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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, 2007

5 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 455 pages
  • Publisher: Spark Pub Group; First Edition edition (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 (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading "Thinking Shakespeare: A How-to Guide for Student Actors, Directors, and ..." as it provided me with valuable insight on teaching and understanding the language of Shakespeare. I have been teaching and directing Shakespearean productions for the last four years with a passion for understanding the language. With the new year fast approaching and having read Edelstein's book, I feel more confident and excited to present my new found knowledge on the subject this semester to my middle school students. The more I read, the more I realized that there was a world of knowledge I had yet to discover.
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