago?IAGO                     ... more...

PROLOGUE. Scene.—A Russian Inn. Large door opening on snowy landscape at back of stage. Peter Sabouroff and Michael. Peter (warming his hands at a stove). Has Vera not come back yet, Michael? Mich. No, Father Peter, not yet; 'tis a good three miles to the post office, and she has to milk the cows besides, and that dun one is a rare plaguey creature for a wench to handle. Peter. Why didn't you go with her, you young fool? she'll... more...

FIRST ACT SCENE Morning-room in Algernon’s flat in Half-Moon Street.  The room is luxuriously and artistically furnished.  The sound of a piano is heard in the adjoining room. [Lane is arranging afternoon tea on the table, and after the music has ceased, Algernon enters.] Algernon.  Did you hear what I was playing, Lane? Lane.  I didn’t think it polite to listen, sir. Algernon.  I’m sorry for that,... more...


ACT  IV SCENE  I.  London.  Before the Tower [Enter, on one side, QUEEN ELIZABETH, DUCHESS of YORK, and MARQUIS of DORSET; on the other, ANNE DUCHESS of GLOSTER, leading LADY MARGARET PLANTAGENET, CLARENCE's young daughter.] DUCHESSWho meets us here?—my niece Plantagenet,Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloster?Now, for my life, she's wandering to the Tower,On pure heart's love, to greet the tender... more...

Sieur du Pleßis Marly. T seemes to mee strange, and a thing much to be marueiled, that the laborer to repose himselfe hasteneth as it were the course of the Sunne: that the Mariner rowes with all force to attayne the porte, and with a ioyfull crye salutes the descryed land: that the traueiler is neuer quiet nor content till he be at the ende of his voyage: and that wee in the meane while tied in this world to a perpetuall taske, tossed... more...

ACT I A country house on a terrace. In front of it a garden. In an avenue of trees, under an old poplar, stands a table set for tea, with a samovar, etc. Some benches and chairs stand near the table. On one of them is lying a guitar. A hammock is swung near the table. It is three o'clock in the afternoon of a cloudy day. MARINA, a quiet, grey-haired, little old woman, is sitting at the table knitting a stocking. ASTROFF is walking up and down... more...

PREFACE. The main rules which we proposed to ourselves in undertaking this Edition are as follows: 1. To base the text on a thorough collation of the four Folios and of all the Quarto editions of the separate plays, and of subsequent editions and commentaries. 2. To give all the results of this collation in notes at the foot of the page, and to add to these conjectural emendations collected and suggested by ourselves, or furnished to us by our... more...

INTRODUCTION TO SARDANAPALUS Byron's passion or infatuation for the regular drama lasted a little over a year. Marino Faliero, Sardanapalus, and the Two Foscari, were the fruits of his "self-denying ordinance to dramatize, like the Greeks ... striking passages of history" (letter to Murray, July 14, 1821, Letters, 1901, v. 323). The mood was destined to pass, but for a while the neophyte was spell-bound. Sardanapalus, a Tragedy, the second and,... more...