- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: The Arden Shakespeare; 3rd edition (March 16, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1904271014
- ISBN-13: 978-1904271017
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3,680 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Antony and Cleopatra (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series) Paperback – March 16, 1995
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About the Author
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an English dramatist, poet, and actor, generally regarded as the greatest playwright of all time.
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CONTENT: I am not going to review the content of this book because it is, well, SHAKESPEARE: COMPLETE WORKS. If you don't already know what that is, no review can help you. It is simply everything he ever wrote, from the plays to the poems. It runs the gamut. And I confess, I didn't buy this to read, I purchased it to be a companion and reference to my collection of movies that are based on Shakespeare's plays. I am one of those people who think that the plays were meant to be viewed as a performance and not read. So it is handy to have them in written form so that you can read specific sections as you watch - but I'll never curl up in my easy chair and get lost in this book. Since I purchased this as a reference book, I was glad that there are footnotes. And unlike other "complete works" anthologies that cram everything into one volume by making the print impossibly small, the print here is clear and large enough to really read if you want to. This book is heavy and huge and as such, it is going to be difficult to actually read for long periods of time, unless you have a book stand that will go on your desk and hold it up for reading - otherwise your arms will get very, very tired. The poems, I can read in a separate, more easily handled book. However if you do want to read it, the construction quality is first rate and will hold up to the weight of the book without falling apart.
QUALITY OF BINDING AND BEAUTY OF THE BOOK ITSELF: This is where THE YALE SHAKESPEARE shines out in all it's glory. The genuine leather cover, high quality paper, marbled end pages, true stitched in binding, satin bookmark ribbon, and gold paper edging all come together to make a true work of art. One of the things I judge good quality books by is how easily they open and this book passes the test with flying colors. It opens like a well oiled machine, with no stiffness, cracking, or fighting - you won't have to "break it in" but it cooperates from the first read! It screams quality from end to end and is built to be an heirloom. I love, love, love it! The classy, old world appearance gives a beautiful appearance to my book case, and the price is stunning reasonable for something this grand.
So, if you want to read ALL of Shakespeare, from cover-to-cover, it is all here. But this book is a regular tome, and you might want to keep this as a reference and piece of art and get your content from watching the plays and reading the poetry from a different, smaller volume.
I read this as an undergraduate in college, and found it to be fun, but now as an adult and having read all of Shakespeare's works (and even other author's interpretations of Shakespeare's work such as The Tragedy of Arthur and Macbeth II: The Seed Of Banquo) I find the work to be mediocre and predictable. That isn't to say it isn't good - but as the Reduced Shakespeare Company says, "Why Did You Write Sixteen Comedies, When You Could've Written Just 1?"
It's true. This play is the same as TAMING, MIDSUMMER, MERRY WIVES, and others (well, not really the Tempest - but none of his plays are like the Tempest), and it really is the formulaic inspiration that is copied in the other comedy texts. It is effective in one major place - the fact that it made Mr. Shakespeare money, and he was well aware of what his audiences liked.
That is not to say it is a bad play - it isn't at all. There are some genuinely funny places in it (my favorite, "...but you are so without these follies that these follies are within you, and shine through you like the water in an urinal"). I suppose it is the grand application of the man's works that include the comedies that so uncannily resemble one another that makes readers of Shakespeare like me scratch his head. Change the location and the character names and a couple events? New title, new play. But it is a fun story, and I would have loved to see this and all the others performed in London in 1595, regardless. Would I still have the complete works as my only book on a desert island? You bet. Would I resent the comedies a little after 20 years on this desert island, though? Maybe, but I would still have the great tragedies and histories to keep me company.