David Bevington (emeritus)

David Bevington (emeritus)
Phyllis Fay Horton Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus
  • Department of English
  • Department of Comparative Literature
Gates-Blake 510
(773) 702-9899

August 2019

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of beloved teacher and scholar, David Bevington.


It is my pleasure and my honor to teach drama at the University of Chicago, focusing on Shakespeare and his contemporaries (Jonson, Marlowe, Webster, Middleton, Dekker, etc.), as well as medieval drama and then the entire sweep of Western drama from Aeschylus and Sophocles down to Caryl Churchill and Tom Stoppard. In addition to courses on Shakespeare, Renaissance drama, and medieval drama, I co-teach in Theater and Performance Studies ((variously with Heidi Coleman, Director of University Theater, John Muse, English Department, and Drew Dir, resident dramaturg at Court Theatre) a two-quarter sequence called The History and Theory of Drama from the 5th century B.C. down to the present day. I am Chair of Theater and Performance Studies. My critical writing and scholarship reflect to a large degree these same passionate interests. I am a senior editor of the Revels Plays, which publishes critical editions of plays of Shakespeare's contemporaries, and I am senior editor of a series of paperbacks called Revels Student Editions. Until recently and for many years I taught in a core humanities course at the University of Chicago on Greek Thought and Literature, from Homer and Herodotus down to Aristophanes and Plato. Here, and in a course on the Renaissance that I love to teach as well, I get a chance to teach nondramatic poetry and prose! I also teach in the Master of Liberal Arts program at the Gleacher Center of the University of Chicago in downtown Chicago.

Work in Progress

I am one of three senior editors of the Cambridge Edition of The Works of Ben Jonson, published in 2012. We are still at work on an electronic edition of the same work, to appear subsequently. I am also preparing an on-line edition of Hamlet for Internet Shakespeare Editions.


2017-2018 Courses: Autumn 2017, Shakespeare and the Ancient Classical World (graduate & undergraduate).

Graduate: History and Theory of Drama I and II; Renaissance English drama; medieval drama; focused topics in Shakespeare including The Greek and Roman Plays, The Young Shakespeare and the Drama That He Knew, Shakespeare at the Opera; A course in the Master of Liberal Arts program on The Renaissance as an Age of Discovery

Undergraduate: History and Theory of Drama I and II; Renaissance English drama; medieval drama; focused topics in Shakespeare including The Greek and Roman Plays, The Young Shakespeare and the Drama That He Knew, Shakespeare at the Opera

This Wide and Universal Theater: by David Bevington

Shakespeare: by David Bevington

Selected Publications

  • Murder Most Foul: "Hamlet" Through the Ages (Oxford University Press, 2011)
  • Shakespeare and Biography (Oxford University Press, 2010)
  • Shakespeare's Ideas: More Things in Heaven and Earth (2008)
  • This Wide and Universal Theater: Shakespeare in Performance Then and Now (University of Chicago Press, 2007)
  • Shakespeare:  The Seven Ages of Human Experience (Blackwell Publishing, 2002), 2nd ed., 2005
  • with Peter Holbrook (eds.).  The Politics of the Stuart Court Masque (Cambridge University Press, 1998)
  • Action Is Eloquence:  Shakespeare's Language of Gesture (Harvard University Press, 1984)
  • Tudor Drama and Politics:  A Critical Approach to Topical Meaning (Harvard University Press, 1968)
  • From "Mankind" to Marlowe:  Growth of Structure in the Popular Drama of Tudor England (Harvard University Press, 1962)
  • ed. The Bantam Shakespeare, 2nd. ed., 29 Individual Paperbacks (Various Dates)
  • ed. As You Like It (Shakespeare Internet Editions, on line; Broadview Press, 2012)
  • ed. The Complete Works of Shakespeare, 7th ed. (Longman/Pearson, 2013)
  • ed. Norton Anthology of Renaissance Drama (Norton, 2002)
  • ed. Troilus and Cressida (Arden, 1998)
  • with Eric Rasmussen, ed., Doctor Faustus, A and B-Texts, by Christopher Marlowe (Manchester University Press, 1993)
  • ed. Antony and Cleopatra (Cambridge University Press, 1990), new ed., 2005, 2012
  • ed. Henry IV, Part I (Oxford University Press, 1987)
  • ed. Medieval Drama (Houghton Mifflin, 1975), new ed., Hackett Publishing, 2012

Recent Articles and Writings

  • "The Alchemist: The Critical Backstory" (Commissioned by Helen Ostovich and Erin Julian, for a forthcoming Continuum volume on The Alchemist)
  • "The Debate about Shakespeare and Religion," in Shakespeare and the Varieties of Early Modern Religious Thought, ed. David Loewenstein and Michael Whitmore (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming)
  • "Shakespeare Spinoffs: The Merchant of Venice," in The Shakespeare Spinoffs, ed. Amy Scott-Douglas, Courtney Lehmann, and Marguerite Ripley, Reproducing Shakespeare, ed. Kathy Rowe and Tom Cartelli (Palgrave MacMillan, forthcoming)
  • "A World Elsewhere: Shakespeare's Representation of National Types on the Continent and in the British Isles," in The Cambridge World Shakespeare Encyclopedia: Cambridge World Shakespeare Online, ed. Bruce Smith and Aimara da Cunha Resende (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming)
  • "The Shifting Canon: Trends in Recent Renaissance Drama Collections," Renaissance Drama 40, a fortieth year anniversary issue, ed. William West and Jeffrey Masten (Forthcoming, 2012)
  • "Staging Options in the Three Early Texts of Hamlet," in Early Modern Texts and Performance: Studies in Honor of Susan Fischer, ed. Barbara Fujica and Katherine Faull (Forthcoming, 2012)
  • "Sonnet 129," in The Facts on File Companion to Shakespeare, ed. William Baker and Ken Womack, 5 vols. (Facts on File, 2012)
  • "Marriage Negotiations as Instruments of Diplomacy in Shakespeare's History Plays" (Prague Congress meeting of the Shakespeare International Association, July 18-22, 2011)
  • "Shakespeare's Development of Theatrical Genres; Genre as Adaptation in the Comedies and Histories," in Shakespeare and Genre: From Early Modern Inheritances to Postmodern Legacies, ed. Anthony R. Guneratne (St. Martin's Press, 2011), 19-37
  • "The Magic of Theatre," in Shakespeare Theatre Company: Guide to the Seasons's Plays, 2010-2011 Season, 10-13
  • Consultant and member of the advisory board, authoring various entries, The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. (University of Chicago Press, 2010)


Ph.D., Harvard University, 1959. Teaching at Chicago since 1967.