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on October 12, 2016
Kindle version: Next time try proofreading the play's text. Font varies from paragraph to paragraph (see attachment). Unacceptable. Returned.
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on January 26, 2014
This is a genuinely good work of drama, which I had to read for my Intro. to Drama class. This is one of those works of Shakespeare that has been done in a multitude of forms and variations, so it is quite likely that everyone has a rough idea of the story. Still, you really cannot replace the original. It's a bit odd, but quite good fun as well. The characters are memorable, and reading the story helps a great deal in understanding the numerous references to it that can be found elsewhere (not to mention, it's good entertainment). As to the edition itself, I found it to be greatly helpful in understanding the action in the play. It has a layout which places each page of the play opposite a page of notes, definitions, explanations, and other things needed to understand that page more thoroughly. While I didn't always need it, I was certainly glad to have it whenever I ran into a turn of language that was unfamiliar, and I definitely appreciated the scene-by-scene summaries. Really, if you want to or need to read Shakespeare, an edition such as this is really the way to go, especially until you get more accustomed to it.
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on March 30, 2017
Truly no fear. I am one of those people who may hesitate to read Shakespeare, but with the modern translation, it was very easy to follow. However, I would like to read it several time times more without it, so that I can truly enjoy the poetry and the beauty of Shakespeare. After reading the book, "Scotland" by Magnus Magnussum, Macbeth was even more interesting.
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on June 29, 2015
Perhaps you know Shakespeare’s usual method of ending a play: at the end of his tragedies everyone is dead, and at the end of his comedies everyone is married. Not so in this comedy, and that’s part of the charm of “Love’s Labor’s Lost.” It’s an early play in the Shakespeare canon, unique in how it ends, unique in that the voice of Berowne’s is Shakespeare’s own, unique in that the plot is solely Shakespeare’s, and unique too in that the ending sequence of Act V.2 is the longest continuous sequence in all of the Bard’s plays, comprising over 900 lines, or about a third of the play. While the plot itself is a bit thin, the play parodies stuffy intellectuals and overly idealized medieval love stories, and showcases the Bard’s poetical gifts.

The story: Ferdinand, king of Navarre, and three lords make a pact to get away from it all for three years, and devote themselves to quiet academic study and contemplation. At the same time, they vow not to admit any woman onto their premises. This cannot possibly last, and they weaken when the Princess of France arrives (with three of her ladies) to conduct official state business. The king and his three friends call on the Princess and her three ladies, one thing leads to another, and each of the gentlemen falls in love with one of the ladies. In Acts III and IV, things get complicated. Costard, the clown, told to deliver two letters, gets them mixed up. The letter from Armado (a courier), meant for the village hoyden Jaquenetta, is read to the Princess and her ladies. A love sonnet from Berowne meant for one of the ladies (Rosaline) is instead read to Jaquenetta. The schoolmaster tells her to show it to King Ferdinand. She does when, in succession, the young men have caught each other reciting love-rhymes. The most eloquent of the lords is Berowne. Rosaline’s description of him (Act II.1) could be Shakespeare’s self-portait: “A merrier man, // Within the limit of becoming mirth, // I never spent an hour’s talk withal.” In a lyrical outpouring, Berowne says love belongs to study, that women’s eyes are “the books, the arts, the academes, // That show, contain, and nourish all the world.”

In Act V, when all are happily coupled, word arrives that the princess’s father, the kind of France, has died. The gentlemen ask the ladies to marry them, but they, unwilling to consent, impose a penance of a year’s wait. Yes, a year for academic study and contemplation they so desired in Act I, but clearly do not want now. Oh, the irony. Before departing, in Act V.2 (comprising 900-plus lines), they listen in the twilight to the villagers’ songs of spring (“When daisies pied and violet blue”) and winter (“When icicles hang by the wall”)—the cuckoo and the owl. The play ends, without marriage, unhappily ever after, perhaps. A year is a long time. Who knows what will happen? I prefer the Pelican Shakespeare edition for its conciseness, the sparest of footnotes, and the insightful, to-the-point introductions. In this case, it’s Peter Holland of Birmingham University, England, who provides the smart intro. Five stars.
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on April 4, 2017
This is a copy of the famous Shakespeare play--Richard III--published by Signet Publishing Company. This particular publisher has been my favorite publisher Shakespeare plays since my undergraduate days. Signet's entire collection of Shakespeare's plays contains much more than the simple transcript of the play itself. Each volume contains an extensive number of essays and articles on the particular play which is contained in the volume. I have gone back to these volumes time and time again in order to read these articles.
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on December 6, 2016
I know that a lot of people think this is a play about violence, murder and mayhem. Well, it IS a tale of murder and violence with the mayhem that ensues as a result. However, at it's heart, Macbeth is a love story about a man and a woman who are so head over in heels in love with each other they can't see straight. Lady Macbeth is a real piece of work and manipulates her besotted husband with such skill, you have to stop sometimes and say "Waaaht?" I love the rich fabric of this story and all of the supporting characters. But I especially love Lord and Lady Macbeth, another of the Bard's star crossed lovers...magnificent.
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on August 30, 2017
There are no spaces in the text, and the modern English is not in a column next to the old English. The printed version has the modern English on the page next to the old English. I don't see anyplace where I can "return" the e-book.
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on December 14, 2015
The general introduction to this Oxford edition begins appropriately with a discussion of the possible anti-Semitism of "The Merchant of Venice". The editor Jay Halio claims that the treatment of Shylock is highly ambivalent, so that the character "transcends the type, shatters the conventional image with his appeal to our common humanity, and leaves us unsettled in our prejudices, disturbed in our emotions, and by no means sure of our convictions" (p. 13). After a detailed survey of stage productions through the ages, Halio concludes, "'Whether the play is itself anti-Semitic or not depends largely upon one's interpretation, on the stage as on the page" (p. 83). While this is obviously true, and while Halio properly draws attention to a range of ambiguities in the play's depiction of both Shylock and his Christian adversaries, the word "largely" raises a question to which many scholars have offered a challenging, hostile answer.

The general introduction also includes: a survey of sources and analogues, enlivened by a summary of Freud's interpretation of the three caskets; a brief account of the 'myth' of Venice, particularly its reputation for impartial justice; an estimate of the play's date (1596-7); and a helpful critical analysis which gives prominence to the theme of "bondage and bonding".

Halio's annotation of the text is generally proficient and admirably frank in rendering sexual double entendres and is frequently illuminating in its references to modes of staging; the lengthy note on "Nerissa's ring" is exemplary in both these respects. As with other volumes of the Oxford World's Classics Shakespeare series, there is a good range of pictorial material and a very useful index.
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on August 6, 2017
The book's shape overall is just fine but while I was reading, I noticed that the margin titles of the scenes skipped from Act 2 Scene 2 to Act 2 Scene 4. But the actual "chapter" header of where Act 2 Scene 3 should be was correct. Not sure if it's just some book quirk but I thought i should just point it out. Book is eh, I am forced to read it for summer reading purposes so there's that.

Also- the shipping and handling part made the book cover edge a bit skidded so the paperback has a ridge like effect.
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on September 29, 2016
Purchased this as required reading for my sons' high school literature classes. They have used several in the series, and it makes understanding Shakespeare MUCH easier. They juxtapose the traditional play on one side with modern translation on the other....most kids don't realize what amazing stories he tells because the language just seems...well, weird. They can finally understand what the teacher is actually trying to talk to them about -- imagery, figurative language, symbolism and style -- in a way they can actually relate to. Very useful book to expand on why Shakespeare was one of the greatest storytellers of his time.
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