Manchester University Press
School of Arts and Humanities
Of all the poets Francis Meres names in his famous Palladis Tamia, Wits Treasury (1598), just two rate a mention as being both 'our best for tragedy' and 'the best poets for comedy': William Shakespeare and George Chapman. All Fools, written in 1599, is the only Elizabethan comedy based directly on the plays of Terence. By taking episodes and characters from two brilliant works, The Self-Tormenter and The Brothers, Chapman creates something that is distinctly Elizabethan while remaining faithful to the spirit of the great Roman master. In this edition, an extensive introduction and commentary show how Chapman combines the literary and theatrical traditions of ancient Rome with everyday life in his own time to fashion a sparkling and innovative comedy that will delight audiences today as much as it did those of 1599.