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Brightest Heaven of Invention: A Christian Guide To Six Shakespeare Plays Paperback – June 1, 1996


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter J. Leithart holds degrees in English, history, religion, and theology, including a doctorate in theology from Cambridge University. He is a Senior Fellow at New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho. He is the author of numerous books on theology and literature, including A House for My Name, Against Christianity, Blessed Are the Hungry, Ascent to Love, Heroes of the City of Man, Miniatures and Morals, and more. He has also authored articles in journals such as Pro Ecclesia, Journal of Biblical Literature, and Westminster Theological Journal.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Canon Press; 1 edition (June 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1885767234
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885767233
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Joanna E. Rees on June 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
I appreciated this book for its Christian perspective on a few of my favorite Shakespeare plays. The author explored not only the plots, but also the characters' relationships to Christ. The author made insightful parallels and comparisons between the characters and Christ and His church. I also appreciated the critiques of some of the film versions of the plays. I heartily recommend this eye-opening book!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Terri J. Rice TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
For some teachers, the reading of Shakespeare may be daunting enough let alone trying to figure out the intricacies of the story AND find some good questions to ask. It's all here in this one fantastic book.

Leithart covers six plays in this book and divides those plays into manageable lessons for a classroom setting taking about a month to cover each:
Henry V
Julius Caesar
Hamlet
Macbeth
The Taming of the Shrew
Much Ado About Nothing

The introduction is worth the price of the book, definitely read it! He tells you how to sensibly manage reading Shakespeare with a class:
(1) Monday: read the appropriate scene(s).
(2) Tuesday: read the commentary guide.
(3) Wednesday: answer Review Questions.
(4) Thursday and Friday: answer Thought Questions

This book singlehandedly turned me and my children into knowledgeable and devoted students of Shakespeare!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Margaret H. St Jean on March 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
My copy of this book is highlighted and dog-eared, with book marks popping out all over the place. Mr. Leithart's analysis is wonderfully unforced. He's not jamming Shakespeare's work into a Christian mold. He is uncovering what is there. I found this especially effective in his analysis of "The Taming of the Shrew". Since Leithart wrote these when he was teaching a class himself, they are classroom tested. The introduction supplies a suggested schedule to follow. Each play is introduced, then examined Act by Act with review and thought questions. Each chapter ends with suggested essay topics, and some review of movie versions that are available to see. This is great, and I make constant use of it.
Six more, Mr. Leithart, please!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ginger W. on July 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have used this text several times when teaching a high school homeschool literature class. Almost all of my students were "forced" to take my class by their parents and did not expect to learn anything. They began the class hating Shakespeare even though the majority of them had never read any Shakespeare before this class. That all changed with this text. The manageable bites of work, the questions and even the essay suggestions made for interesting discussion, strong debate, and wonderful comparisons to God's Word.

On several occasions, students have returned after a year or two of college and commented that this course was one of the most helpful high school classes for preparing them for college.

I highly recommend this text and encourage users to find several students to include in the study. The discussions are the best!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By RSO on October 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
And one of the reasons for that is this book, Brightest Heaven of Invention. It is a wonderful guide to read along with your next Shakespeare play. It explains the scenes from a unique perspective--a must-have book for Shakespeare fans! Mr. Leithart, we're waiting for the next book in this series.
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Brightest Heaven of Invention: A Christian Guide To Six Shakespeare Plays
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