Top positive review
8 people found this helpful
No fear here!
on February 27, 2009
I am a private tutor who teaches Shakespeare to classes of middle school/high school students and I think the No Fear Shakespeare series is a wonderful thing.
Over my years of teaching, the number one complaint I hear from my students (and sometimes from their parents, who say this to me with shamed faces) is that Shakespeare is "boring." Not so! I always say, and then I show them the collection of No Fear Shakespeare books I use for my classes and they all say, "Wow! What a great idea!"
Let's face it: It's hard to understand Elizabethan English. Unless, of course, you are a scholar who has spent years learning how to unravel William Shakespeare's lofty lines, which most of us aren't. In fact, I think that's where we seem to have gotten the idea that Shakespeare is the province of college professors, when actually, Shakespeare is meant for highbrow and lowbrow audiences alike.
These books, with Elizabethan English on the left and modern English on the right, are a fine thing for students to use because they remove the mystery of all those thee's and thou's, not to mention all the archaic slang. My students and I go over the modern English first, and then we read it in the original. It really adds a LOT to their understanding.
I feel that the translations are adeptly done. Every now and then you'll come across a modern line that jangles in the ear, but for the most part, the translations are handled gracefully. The original needs no criticism at all.
This is one of William Shakespeare's best plays, in my opinion. His love of his country's history is evident in every line, and this play is particularly interesting because of the use of a Chorus: You can practically see yourself at the Globe as you read!