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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Shakespeare Paperback – 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Alpha; First edition. edition (1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0028629051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0028629056
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #230,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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See all 9 customer reviews
It's as delicious and easy to digest as partly melted ice cream.
Karen Sampson Hudson
Then I decided to get a Master's in English Lit... I passed the GRE, and all the Shakespeare I had to go on I got from this book.
grandiloquious
At the end of the book is an overview of Shakespeare's poems and sonnets.
Laura De Giorgio

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By P. Martin on December 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
To put this in perspective, I'm a 47-year-old professional totally unconnected to the literary world, but reading is my favorite hobby. I have made many attempts over the years to "get into" Shakespeare and reading The Compete Idiot's Guide to Shakespeare is part of my latest (and possibly most successful) attempt.
The Guide is just what I needed. It frames Shakespeare's world perfectly giving historical background, addressing the Shakespeare myths (e.g., who really wrote the Shakespeare plays?), explaining the poems and Sonnets and, finally, giving a succinct and amusing rundown of all the plays by type (tragedy, history, comedy, romance and "problems"). I love Dr. Laurie Rozakis' writing style. Not only is the book extremely easy to read, her clarity and humor make it great fun. I also think she really knows her stuff. Dr. Rozakis is a prolific wonder (check out her website at [...]
I read the book cover to cover and intend to use it as a reference as I read the plays. It sure helped destroy Shakespeare's pompous mystique for me!
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Karen Sampson Hudson on October 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is an insouciant, several-laughs-a-page look at the life, times and works of Shakespeare. The author has done a commendable job of thoroughly covering all the plays as well as the sonnets and other poems. It's as delicious and easy to digest as partly melted ice cream. I highly recommend it for high school and college students, and for all literate readers who might be in a little awe of Shakespeare's towering genius. This book will get you hooked on the best writer in the English language!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
Even people who aren't idiots may appreciate this book. It's funny, cute, informative, and gives lots of easy-to-understand tips and translations. This is way better than Cliffs' Notes, especially since it gives you plenty of reasons to read the actual plays.
The first few chapters are devoted to Shakespeare's life, the who-was-Shakespeare-really? debate, his theaters, and some stuff about Elizabethan slang terms. Then it goes to the plays themselves. It gives background info on the time period and how it shaped the plays (for example, views on marriage for "Taming of the Shrew"), a cast list, a pretty good plot summary, and then some mild literary analysis.
Sprinkled on every page are bits of trivia about the plays, the writing, and the time period -- they're not really part of the reviews, just side tidbits. Additionally, they include a chart of Shakespeare's dirty language, a lot of funny jokes, and even reviews of the various movie adaptations (all the major ones -- good, bad, and really, really weird!). There are also pics from various movies/plays, featuring major actors like Patrick Stewart, Elizabeth Taylor, and the all-star cast of the fantastic recent "Much Ado About Nothing."
This is a must-read for Shakespeare buffs and newbies (especially if you don't understand what's going on). Even glaze-eyed schoolkids may be suckered in by the promise of learning some exotic dirty words!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Laura De Giorgio on October 24, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is not only informative, but so humorous, easy and fun to read. First part of the books which sets the stage for the plays and explores history, background and some on-going controversies about the authorship of the plays reads like an engaging spy novel.

There is a section dealing with the differences between the Old English, Middle English and Modern English, even an amusing guide for creating your own insults using Shakespeare's English - as in "oh, you bawdy, dizzy-eyed giglet!"

The second part of the book takes you through the plays: comedies, "problem plays", histories and tragedies - the cast, the plot, performances, movies and actors worthwhile checking out (if you haven't yet).

At the end of the book is an overview of Shakespeare's poems and sonnets.

Once, you're done with this book, you can move on to actually reading the entire Shakespeare's plays. You may find them more appetizing.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Albert Stevenson on October 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is the ultimate way to get acquainted with Shakespeare's works while having fun every step of the way. The author comes off not only as very knowledgeable about the topic, but as a wit who would have given Shakespeare himself a laugh or two. Her coverage is comprehensive and insightful, and the book provides a wonderful way for young and old alike to gain access to Shakespeare's meaning and beauty.
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