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Thinking Shakespeare: A How-to Guide for Student Actors, Directors, and Anyone Else Who Wants to Feel More Comfortable With the Bard Paperback – August 1, 2007


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What If? by Randall Munroe
From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd, find hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 455 pages
  • Publisher: Spark Pub Group (August 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1411498720
  • ISBN-13: 978-1411498723
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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In fact, it is quite fun to read.
S
This well-written, insightful book will be of interest not only to actors and directors, but anyone who wants to spend some time with the Bard.
Steven C. Edwards
So helpful in helping you understand who characters are and why they use the words they use and what they mean by them.
Nora

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By S on August 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
I confess at the start that I am absolutely enthralled by, utterly delighting in, completely entranced with this book right now. It is specifically intended for actors and directors, but in learning how actors and directors are to get to the heart of the text, it very much enlightens one's reading of Shakespeare and enjoyment in every way. And it is quite fun to read. Even if Edelstein is trapped among the Stratford camp, this I will forgive, for his insights and systematic approach to line-by-line analysis are sure to inform my reading (and hearing) of Shakespeare evermore. I simply can't put it down. It really is an absolute delight.

At the heart of the work is the premise that the words in Shakespeare are, line by line, the characters THINKING -- and that the question we should be asking continually as we read Shakespeare is: "Why is this character using THESE words NOW?" Because with Shakespeare -- and here is the crux of his genius -- with Shakespeare there is always a reason. If you know how to look (or listen) for those hints, it is as if a veil has been lifted and the characters and scenes come to life.

What is most exciting to me is seeing how much hidden direction (or clear opportunities for variations within the direction) is right there in the text if only your eye and ear were trained to spot it. This depth of reading brings a far, far richer reward, enabling you to see the play enacted in your mind as if it were really happening before you, hear the lines afresh with all their vital energy and nuance, and draw in the emotion investing the characters.

It is to raise the play off the page and breathe life back into it, and through that inspiration see the characters come alive in all the depth and color Shakespeare meant for them to carry.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Steven C. Edwards on September 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This well-written, insightful book will be of interest not only to actors and directors, but anyone who wants to spend some time with the Bard. If I were teaching an English Lit course I would include this along with the plays. If you like Shakespeare and you enjoy thinking, you will love this book!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nora on March 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book for anyone who will be acting in or directing a Shakespeare play. So helpful in helping you understand who characters are and why they use the words they use and what they mean by them. Great explanation of iambic pentameter included.
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