Complete Works of William Shakespeare Leather Bound – Nov 1 2004
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About the Author
William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
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Top Customer Reviews
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. :)
It really does matter what text one buys, as various editions differ greatly in the quality of what they produce. It is by no means the case that all editions of Shakespeare offer the same text, as one would expect if one bought a work by a modern author. Furthermore, it is impossible to read Shakespeare - even if you are a specialist in Renaissance literature - without plenty of help, none of which is supplied in this edition. A good edition, like that produced by David Bevington, or the Riverside, will contain the following helpful components as a minimum: a comprehensive introduction to Shakespeare and his work generally; reasonably full analytical/interpretative introductions to individual works; lists of further reading (referring the reader to other helpful commentators); and above all - most essentially - useful explanatory notes on words, phrases, and sentences difficult to understand. Of these there are a great many. Anyone who approaches Shakespeare as a modern reader without knowledgde of the language of his period will soon find all sorts of words and grammatical usages that obviously are no longer current. But even more treacherous are those many instances of words that LOOK the same, but MEAN something very different, as a result of the fact that the meaning of words changes over time.Read more ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
The title is completely misleading as the book is far from the "complete" works.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
This compilation was/is targeted for the American college student. It has worked the originals into more comprehensible or approachable versions. Read morePublished on Dec 15 2013 by jdfx
I think that the price is too high for the finished product. The leather does not look real and the book is smaller than I thought.Published on Dec 8 2013 by S. F. Semeniuk
This book does not contain long winded dissertations or explanations. We have no distracting, no annotations, and foot notes; in fact nothing to distract us from the pure... Read morePublished on Oct. 15 2013 by Bernie
Complete works from the best play writer of all time, best English language writer of all time.
Comedy，Tragedy，History Plays and Sonnets/ Poetry all in one. Read more
Accomplishes what you would expect. Due to its size, you can read one of the plays in a mere 20 pages (in contrast to the single plays which are often sold as 200 page books). Read morePublished on Sept. 18 2013 by Gabe
For anyone working in this field, this edition is the standard reference work. If you refer to any other edition for quotations or line numbers likely as not the journal editors... Read morePublished on March 25 2013 by Oliver R. Baker