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The Riverside Shakespeare Hardcover – Dec 31 1996


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Hardcover, Dec 31 1996
CDN$ 112.39 CDN$ 43.33

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 2080 pages
  • Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing; 2 edition (Dec 31 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395754909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395754900
  • Product Dimensions: 25.7 x 20.8 x 6.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jordan Cox on April 7 2003
Format: Hardcover
I haven't read the other completed works extensively (although the Bevington and Norton editions seem to be the ones most highly praised), but the footnote format of the Riverside is so irritating that I'm selling the copy I bought last year for the first half of my 2nd-year Shakespeare survey course, and picking up either the Norton or the Bevington (although I have yet to personally see Bevington's footnote format). As was stated before, here are the problems with the annotation/footnotes:
The lines are numbered in a standard "every-fifth-line" format. This would be fine if we as readers weren't required to know exactly what line we're on at all times, but the footnotes demand this.
For example:
"Therefore thy threat'ning colors now wind up" is King John, V.ii.73. Unless you are counting the actual number of each line in your head as you read (impossible, it seems) you will only know we're on line 73 when you look over to the right, see lines 70 and 75 marked, and then quickly estimate/count the lines in between. The problem is the note at the bottom, which simply says:
73. wind: furl.
Like the earlier reviewer said, to figure out whether or not a footnote exists, you must read a line or two, determine what line number(s) you've just read through a line-counting process, and then go down to the footnotes to see if anything matches. Once you've matched the line number to the footnote, you have to go back to the line and find the word that's footnoted, because it's not marked in any way.
The Norton method (while some find it intrusive) is certainly easier for students, and the Bevington method sounds interesting (giving the line numbers in the margin only where there is a footnote existsing). The Riverside is just too irritating for most students to use.
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By Mark on Jan. 29 2008
Format: Hardcover
in response to 'Much Better to Use Than Norton', Harold Bloom wrote that the New Oxford edition was the worst, I don't know which version this is based on.
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By A Customer on Feb. 24 2004
Format: Hardcover
I bought this edition after using the Norton in my last semester Shakespeare class, and have found my reading of the plays for this semester's class much more enjoyable. The format is beautiful: the pages are thicker, lie flatter, and hold more content. Unlike the Norton, whose footnote numbers interrupt the reading of the text, forcing you to lose momemtum, the Riverside's are unobtrusive, available if you need them and when you want them. The introductions are prescient, interesting, and well-written. The text itself is more accurate, also. Harold Bloom, for example, in his introduction to The Invention of The Human, says he uses the Riverside and Arden, and that the Oxford (upon which the Norton is based) tries to publish the worst possible poetry. This I found amusing, if not also accurate.
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Format: Hardcover
My favorite part of acting are the the little rituals that ALL actors have. As a young actor, and one who hopes to focus mainly on the classical stage, my most important ritual is reading the play for the first time, unencumbered by ideas of "How am I going to do this?" I like to sit with a nice stogie and a drink and read the thing for all that's there. Not just my part. That being said. I love this edition of Shakespeare more than any other. It seems to me to be fairly close to the first folio and has a good deal of notes, while not too intrusive in the flow of reading. It feels like a great religious tome. And I hauled it all over London for a summer for an added workout. Great!!
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Format: Hardcover
As an actor, director, and scholar, I must say that The Riverside Shakespeare is the most complete Shakespeare collection on the market. It is an excellent buy for anyone who will be studying the plays in depth, since it gives background in the introduction as well as extensive notes to the text. This text clarifies some tricky questions about the Bard's works. Its value lies in the careful attention to detail, but this does mean that the reader looking for specific elements will have to sort through a wealth of information -- not necessarily a bad thing, yes? I highly recommend this to anyone serious about Shakespeare.
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