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Shakespeare Lexicon and Quotation Dictionary, Vol. 1 [Paperback]

Alexander Schmidt
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 1 1971
Volume 1 of massive work by a leading Shakespeare scholar and lexicographer, a standard in the field, provides full definitions, locations, and shades of meaning in every word in Shakespeare's plays and poems. The two volumes contain more than 50,000 exact quotations, each precisely located. There is no other word dictionary comparable to this work.

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Shakespeare Lexicon and Quotation Dictionary, Vol. 1 + Shakespeare Lexicon and Quotation Dictionary, Vol. 2 + Shakespeare's Words
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remains an excellent tool April 6 2001
I assign a higher rating to Schmidt's lexicon than to C.T. Onions's *Shakespeare Glossary* (which I have also reviewed) for the reason that, although both compendiums by now do show their age, Schmidt's two volumes (one of course needs N-Z with this one) are all in all in many ways more comprehensive and informative than Onions's single-volume work (even after its updating by Eagleson).
Readers of Shakespeare should NOT assume that if they use an unannotated edition (e.g. the Oxford Complete Works) they will understand everything they read if only they consult Schmidt or Onions or both. For one thing, many words in Shakespeare look intelligible from a modern viewpoint, but in fact had a different meaning in Shakespeare's day: an uninitiated reader will miss many such instances if s/he does not use good annotated editions by expert scholars, who provide glosses for well-considered and essential reasons. And I do not even dwell on the need to be aware of bawdy puns (see my review of Onions), or of other specific usages (e.g. legal terms), on which a good deal of new work has been done in recent years. Therefore, purchase of valuable volumes like these should be seen as SUPPLEMENTARY to the use of good, carefully annotated editions. - Joost Daalder, Professor of English, Flinders University, South Australia
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars invaluable reference!!! March 22 1999
If you're reading or performing Shakespeare, this reference is absolutely invaluable. It defines for you the words you have no clue about, as well as shedding light on the words you thought you knew. The English in Shakespeare's canon is centuries if not worlds different from our own. For example, if a character refers to another character as a friend, you'd think you understand, right? Well, in this book you'll find that it can mean many many things such as 'lover,' or 'relative.' That is, of course, but one meager example. Check it out, you won't be sorry!
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This is, simply, the essential, definitive guide to the Bards language. Almost every word in every Shakespearean play is here, and instead of having to guess what the meaning is in relation to the play, each word is listed by play and meaning in each heading. It can even be used for other lexiconic purposes is you're having trouble trying to figure out what Shaw means in one of his passages from "Saint Joan", or Ibsen in "when We Dead Awaken". Unless they suddenly discover a new play by shakespeare, this reference will never go out of date.
And hey, it's not called the "Shakespeare Lexicon and Quotation Dictionary (Vol. 1 A-M)" for nothing, people. You're going to have to get the other one, but there's no real problem, because this is simply just the greatest lexicon ever for Shakespeare. Your search ends here if you ever need to understand the Bard words.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - but.... May 12 1999
By A Customer
I live in Hong Kong and had to wait 5 weeks for shipment of my book. Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and saw "Volume I - A-M" on the front cover! I'm ordering Vol. II today! I just wish I had known that there were 2 books when I ordered - it would have saved money and time!
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3.0 out of 5 stars A to M July 29 1998
By A Customer
Please note: this is only letters A-M. If you want N-Z as well, you need to buy volume 2 also!
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