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The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare: An Introduction with Documents Paperback – February 20, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0312248802 ISBN-10: 0312248806 Edition: Second Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 451 pages
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's; Second Edition edition (February 20, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312248806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312248802
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

RUSS McDONALD (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) is the editor of four plays in the revised Pelican series of Shakespeare's plays and the author of Shakespeare Reread (1994), Shakespeare and Jonson/Jonson and Shakespeare (1988), and numerous articles on early modern theater, comedy, and opera. A celebrated teacher, McDonald has taught at Mississippi State University, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Rochester. He has been actively involved with the NEH-sponsored Teaching Shakespeare Institute at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., and he has also served as resident scholar, head scholar, and institute director of Teaching Shakespeare's Language.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By C. N. White on September 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
Russ McDonald is not someone many people have heard of, unless you happen to live in the world of Shakespeare scholars, in which case, I would be surprised if you have not. Mr. McDonald was for a long time associated with the Folger Library, and has edited numerous volumes of the Penguin Shakespeare editions, among other credentials. I have had the good fortune to be in one of his classes, and I can think of no one else I have ever met that has so much love and appreciation for Shakespeare's genius, while simultaneously being able to pass that to his students. I honestly don't think there is anything this man *doesn't* know about Shakespeare.
That being said, The Bedford Companion is less about The Bard, and more so about the times in which he lived. While attention is given to his plays, equal attention is given to such things as the history of the Globe Theater, Shakespeare's early life, the economic situations of the time, and a history of Shakespeare appreciation, or "Bardolatry". It shows Shakespeare as a human, as a buisinessman, a family man, and how he eventually become know as the greatest writer in the English language. (Most of his plays weren't published until after his death.) This book may not help you fully understand Hamlet, but it can certainly make it more interesting.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
The original documents pertaining to Shakeseare's life and works is an excellent teacher resource. The text of his will, excerpts of newspaper accounts that sparked The Tempest and the DeWitt drawing of the Globe made our studies of Shakesperae more concrete.As a loyal fan of Shakespeare, I enjoyed the reading. I think the text is a little dry for most.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mollie P. on December 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is a great overview of all things Shakespeare. It intorduces the man himself, the language of the works, the culture of the Elizabethans and the theatre, sosurces, and basic scholarly criticism and ideas. A wonderful foundational text with primary documents which greatly enhance the reading and give the subject a new life.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nathan P. Gilmour on September 26, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bedford's handbook is quite handy for a non-expert. Anyone who's going to be teaching Shakespeare but hasn't written a dissertation on him ought to pick one up.
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Format: Paperback
An academic approach to Shakespeare, his life, his works and Elizabethan life in general. And it contains one of the best arguments I’ve seen debunking the conspiracy theorists who refuse to believe that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare. For many reasons an indispensable book. If you go to my blog at richnovotney.com I can recommend a bunch of other Shakespeare-related books, all available at Amazon.
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By Adella on May 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to buy this for class and while it has some "interesting" facts, it doesn't necessarily help when it comes to literary analysis. It gives some very basic, Wikipedia-esque background info about Elizabethan life and conventions, nothing that you might find actually helpful or needed.
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By Hans on January 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this as a textbook for a class, but there's such a wonderful amount of information in is book. I think it's a fascinating read and a definite must for all lovers of Shakespeare.
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