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Complete Works [Paperback]

William Shakespeare
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 5 2001 1903436613 978-1903436615
The Complete Arden Shakespeare , published for the first time in hardback in 1998, is now available in an updated paperback edition. The Complete Arden Shakespeare contains the texts of all Shakespeare's plays, edited by leading Shakespeare scholars for the renowned Arden Shakespeare series. The paperback edition includes eight newly revised playtexts as published in the Arden Third Series since 1998. A general introduction by the three General Editors of the ongoing Arden Shakespeare series gives the reader an overall view of how and why Shakespeare has become such an influential cultural icon, and how perceptions of his work have changed in the intervening four centuries. The introduction summarises the known facts about the dramatist's life, his reading and use of sources, and the nature of theatrical performance during his lifetime. Brief introductions to each play, written specially for this volume by the Arden General Editors, discuss the date and contemporary context of the play, its position within Shakespeare's oeuvre, and its subsequent performance history. An extensive glossary explains vocabulary which may be unfamiliar to modern readers.

¨ The sound, reliable, critical edition of Shakespeare's work available for the first time in paperback. ¨ Updated and revised to include akk if the ediitions currently available in the Arden Third Series. ¨ Includes The Two Noble Kinsmen, the Poems, and the Sonnets ¨ General introduction by the arden General Editors ¨ Brief contextual introductions to each play ¨ Glossary with about 400 entries


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About the Author

Richard Proudfoot is Emeritus Professor and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of English Studies in the University of London. He is the author of Shakespeare: Text, Stage, and Cannon and numerous essays on Shakespeare. He is a general editor of the Arden Shakespeare.

Ann Thompson is Professor of English Language and Literature and Head of the School of Humanities at King's College London. She has edited Hamlet for Arden and The Taming of the Shrew for Cambridge University Press. Her other publications include Shakespeare's Chaucer, Shakespeare, Meaning and Metaphor (with John O. Thompson), and Women Reading Shakespeare, 1660-1900 (with Sasha Roberts). She has also published widely on editing Shakespeare and Shakespeare's language. She is one of the general editors of the Arden Shakespeare.

David Scott Kastan is the Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, New York. His publications include Shakespeare and the Book, Shakespeare after Theory, and Shakespeare and the Shapes of Time. In addition, he has edited A Companion to Shakespeare, A New History of Early English Drama (with John Cox), and Staging the Renaissance (with Peter Stallybrass). He is one of the general editors of the Arden Shakespeare.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
On the evidence of Francis Meres in Palladis Tamia, by 1598 Shakespeare was known to have written 'sugared sonnets' and to have circulated them among his 'private friends'. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easiest Complete Shakespeare To Really Use Aug. 27 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I love this book. Having said that, let me tell you what you'll get, and what you won't. This is a good time for Shakespeare scholarship and Arden, Cambridge, Oxford, and others are doing wonders at giving us the best editions of the plays we've ever had. This is no mean feat considering we have nothing in Shakespeare's hand or editorship to give us hints of what he wanted the final version of these works to be. If you know anything about how theatre of that period was done, it's surprising anything came down to us. Pretty much any modern edition will give you the latest in the usual stable of plays. What sets apart the editions is their inclusion of two works: Two Noble Kinsmen (co-authored with Fletcher) and King Edward III. TNK is usually included in modern editions as it is in this one, for the most part accepted into the Shakespeare canon. Its provenance is fairly well understood now. KE3, on the other hand, has some provenance difficulties. But, the modern scholars of Cambridge and Oxford, I read, have accepted it. Those are very heady recommendations. Arden, I saw somewhere, is said to have also accepted it into the canon. But alas, KE3 is not in this volume. In fact, the only KE3 published that I know is a paperback in the New Cambridge series, and a good one it is. I haven't seen an Oxford edition yet. As for the rest, this book is a handsome paperback, fits easily on your lap and lays open nicely. The text is probably 10pt, but nicely spaced and easy to read. The characters' speeches are nicely separated. It's the edition I use for reading my Shakespeare. I use the Pelican paperbacks when I'm learning lines for my next role. I always hope somebody will use the new Oxford "theatrical" versions for performance, but nobody has offered me a role with it yet. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine as a reference April 11 2003
Format:Paperback
Arden's edition of Shakespeare's works is an essential item in everyone's shelter. It's a great buy (for a carefully sought edition), but it lacks the critical discussion of the single-play edition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  34 reviews
204 of 212 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Reader, Beware! Aug. 25 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
For those of us who love (and rely on) the individual editions of the Arden Shakespeare, the Complete Works is a huge disappointment. What has always made the Arden editions stand out from the others is the in-depth scholarly analyses and copious footnotes. The footnotes alone are worth the price of a copy but, guess what? In this edition, they've disposed of all but the most general of critical apparatus. Unfortunately, this serves to make this complete edition just another big book to put on your shelf to impress your friends. Curious readers who want assistance with the complex Elizabethan language in the plays will be much better served by the Folger or Bantam editions. That is, at least until someone gets smart and brings back all the individual Arden editions that have been allowed to go out of print! What were they thinking?
57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but inconvenient Nov. 15 2005
By JM Blackie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After discovering to my horror that my carefully boxed volumes of the Temple Shakespeare had gone to mold and stain, I sat around for a year or more with nothing but one of these "club" books printed on onion skin paper, with teeny-tiny print and nothing but "some" (?) editorial version of the plays. I needed to get my hands on something to use, something convenient, not expensive and all inclusive. The Arden Trade paperback edition was my first choice due to the respect generated by this edition and editors. Also, as it was not a hardcover, I envisioned myself happily schlepping it about with me on the subway, on the plane or train.... This was not to be.

1) The volume is HUGE and heavy and too unwieldy - trying to make notes or highlight this while moving about in public transportation is impossible.

2) As noted elsewhere, if an unfamiliar or forgotten archaic word pops up, you need to put your finger in your place, flop over to the back of the book (somewhere) to the glossary and hope the definition is there. There are NO footnotes; therefore, no on-the-go interpretation or editorial explanation of the line/word.

3) The essays and editorial intros are okay, but not as valuable or lengthy/specific as I've found in the Pelican/Penguin individually published volumes - one play, one volume.

If you're intending to use this for purposes I've described and are not such a Shakespearean scholar that you still need help from time to time with an explanatory note or definition, then stay away from this one and get the singles. I now have 4 collections of Complete Works, still searching for the "perfect" one. Riverside is closest to perfect, I love my very old Signet edited by Barnet and keep it at work for lunch hour browsing/reading. I have the Bevington 4th edition on order (I buy most stuff used at the Amazon marketplace and their competitors or I'd be broke) based on word of mouth.

But still-- day to day, I use the Pelican single play copies and mark the heck out of them without worrying about reducing their worth by this practice. Your call.
50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I must agree Feb. 1 2000
By N. Schively - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I must agree with the reviewers who rated this volume so low because of the lack of footnotes. I remember being introduced to the individual Arden copies when I was acting in college - the footnotes were SUPERB, much better, more authoritative, more in-depth than anything else out there. I was hoping for the same with this collected works - but was quite disappointed not to find it.
50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What happened to the notes?! Oct. 21 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I bought the famed Arden ed. of the Works of Shakespeare, shrink-wrapped. I peeled it open in glee...opened it...and...and...NO NOTES! What a waste of hard-earned money. I'd say stick with the individual plays in the Arden series in paperback. Sheesh!! (I rate the "book" two stars; Shakespeare gets five.)
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for Teaching Nov. 8 2007
By Glenn Odom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have taught several Shakespeare classes with several different texts. In the interest of my student's pocket-books I chose this complete works. The lack of editorial notes makes it unusable in class. I am also surprised by the decision to alphabetize the plays rather than arrange by date of composition (or presumed date of composition.)This is a sturdy volume, for a paperback, which is a mark in its favor, but the Riverside will be my edition of choice in all future classes.
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