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Shakespeare Alive! Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1988
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is conveniently divided into sections. After a prologue which does a good job of getting the reader to imagine Elizabethan England, we have a section on Elizabethan English life and then a section on Shakespearean theater. The Elizabethan history section provides a lot of general information spiced with intriguing details on everything from how children greeted their parents to the standards of beauty and the status of foreigners. The theater section starts in pre-Shakespeare English theater and ends in today's theater. In between is covered everything from who was in Shakespeare's audience (nearly everybody) and why (for one thing, it was the second cheapest form of entertainment available) to that student bugaboo, Shakespearean language. This section of the book no doubt benefits greatly from having its authors be connected with the theater.
A few people might object to the authors' use of imagination (for example, in showing how Shakespeare used and changed his sources, the authors invite us to imagine a Shakespeare who is leafing through a book for inspiration and dismayed by some of what he finds), but I can recall no instance of such imaginings not being clearly marked as such. Besides which, it would take a real stick-in-the-mud or a fiery anti-fantasist to be offended by the invitation to imagine Shakespeare joyfully tossing his quill in the air.Read more ›
Other reviewers exclaim how their high school students related to "Shakespeare Alive!'. I only wish I had encountered this little book during my school years. Hat's off to Papp and Kirkland for an excellent introduction to Shakespeare's England.
A prologue casts the reader into 16th century England as a young lad wrestling with a decision to leave his familiar rural setting in search of better opportunities. Daily rural life is a struggle, food is scare, a recession makes things worse, and you have little hope. London is far away and frightening, but you have no other choice. You begin your long trek on foot.
It is an uncertain world. England is in change, emerging from an inward looking isolation, to one in which the world's boundaries seem to expand with the return of each ship from the New World. The Renaissance moved from Italy to England at an almost imperceptible pace, but it did arrive, and nothing remains the same.
"Shakespeare Alive!" explores how the English theater emerged within this cauldron of change. In 1576 James Burbage builds the first structure dedicated to housing plays and calls it the "Theater", the first time this word was used to denote a building. Within just a few years Burbage has competition - the Curtain, the Swan, the Rose, the Fortune, and Shakespeare's Globe - and all were presenting daily comedies, tragedies, histories, and romances.Read more ›
I marked it down to three stars because I was disappointed about the condition of this used book which did not meet the accepted standards for the stated condition. There was writing throughout the book and an occasional tear. I would have rated the condition as a "reading copy" or "fair", certainly not "very good" or even "good".
If you need to teach a Shakespeare unit, I recommend using this, the Folger Library's Shakespeare Set Free series, and the National Council of Teachers of English publications on Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet (in particular, consider Teaching Romeo and Juliet: A Differentiated Approach). In addition, an English teacher should buy a personal copy of the Oxford School editions of Shakespeare's plays -- perfect notes to supplement in the same vein as Shakespeare Alive.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Terrific book, written in an easy style that's a nice relief from the usual pompous prose of Shakespeare scholars. My college students love it.Published 4 months ago by Jim Toner
Wonderful old book (though my copy was falling apart - literally pages dropping out!) that illuminates both Elizabethan times and the time it was written in!Published 12 months ago by maya andrea y grillo massar
This book was for a class and it helped me understand the concepts of what I was learning better than the teacher's instruction at time. Read morePublished on September 8, 2013 by KH
Interesting book for background on Shakespeare. The story starts out and gives the details as if you are there. Then it goes on to various topic. Good taste read.Published on March 5, 2013 by MarbleTech
As someone who is well read in all things Shakespeare, I still found some nuggets of new information in this text, which pleasantly surprised me. "Shakespeare Alive! Read morePublished on March 17, 2010 by B. Wilfong
easy to read, full of tidbits and info that was new to me. It is only an overview, but a great beginning in learning about the time and people and the conditions under which they... Read morePublished on August 3, 2007 by Amazon Customer