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The Arden Shakespeare Complete Works Paperback Edi Paperback – 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Arden (2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903436613
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903436615
  • Product Dimensions: 18.3 x 5.6 x 26.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #935,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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 (beta) HASH(0x9a395108) out of 5 stars 44 reviews
237 of 246 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a767aec) out of 5 stars Reader, Beware! Aug. 25 1999
By A Customer - Published on
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?
64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a3961ec) out of 5 stars Very good, but inconvenient Nov. 15 2005
By JM Blackie - Published on
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.
57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a3cb660) out of 5 stars I must agree Feb. 1 2000
By N. Schively - Published on
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.
53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a393744) out of 5 stars What happened to the notes?! Oct. 21 1999
By A Customer - Published on
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.)
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ab48bb4) out of 5 stars Incomplete Works March 16 2009
By Shakes Lady Sarah - Published on
Format: Paperback
As an actress, I often use the individual Arden play texts. The footnotes are numbered as such and touch on not only definitions, but expressions, historical figures, and locations. These appear at the bottom of the page where the word or phrase appears. This "in-complete works" lacks these. It contains only definitions in a glossary at the back of the book. Not helpful in the world of acting and even less so as a teaching reference. Very disappointing.