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Shakespeare Companion books??

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Initial post: Apr 2, 2009 10:02:13 AM PDT
Which of the Shakespeare Companion books can someone recommend?? I know that there are several out there on Amazon for sale. I'm a part-time English instructor/Shakespeare fanatic who needs a recommendation.


In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2009 3:40:22 PM PDT
There are two that I find essential. SHAKESPEARE A TO Z Roundtable Press, 1990), by Charles Boyce, with editorial consultation by Professor David White and a Foreword by Terry Hands of the Royal Shakespeare Company. It has entries on every play, every Shakespearean character, the playwrights contemporaries, theatrical and literary terms, places real and fictional, &c &c. It is sparse on illustrations (which, for me, add so much to discussions of the Works), but it is a wonderful source of concise information. Equally as wonderful is THE OXFORD COMPANION TO SHAKESPEARE, edited by Michael Dobson and Stanley Wells. The text of the plays used is the Oxford Shakespeare, which some people find controversial (in SHAKESPEARE A TO Z the citations are from the New Arden Shakespeare, which I find superior to the Oxford text). Presentation of the Oxford book is glorious, with full-page illustrations and the contents is a bit more imaginative than any other that I have seen. Too, the Oxford book is more up-to-date, having been published in 2001. I must also add that a good Concordance is essential, and the finest is that of John Bartlett, published by St. Martin's Press, the text based on the original text of 1894.

Posted on Apr 22, 2010 11:59:54 PM PDT
Kafka's Shakespearean Tragedy!
All the world's a stage...and Franz Kafka wants to direct in this marvelous new book: Naked Metamorphosis! The absurdist has got his hot little hands on the Bard's greatest work - Hamlet. Unfortunately, William S. Burroughs wants to direct too! Perhaps, George W. Bush wants a piece of the action as well.

One thing these literary creators haven't taken into consideration, though, are the characters. Horatio, Hamlet's college roommate, has reached the end of his rope trying to determine whether the piece is a tragedy or a comedy. Hamlet has dropped into a world of hallucinogens and drugs, and thinks he may be turning into a cockroach. And after the declaration of a ghost in Elsinore , Claudius has declared a "War on Terrors"!

What's it all about? And why is Puck around? These questions, and many more, will be answered in a bawdy, bizarro tale of Shakespearean proportions - complete with mistaken identity, ghosts, and true love lost.
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Discussion in:  Shakespeare forum
Participants:  3
Total posts:  3
Initial post:  Apr 2, 2009
Latest post:  Apr 22, 2010

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