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Macbeth (Folger Shakespeare Library) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2003
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""Macbeth" is a blast...ghoulish...beguiling...sardonic...an expression of how captivating an evening of crackling Shakespeare can be." -- Peter Marks, "The Washington Post"
"The explosive and overwhelming effect of a truck bomb...this horrific, riveting "Macbeth" ought to be seen by as many people as possible." -- Terry Teachout, "The Wall Street Journal"
About the Author
William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England’s Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children—an older daughter Susanna and twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare’s working life was spent in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright and poet, but also as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Although some think that sometime between 1610 and 1613 Shakespeare retired from the theater and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616, others believe that he may have continued to work in London until close to his death.
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Although it's been more than 40 years since I graduated with a degree in English and I've retired from a non-literary career in government, I still read Shakespeare on a regular basis. I'm updating my collection with volumes that will fit into my backpack for travel. This edition fits nicely and the binding protects it from being bent better than a paperback.
Collen McCullough's "Masters of Rome" is over-all probably the greatest novel ever written about the late Republic. It stands imo equal to "I, Claudius" as one of the 2 must-reads for any fan of the subject of ancient Rome.
However, since this is the very last one in the series, I really don't recommend anyone start with this. Read the first book first. The first ones are a little better anyways.
The buddies are “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”—Proteus and Valentine. Proteus loves Julia and she loves him, while Valentine is destined to fall in love with Silvia. This being a comedy, Proteus falls for Silvia too, and Julia must disguise herself as a boy to win him back. If you’re familiar with Shakespeare’s comedies, girls disguised as boys is often part of the plot, but it was with this play where cross-dressing began. Valentine goes to Milan to be “tutor’d in the world.” Soon after, Proteus follows to meet up with him in the court of Milan. There, Proteus forgets about his love for Julia and falls head-over-heels in love with Valentine’s girl Silvia, and to entice her affections proceeds to disparage his best friend. Nice guy, huh? This betrayal leads to Valentine’s exile from the court. Determined to win him back, Julia dresses as a boy and sets off to find him. The plucky and fetching Julia; the wit of Launce, the clown, and his dog Crab can’t save the plot’s absurd and implausible twist wherein Valentine offers the love of his life (Silvia) to Proteus, just after Proteus was about to rape her. How’s that for friendship? And how’s that for love? Valentine doesn’t bother to ask Silvia how she feels about being offered up to his friend as so much chattel, never mind that she would have been raped had not Valentine and Julia arrived in the nick of time. As you might expect, “Two Gentlemen of Verona” is among the bard’s “problem comedies,” and is not performed all that often. In the introduction to the Pelican Shakespeare, Mary Beth Rose of the University of Illinois at Chicago sums up the play with: “In the ‘shallow story of deep love’ (I.I. 21), about which Valentine taunts Proteus at the beginning of ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona,’ the actual ‘deep love’ is that between male friends.” Indeed. She also cites the plays “exquisite lyricism” as the play’s saving grace.
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