Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction; 2. Fabled Cymbeline; 3. A speechless dialect: interpreting the human body in Shakespeare's plays; 4. Shakespeare's 'road of excess': Titus Andronicus, The Taming of the Shrew, King Lear; 5. Always topical: Measure for Measure; 6. Amorous fictions in As You Like It; 7. Unstable Proteus: Marlowe and Antony and Cleopatra; 8. Multiplicity; Notes; Bibliography; Index.
In this 1993 book, Gibbons presents multiplicity as a way of understanding the form of Shakespeare's plays.
'There is so much of interest in Brian Gibbon's Shakespeare and Multiplicity, each chapter warrants more attention than is here allowed. As an exercise in historicizing a play to open up new, important perspectives in a clear, subtle and engaging manner, his chapter on Cymbeline and Britain is exemplary, and this standard of criticism is sustained throughout the book ... All this, and a consistently lively engagement with the plays as theatre, make this a stimulating and important study.' Year's Work in English Studies 'Reading Shakespeare and Multiplicity feels like a release into a toboggan run. This study is lively, elegantly written, pluralistic in its approaches, and often brilliant in its observations ... The result is a book that sparkles with insights not only into Shakespeare but also into Spenser, Sidney, Marlowe, Lodge, Jonson and Nash ... the book is at points so lively that I could not put it down.' C. E. McGee, Modern Language Review '[This] book offers, in its six main chapters, several of the best brief studies so far written about Shakespeare's use of literary sources ... this is a distinguished book.' Notes and Queries 'In this continuously stimulating book ... studies ... are all richly argued, informed by a strong sense of the plays in the theatre, and of the ways in which they can be remade in a contemporary context ... This is a consistently readable book, free from jargon, but not therefore from subtlety.' David Lindley, Shakespeare Survey