Cambridge Univ Pr 'This is a groundbreaking book, the kind it is hard to believe hasn't already been written.' Shakespeare Survey Why did Shakespeare write drama? Did he have specific reasons for his choice of this art form? Did he have clearly defined aesthetic aims in what he wanted drama to do--and why? Kiernan opens a new area of debate in showing that Shakespeare rejected many of the theories of his age on poetry, history and art to create an original theory of drama. This lively, readable, but scholarly examination of works from different stages of the dramatist's career explores what Shakespeare wanted his drama to do and why.