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Complete Works of William Shakespeare Leather Bound – Nov 1 2004


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Leather Bound, Nov 1 2004
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Product Details

  • Leather Bound: 1271 pages
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble Inc (Nov. 1 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760703329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760703328
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 6.4 x 24 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #324,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. A. Garrett on May 18 2002
Format: Leather Bound
This book is exactly what it claims to be: the complete works of Shakespere. I strongly disagree with the reviewer who believes this is a waste of money. It is beautifully bound, has clear type, and allows you to draw your own conclusions rather than depending on the Cliffs Note summary that a paperback single will provide you. Perhaps not for the student who needs to produce an essay by morning, it is still a lovely book that puts me in the mood for a glass of wine and a leisurely read.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A reader on Jan. 6 2004
Format: Leather Bound
I originally bought this book used and later discovered that this was the ideal situation. It is handy to have all of Shakespeare's works (plays and sonnets) under one cover, but there are several drawbacks. Each page is split into two columns, causing the plays to be read like a newspaper. Since linebreaks are important in Shakespeare (remember the iambic pentameter), some lines are too long for the margins, causing the remaining words to hover like ghosts away from the sentence.
Also, this book contains no footnotes. This is mainly how buying the individual play is superior to the collected works. Olde English isn't always intuitive, and this particular book leaves you to find out a word's meaning for yourself.
But this book certainly looks pretty on your shelf. :)
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By A Customer on June 11 2004
Format: Leather Bound
While Shakespeare was producing much of his work hundreds of years ago, he belongs to the Early Modern era of the English Language. This particular period started approximately 60 years before he was born.
Many of the comments seem to think that the stilted grammar and flow (that only occur to current speakers of the language)determine whether a work is written in Old English. Some have mentioned Beowulf, which very few have likely read untranslated. If you can't understand a translated work, blame the person who authored IT and not the original work.
Old English approximates a German sound. If one were to hear something read in OE, they may guess the language was an older form of German. Middle English, the sort you'll come across reading UNTRANSLATED Chaucer, is much closer to what many would recognize as an English sounding language. It was highly ornate and approximated and Irish sound.
Early Modern English is basically what we are provided with when encountering Shakespeare. The language isn't as difficult to navigate as the references, especially in Shakespeare, which are historical as well as contemporary.
When considering the importance of Shakespeare or works that came before him, it is useful to consider the endeavor as trying to find one's cultural heritage. Many of today's popular literature is founded, deeply, in what has come before us. Irreverance and often the backdrops surrounding our most beloved characters have references much older than many can imagine. Even Harry Potter closely resembles elements of Beowulf, Chaucer, and Shakespeare to name the 3 of the more recognizeable.
Literature that has come before our time does tend to get treated with a little too much reverance, but the reasons people consider these classics to be important can't be denied.
This volume, lacking footnotes and perverting line structure, is still nifty in it's economical purpose, and is worth owning if you can make use of it.
LL.
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By A Customer on Nov. 19 2003
Format: Leather Bound
I must say, after reading the "review" about shakespeare,
the one discussing the "cult of shakespeare"...
What is the point of this posting? It's not a review of the
particular volume, instead it is a rather caustic opinion of
Shakespeare, which focuses on current society's teaching
and appreciation of Shakespeare's works, and not
the actual works themselves. Why is this relevant, and
why has it been posted? Is it entertaining? Are we really
interested in his personal criteria for judging literature?
In defense of Shakespeare and this volume, whether it be
printed nicely or not, to have his works present is better
than to not, even if some might say it's only taking up
shelve space. I've come to his plays later in life, and
of my own volition. I need no glossary or interpreter.
Quite simply, there is a reason that Shakespeare is still
performed, and written about today, and it has nothing
whatsoever to do with this faceless cult conspiracy theory
that this guy is referring to. It doesn't exist.
What does exist is a great body of work which will provide
much pleasure and entertainment. I suggest that the
comments made by the cult conspiracy guy be taken with a grain
of salt. Some people just can't accept greatness in others,
even if they are dead, and must convince themselves that
the greatness is imagined.
Long Live Shakespeare (cult member since 2003)
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Format: Leather Bound
The very idea of reviewing or giving stars to Shakespeare in this format is superfluous: he is the epitome of English literature. The source and inspiration for many subsequent classics, the well from which many popular expressions have sprung, the basis for many brilliant (and not-so-brilliant) stage and film renditions of these classics -- Shakespeare's literary greatness lies universally ackwnoledged and unquestioned. In reviewing any edition of the man's works, then, the reviewer's task is not to comment upon the work itself, but the presentation. This Gramercy edition of The Complete Works (yes, that's all 37 plays -- comedies, histories, and tragedies -- as well as all of the poems, sonnets included) is the most popular and widely-available -- and inexpensive -- version available. Is it the best? Well, no. Other reviews of this edition have commented upon its shortcomings -- extremely small print; very tight and hard-to-read layout; no margins for notes; no footnotes or annotations; no background information on the plays; errors, typos, and generally questionable editing. That said, this edition may have what you're looking for. It does indeed contain the complete works; it also has a few other small incentives: a hard cover that looks great on a bookshelf, a built-in bookmarker, and various illustrations. Clearly, this is not an omnibus for the Shakespeare scholar. If you want an edition of the bard for in-depth study or for academic use, you are better off buying more expansive editions of the individual plays themselves, with plenty of background info, notes, annotations, and space for your own writing; or else one of the more expensive editions of the Complete Works. That said, if you are just looking for a Shakespeare book that has all of his works in one place, that is convenient and, above all, inexpensive -- or you just want a Shakespeare tome sitting on your dust-ridden bookshelf to impress friends -- then you could do worse than picking up this.
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