YA-An interesting study of Shakespeare's comedies, tragedies, romances, and poems for readers with a good understanding of the Bard's work. Each play is given a brief, insightful analysis, which provides a fresh look at familiar characters and themes. For example, Charney explores the problematic definition of "tragedy" as it applies to Romeo and Juliet, and the effect of the play's climax on the teens. The poetry section does not laboriously debate the identities of the Dark Lady and the Friend in the sonnets, but emphasizes recurring images and dramatic devices. An excellent resource for serious students.
Pat McSwain, R.E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
This commentary on all of Shakespeare's plays and poems, arranged according to genre, is "designed as a series of minilectures" for the undergraduate student and general reader. Concerned mostly with Shakespeare as a poet and dramatist rather than as a Renaissance thinker, Charney (Rutgers Univ.) aims for accessibility, avoiding footnotes and bibliographies. He does not discuss all relevant topics but pursues a few of them thoroughly, which makes his book a useful supplement to the standard introductions available in most editions of the plays. One of the book's most pleasing aspects is the way Charney makes fresh and unexpected connections between the different plays, often by highlighting some less well known passages. This adds weight to his belief that Shakespeare's works "really do constitute a single comprehensive imaginative unit."-- Bryan Aubrey, Fairfield, Ia.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.