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The complete works of William Shakespeare, with themes of the plays Hardcover – 1937


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: New York : W. J. Black; 1st Edition edition (1937)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007DRHNS
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 13.5 x 4.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 794 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

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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 richardpinneau.com on Oct. 18 2002
Format: Leather Bound
If you got a copy of Shakespeare's works, you might like to be able to rely on the text it presents. That would require knowing the credentials of the editor, the currency of the editing, etc...The price is excellent - what the reader receives, well... caveat emptor.
Value to beginners: none (no background on the plays, glosses of difficult words, etc.)
Value to adv. students: none .
Value to scholars: less than none.
Judge this book by its cover: not. Attractive cover hides printed pages that appear to be facsimiles of archaic, crammed-type pages from some bygone era.
Perhaps you think, 'Well, at least it's a cheap way to get a copy of the complete plays.' A few months of reading modern, respectable editions (e.g., from Routledge/Arden, Cambridge, or Oxford) for any popular Shakespeare play will help a newcomer realize that for almost all Shakespeare plays determining what is 'the text' is a vast conundrum; nay: an oxymoron. As with many aspects of Shakespeare study, 'tis not so easy: for most plays there are multiple alternative *original sources* - differing in important ways from each other. What sources did the editor of the Gramercy edition use? Well, if the publisher does not deem it necessary even to credit the editor's name in this volume or to acknowledge how outdated the editorial work is...
A better use of your money is to buy a modern edition of single plays. Even the inexpensive Folger Library paperbacks give beginners helpful definitions for difficult words.
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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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