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Brush Up Your Shakespeare!: An Infectious Tour Through the Most Famous and Quotable Words and Phrases from the Bard Paperback – January 5, 2000
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There are many possible approaches to Shakespeare, and in the present book Macrone has hit on the new and interesting idea of giving us, not yet another standard anthology or ponderous critical study, but a lighthearted "tour through the most famous and quotable words and phrases from the bard."
Macrone writes : "We're here to give you a handle on the famous lines you already know are Shakespeare's, and to alert you to our quieter, less conspicuous borrowings. . . . In the meantime, you'll be offered an incidental introduction (or reintroduction) to famous passages, concisely explained. . . ." (page xii).
In other words, to paraphrase Moth in 'Love's Labor's Lost' - 'He hath been at a great feast of language, and stol'n the scraps.' The main body of the book - 'THE QUOTABLE AND THE NOTABLE : Famous Phrases from Shakespeare' - gives us well over one hundred of these glorious 'scraps,' scraps such as Othello's :
"My story being done, / She gave me for my pains a world of sighs; / She swore, in faith 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange; / 'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful. / She wished she had not heard it, yet she wished / That heaven had made her such a man" (page 108). Each of the passages, which have been kept "as short as possible ... while still providing enough of the context to make the key phrase intelligible" (page xiii), has been chosen to highlight an original usage of Shakespeare - in this case "passing strange" - usages which seem to have set the course of the English language.Read more ›
The perfect size book to keep with you to brush up on your Shakespeare. A unique list of illustrations is followed by "At First Brush," which helps you to dive right in to subjects such as: Spelling and punctuation, organization and dating (A list of plays and dates, with revision noted).
The second section is called: The Quotable and the Notable. This area is a larger section devoted to famous phrases. Each phrase is followed by a small paragraph to give explanations and background for say...how Shakespeare wanted the actor to express the phrases. These sections are filled with tidbits worth reading and also help to "set the stage" or point to where the phrase is used in the play.
"King Lear has cut a deal with the two more flattering of his three daughters: he will turn power over to them as long as he can keep the name and respect due to a king......" pg. 131
"How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child!" then makes more
sense after we understand that his "snakelike daughters
represent a quality he feels all women possess."
The section on Household Words explains common and uncommon words coined by Shakespeare. Here the author lists a partial list of words for which Shakespeare is said to be the first authority according to the Oxford English Dictionary. "well-read" is in this list. ;>
Faux Shakespeare is a list of phrases often misattributed to Shakespeare. So, who really said: "Fool's Paradise?" It is interesting how "I wold not be in a flis paradyce." turns up in Love's Labor's Lost and Romeo and Juliet.
Good Enough to Call Your Own is a list of titles borrowed from Shakespeare and many a catchy phrase has turned into a title.Read more ›
People have used these expressions in everyday interactions as well as in the media. The book is even sprinkled with delightful illustrations by Tom Lulevitch. This guide is an easy way to learn a bit more about Shakespeare, for just about anyone.