Shakespeare For Dummies

9780764551352: Shakespeare For Dummies

Book by Doyle John Lischner Ray

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This guide to the most popular works of William Shakespeare provides and overview of his life and times which gives an insight into his writings, themes and characters, and how facts were altered to make the historical plays more entertaining. The book includes plot and main character summaries of such plays as "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Othello", "Julius Caesar" and "Romeo and Juliet". It also contains plot scorecards that allow the reader to follow the play and keep track of the deaths, marriages and family relations. In addition, Shakespeare's poetry is covered in detail. The guide includes an overview of the English of Shakespeare's day with tips on sentence construction, verbs, and knowing the difference between "thee", "thou" and "thine", as well as an examination of his use of words, jokes and puns. The book also offers: tips on how to best enjoy the Bard's work with advice on reading aloud, reading footnotes and using a dictionary; suggestions on how to prepare for a performance of Shakespeare's work and what to look for in film versions; the best places to see a Shakespearean production; the most common Shakespeare quotes still used today; the best films based on the Bard's works; and notable performances.


"Shakespeare For Dummies is exquisite"
-- From the Foreword by Dame Judi Dench of Mrs. Brown and Shakespeare in Love

Your Complete Guide to Shakespeare's Plays and Poems

Scorecards and Summaries Help You Keep Track of Deaths, Marriages, and Tricky Family Relations

Thee, Thou, Thy, and Thine -- Shakespeare's English Explained in Plain English

"John Doyle asks actors never to hide in fear from Shakespeare's words, but to use them to bring the story to life."
-- Natascha McElhone, costar of the films The Truman Show and Mrs. Dalloway

"What great fun! What the film Shakespeare in Love has done to make Shakespeare the man accessible to a general audience, this book will do to make Shakespeare the writer enjoyable."
-- Charlotte J. Headrick, Ph.D., Professor and Director, Theatre Arts, Oregon State University

Includes a Scorecard for Every Play!

Shakespeare...Difficult? Zounds! 'Tis all much ado about nothing!

Does the thought of sitting through A Midsummer Night's Dream give you nightmares? Did Romeo and Juliet seem like a foreign film -- without the subtitles? Relax. As John Doyle and Ray Lischner prove in this uniquely accessible guide, Shakespeare is not only the greatest writer who ever lived, but he's also a great entertainer -- once you get a handle on his wild plots and witty wordplay. With Shakespeare For Dummies(R), you get snappy summaries and scorecards for every play to help you keep track of who's who, who's in love with whom, and who's killed whom -- plus fun tips on understanding Elizabethan English, including all those racy puns and jokes.

"Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Ears"

  • Discover how Shakespeare became the Steven Spielberg of Elizabethan England -- and why some people still claim that his plays were ghostwritten
  • Go inside an Elizabethan theater -- and find out how they managed with almost no seats, no roof, and no women onstage
  • Improve your understanding of the language with tips on sentence construction, verbs, and those troublesome thees, thous, and thines
  • Find contemporary idioms and phrases that come from Shakespeare's plays
  • Get the lowdown on where to find Shakespeare festivals and performances -- and discover how to maximize your enjoyment of a play
  • Find out the possible identity of the mysterious "Dark Lady" in Shakespeare's sonnets
  • Catch ten of the best shows ever made of the Bard's plays -- and meet the ten greatest Shakespearean actors of all time

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