A balanced editorial approach, a highly respected editor, and comprehensive glosses, footnotes, and historical and cultural essays make this the most reader-friendly introduction to Shakespeare available today. The fifth edition of this comprehensive anthology addresses the two key issues confronted by readers approaching Shakespeare today: a lack of knowledge about the historical period and difficulty with the language of Shakespeare's plays. A richly illustrated general introduction offers insight into Shakespeare's England and background on the literary and cultural contexts in which Shakespeare wrote and produced plays. Each play is introduced by a descriptive essay designed to help the reader appreciate the cultural contexts and interpretive issues raised by the play -- without dictating their interpretations. Thoroughly revised and updated notes and glosses provide additional support to understanding the language of Shakespeare's time.
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The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Sixth Edition
Why do we need a new edition of Shakespeare’s plays? Listen to what David Bevington has to say in his preface to this sixth edition:
“No period in history has seen such an extensive study of Shakespeare, and no period has experienced so many revolutions in critical method: feminist, new historical, deconstructive, post-colonial, and more. My attempt has been [constantly] to reeducate myself, to learn more about the complexities of meaning and the innumerable alternative possibilities that present themselves to the student of Shakespeare. Above all, I have tried to learn how to improve accessibility and clarity for today’s reader in the interpretation of this extraordinary body of dramatic literature.
My hope is that the sixth edition offers students and general readers the most accessible and usable Shakespeare anthology on the market.”
Surely one of today’s premier Shakespeare scholars, David Bevington is also an extraordinary teacher whose concern is always how to make these remarkable plays compelling for every reader. Bevington’s work addresses the primary problems most of us have with reading Shakespeare–an unfamiliarity both with the historical period and with the challenging language–by providing a comprehensive General Introduction that offers wide-ranging historical, cultural, and critical context for our reading, as well as clear, accessible, line-by-line glosses for the sometimes bewildering Elizabethan language and idioms. At a time when many of us come to Shakespeare by way of film, Bevington brings us back to the wonder of the words.
Also available: VangoNotes: How to Study Shakespeare offers a new way to hear and experience Shakespeare’s language through downloadable podcasts.
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