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Cynthia Anne Greenwood

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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Shakespeare's Plays
by Cynthia Anne Greenwood   

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Category: 

Literary Criticism

Publisher:  Penguin/Alpha Books ISBN-10:  1592577083 Type: 
Pages: 

368

Copyright:  April 8, 2008 ISBN-13:  9781592577088
Non-Fiction

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Price: $9.99 (eBook)
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Cynthia Greenwood

A handy reference to 20 major plays by William Shakespeare and his lesser-performed works. A guide to famous speeches and quotations and making sense of Elizabethan English. A look at how the plays have been staged, from the earliest playhouses to contemporary auditoriums. Tips on popular and acclaimed film and audio versions.

 Here art thou real Shakespeare. 

Shakespeare was at the forefront of Western show business. (Most Americans don’t think about Shakespeare as a highly talented entrepreneur – they think of him as the author of plays they couldn’t get excited about in school.) Most of us love the idea of going backstage on Broadway or going behind the scenes to learn how movies and documentaries are made. This book brings you closer to the heady world of freelance playwriting and the London playhouses of the 1590s. It also lends insight into decisions that today’s theatre people make while acting and staging Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Hamlet, and Macbeth, to name a few.

Remember - Shakespearean theatre is a social art form. 

This guide focuses on the essence of the spoken word of Shakespeare's plays rather than simply dissecting them. It also explores the cultural and historical contexts for the major plays, offering the director’s and actor’s perspective in addition to that of the scholar and close reader.


• Each major play is explored in depth, explaining Shakespearean terms
• Offers commentary on the experience of each play on and off stage with attention to language and verse
• Appendixes include Shakespeare’s likely collaborations, a glossary, suggested further reading, and resources for viewing live performances and video/audio recordings
• Perfect for students, general readers, theatergoers, and actors

 

Excerpt
Here art thou real Shakespeare.

Shakespeare was at the forefront of Western show business. (Most Americans don’t think about Shakespeare as a highly talented entrepreneur – they think of him as the author of plays they couldn’t get excited about in school.) Most of us love the idea of going backstage on Broadway or going behind the scenes to learn how movies and documentaries are made. This book brings you closer to the heady world of freelance playwriting and the London playhouses of the 1590s. It also lends insight into decisions that today’s theatre people make while acting and staging Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Hamlet, and Macbeth, to name a few.

Remember - Shakespearean theatre is a social art form.

This guide focuses on the essence of the spoken word of Shakespeare's plays rather than simply dissecting them. It also explores the cultural and historical contexts for the major plays, offering the director’s and actor’s perspective in addition to that of the scholar and close reader.

• Each major play is explored in depth, explaining Shakespearean terms
• Offers commentary on the experience of each play on and off stage with attention to language and verse
• Appendixes include Shakespeare’s likely collaborations, a glossary, suggested further reading, and resources for viewing live performances and video/audio recordings
• Perfect for students, general readers, theatergoers, and actors




Professional Reviews

Going to a Shakespeare Play? Read this Book.
Ms Greenwood certainly knows Shakespeare and her passion shows. The book is well written and so in depth. This book is must reading for anyone planning to see a Shakespearean production. It gives the reader a better appreciation of what should be seen on stage. It will also influence the viewer when watching a "bad interpretation" of a character as well. This book helps answer the question, "Why should I care about about a Shakespearean play?" Daniel J. Dunmire

For all theatre students
A handy reference for all theatre students. Something you'd want on your desk at home when you are pulling for inspiration for an audition tomorrow, or preparing for a final and need "a quick take" on a specific text or general Elizabethan background. The "Idiot's Guide Series" comes through again with a helping hand!

Enjoy Shakespeare
I never understood Sharespeare's plays well enough to really enjoy them. After reading this guide I went back to re-read some of the plays and I did enjoy them a lot because I started to understand many more of the undercurrents of the plays. I also let go of the stupid idea of trying to understand every row ... given I'm not a native speaker that would have been almost impossible.

Once I did that things started to click and it became good fun ... to the point that I couldn't go to sleep until finishing the guide. I have only the explanations of the individual plays left to read.


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