In the thirty years since thepublication of Stephen Greenblatt's Renaissance Self-Fashioningoverthrew traditional modes of Shakespeare criticism, New Historicism and CulturalMaterialism have rapidly become the dominant modes for studying and writingabout the Bard. This comprehensive guide introduces students to the keywriters, texts and ideas of contemporary Shakespeare criticism and alternativesto new historicist and cultural materialist approaches suggested by a range ofdissenters including evolutionary critics, historical formalists and advocatesof 'the new aestheticism', and the more politically active presentists. Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory covers such topics as: The key theoreticalinfluences on new historicism including Michel Foucault and Louis Althusser.The major critics, from Stephen Greenblatt to Jonathan Dollimore and AlanSinfield. Dissenting views from traditional critics and contemporary theorists. Chapter summaries and questions for discussion throughout encourage students tocritically engage with contemporary Shakespeare theory for themselves. The bookincludes a 'Who's Who' of major critics, a timeline of key publications and aglossary of essential critical terms to give students and teachers easy accessto essential information.