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Shakespeare: The Complete Works

4.49  ·  Rating Details  ·  44,984 Ratings  ·  737 Reviews
The complete theatrical works of the immortal Bard, uniquely supplemented with annotations and critical analysis by a host of eminent scholars, including Samuel Coleridge and Samuel Johnson, plus a biography of Shakespeare himself. For the collection of the Shakespeare enthusiast, and the edification of the Shakespeare novice.
Hardcover, 1675 pages
Published March 1st 1952 by Heinle & Heinle Publishers (first published 1623)
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Edward Richmond Yes, this is the whole thing. Hence "Complete Works."

Everything in it was written by Shakespeare. Nobody else, unless you believe the wild theories…more
Yes, this is the whole thing. Hence "Complete Works."

Everything in it was written by Shakespeare. Nobody else, unless you believe the wild theories that say it was all secretly the work of Sir Francis Bacon (I don't).(less)
Sam Hickey There are many, many editions of Shakespeare's complete works, and lots of them have line numbers, but some of them don't. If you absolutely need an…moreThere are many, many editions of Shakespeare's complete works, and lots of them have line numbers, but some of them don't. If you absolutely need an edition that has line numbers then may I suggest the Norton edition of Shakespeare's complete works? It is the whole shebang with line numbers, helpful explanatory essays, and extensive annotations and textual notes. The binding leaves a little to be desired though, so you are making a little bit of a trade off for the breadth of content, so if you want a lovely leather bound one then you might have to do a bit of research.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Taka
I did it.

38 plays, 2 long poems, and 154 sonnets in 2462 onion-paper pages. I read them all. ALL. I think I deserve a self-congratulation for this. Yes. Good job!

It took me more than two months of intense reading that toughened my wrists and arms from reading it on the train standing, hardened my heart with stony indifference against people's perplexed and peering gazes thrown at me even to the point of leaning in from the side to see what the hell I'm reading, and made me utterly fearless again
...more
Bram
Jul 23, 2011 Bram rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, the-bard
Reflecting on the oeuvre of Shakespeare, I can’t shake a perverse idea: the Bard is underrated. And I think this feeling is tied to the contradictory knowledge that he is enormous, creating the master shadow in which all others dissolve. He’s the Platonic Form that has made possible, via subsequent authorial study and unconscious absorption, so many of the variations of what we consider the best in literature. The introspection and characterization of Woolf. The zaniness in Melville, Pynchon, an ...more
Robert
Jun 04, 2016 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, poetry
Edward III

For anyone saying, "Huh?" right now, let me say that EIII is one of the "Apocryphal Plays" that have been credited wholly or in part to Shakespeare at one time or another but that do not have conclusive proof of authorship by Big Bill Rattlepike. In the Second Edition of the Oxford Shakespeare Complete Works, the whole text of all plays the editors are convinced Shakespeare had a hand in is printed. This means that they have made the brave decision to include Edward III, convinced as t
...more
Vane J.
Dec 20, 2015 Vane J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


It all ended so fast. I feel like it's just January, but look at the calendar - it's December! You surely remember earlier in the year when I said I had put a challenge for myself. This was the Shakespeare Challenge, in which I had to read all the works known by William Shakespeare. Guess what? I finally read them all!

It started in January. I was bored and I didn't know what to read. One day I went to the library and checked out a book that contained 4 of Shakespeare's best plays. I read it and
...more
Manny
Celebrity Death Match Special: The Complete Works of Shakespeare versus Deep Learning

Ubergeek Andrej Karpathy had the bright idea of training a recurrent neural network on the complete works of Shakespeare. It produces remarkably good output for an algorithm which not only knows nothing about Shakespeare, but can't even tell a noun from a verb! Here is the first of the two samples he gives:

PANDARUS:
Alas, I think he shall be come approached and the day
When little srain would be attain'd into bein
...more
Ted
Sep 07, 2015 Ted rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have I read this book? Only part of it.

But is anyone going to argue about my rating?


See bottom of review for a list of the plays in order

What follows is little more than the GoodReads description of the edition pictured. But I feel I can do that, since I wrote the description.

This tome includes all 37 of Shakespeare's plays, as well as his poems and sonnets. It was produced "for college students in the hope that it will help them to understand, appreciate, and enjoy the works for themselves. It
...more
midnightfaerie
Mar 16, 2013 midnightfaerie is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I understand now why I have such a hard time reading Shakespeare. It's not that it's hard to understand. There are enough translations and self help guides to get you through the plot of any of the plays. And once I started reading and translating, I started to get the hang of it, and had fewer words and phrases that I had to look up. No, it's not that. Simply put, it's a play, and not meant to be read. I know there are some who might disagree with me, however, that's my opinion. I revel in the ...more
Sarah
Nov 28, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
19/10 - I've just started a course on Shakespeare through FutureLearn and the first play that we are studying is The Merry Wives of Windsor, which is one I know absolutely nothing about. So far, I've read about three pages, or to the end of scene one and what I understand is that while I can barely understand the language, I can get the general gist of what's going on (or at least I think I can). There are many instances where God is Got, better is petter, brings is prings, very is fery, good is ...more
Jean
Please note, this is a review of this particular edition of the "Complete Works of William Shakespeare" from 1923. For reviews of various individual plays by Shakespeare, please see my shelves. **

This edition was published by "The Literary Press, London" on fine paper, to traditional standards, with each section sewn into the spine rather than glued. The top edge of the volume is gilt-edged. It has a soft cover with a burgundy leatherette finish, and gold lettering, plus a gold embossed design o
...more
Crito
Sep 21, 2015 Crito rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If the question is "do you recommend Shakespeare?" the answer would be of course, in what universe would he not be recommended?
So I guess the one that would get any conversation whatsoever would be "would you recommend I read the complete works"? Well it certainly is a ride, a journey, there's quite a bit of stuff in here. One thing I'll say is I'm still not entirely convinced of literature's claim on Shakespeare because when I read these plays there's a yearning for performance, for interpretat
...more
Sammy
Nov 05, 2010 Sammy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, theatre
What an exquisite edition of one of the greatest works in the Western canon. Armed with an authoritative editorial team, Professor Jonathan Bate has reworked all of Shakespeare's plays, as well as his poems. The footnotes are extensive and cover all meanings of words (including the more salacious ones that many school texts leave out), while also providing informative historical and contextual information.

This edition seeks to give us every word attributed to Shakespeare (although, as it points
...more
Peter
Apr 25, 2016 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Really Goodreads, you think that the bard needs to be recommended.
Shelves: shakespeare
I have read all of these before but, it's Shakespeare so I shall read them all again with the same pleasure they always bring.
Kelly
Update: Seven plays into my current spree, I'm going to have to put this on hold due to a lack of time. I've now read 17 total- my most severe weakness is the histories (have only read Richard III and Henry IV). When I come back to this project, I think that I will be reading those in order.

1st: Macbeth (finished-review posted)
2nd: Two Gentlemen of Verona (finished-review posted)
3rd: King Lear (finished-review posted)
4th: Merchant of Venice (finished-review posted)
5th: Othello (finished-review p
...more
GoldGato

There's special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all.

If readiness be all, then this volume is a staple on any bookshelf. Ready to be opened for quick quote checks, ready to be heaved at home intruders (it's really heavy), it is useful in so many ways. It stays open on the window shelf, so the afternoon breeze can choose its special pages. Additionally, there are several
...more
Marius
9. THE MERCHANT OF VENICE (p. 413 - 471)
27 May 2016 - 29 May 2016

8. THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR (p. 102 - 154)
04 March 2016 - 08 March 2016

7. THE TAMING OF THE SHREW (p. 526 - 583)
20 February 2016 - 28 February 2016

6. MEASURE FOR MEASURE (p. 159 - 214)
21 September 2015 - 25 September 2015

5. AS YOU LIKE IT (p. 472 - 525)
6 July 2015 - 9 July 2015

... continued from The Complete Pelican Shakespeare
Chris
. I've been watching the old BBC An Age of Kings. For those who don't know, this is an old BBC series of Shakespeare's history cycle from Richard II though to Richard III. It has a young Sean Connery as Hotspur and Tom Hardy as Henry V. Judi Dench is there as is Angela Baddley (Mrs. Bridges from Upstairs, Downstairs. It got me thinking about the timeless of Shakespeare.
Why does everyone on the planet read Shakespeare? Why does the Bard's work appear on stage, in film, on television? Why does his
...more
J. Alfred
Oct 24, 2013 J. Alfred rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Young Frankie in Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes says that "Shakespeare is like mashed potatoes; you can never have too much." It's a compliment both to the poet and the potato, and I agree wholeheartedly. To read the ol' Swan of Avon straight through has, I believe, made me legitimately smarter, and not just in a know-more-stuff-in-my-chosen-profession sense, but in a understand-the-world-around-me sense. Eliot says that Shakespeare and Dante "divided the world between them, and there is no thir ...more
Polly
Jan 20, 2010 Polly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have not finished this yet, although David gave it to me for Christmas about 15 years ago (clearly not the Kindle edition, but I can't seem to change that). Some of my favorites are Henry V, Hamlet and King Lear. I don't care so much for the comedies. I think everyone should read Shakespeare to know what good writing is, and to get an idea of the impact of human behavior for better and for worse. There are so many wonderful and relevant lines that I wish I could commit more to memory. During t ...more
Nicholas Whyte
Alan
May 31, 2016 Alan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first reading of the plays, sonnets, and Venus and Adonis (maybe not Lucrece) was in the Kittredge edition; my professor, in the yearlong course in all the plays, was a student of Kittredge's.
When I came to teach the plays, I used Harrison until this one-volume edition appeared, and definitely improved students' access by modernizing some spelling and punctuation. Since there's evidence Shakespeare punctuated rarely, using the line ends as punctuation (the "D Hand" of the Book of Sir Thomas
...more
Kaethe
Jul 08, 2014 Kaethe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of course I loved it. I have a functional hardcover from college, this one, and miscellaneous paperbacks from high school which I suppose I could get rid of. Will is my man. This is what having a crush on your seventh-grade English teacher leads to: Bardolatry. [thanks for that word, [author:Lauren Baratz-Logsted|27212]
Ryan Evans
Feb 16, 2014 Ryan Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
People always complain that the language is hard to read but, while it is easier to watch than read his works, the effort is worth the reward. The poetry and craftmanship of his words are magical. So emotive. He somehow speaks straight to the soul. Who else would be remembered so fondly after so long a time?
D.N.
Mar 08, 2016 D.N. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Critically speaking, still the finest one-volume complete Shakespeare. Signet is refreshingly free of PC literary criticism. This edition is far superior to third-rate editions offered by Norton and other publishers that have been completely sold out to the dark side.
Jessica
Mar 26, 2016 Jessica is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I am going to try to read this entire book over the course of 2016, following Matthew J. Franck's 2016 Shakespeare In A Year reading plan. (Hat tip to Emily for letting me know this exists!) I've only ever read maybe eight or ten different Shakespeare plays, and other than a re-read of Hamlet in 2011 while preparing to read Infinite Jest I don't think I've ever picked one up outside of a classroom setting.

This review is a work in progress. I'll try to update it each time I finish a play.

The Two
...more
Nicole Pramik
How do you honestly review Shakespeare? Other than simply say the Bard was a genius in storytelling, character creation, and (of course) writing. But just saying that seems too simple even though it's the truth. It is a shame that people seem to get scared off from reading Shakespeare because of the language. For me, part of the appeal of his works is his language. It's like a chameleon that changes to the setting and mood; at times, it can be beautiful and effortless like poetry, and at other t ...more
Steven Taylor
Oct 16, 2009 Steven Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Seeing this when voting on the book list has inspired me to gush: Maybe I should put this under "currently reading" because I'll be reading and re-reading these my whole life. What can I say that hasn't been said already? The funniest comedies, the most passionate love stories, the most heart-wrenching tragedies. And of course, all of it in the most beautiful language ever written in English.

Tragically, so many start reading a play, get frustrated by the language and give up. I think that'
...more
Martin
Jun 05, 2016 Martin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
06-05-16

Coriolanus

Fascinating - had neither read nor seen it performed before, nor knew the story, so i found the portrait of a hero at odds with his nation quite compelling.

03-23-16

Anthony & Cleopatra

Is it just me or is this play, not exactly a mess (it's obviously well-crafted and well-written), but just sort of a puzzle? Not exactly a love story, not exactly a tragedy, not exactly a history, not a comedy. What's the through-line? Antony's ambition? The tumultuous relationship between he
...more
Ben
Mar 02, 2013 Ben rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Well, what can I say? I decided to begin the year by reading the complete works of the Bard. I spent nearly every day for the past two months with the Immortal Bard, tangled in the deep richness of his verse, reading all of his 37 plays (I am not counting here “The Two Noble Kinsmen,” which has only recently and contentiously been added to the Shakespearean cannon) and the entire poetry (the sonnets and minor epics). Now that I am finished I feel a plethora of emotions. First and foremost, I fee ...more
GoldGato
This is a behemoth of Shakespeare's works. Sonnets, dramas, comedies, histories. Everything. This is the proud tome that stays open on a bookstand, lording it over the smaller p-books. Of course, it has to sit on its own stand, as it's not built for mobility. Handy yet monstrous.

If you make it to the end, the Appendices bring a boatload of facts to the reader. Witches And Witchcraft, Tortures And Punishments, Cuckolds And Horns...Elizabethan strangeness.

Book Season = Year Round
Natalie
Oct 06, 2015 Natalie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I was set a challenge by my dad many years ago that if I read this entire complete works he would pay me challenge accepted I am now going to try and complete that challenge.....

I have already read Macbeth,twelfth night,midsummers nights dream and much ado about nothing but mostly at school.So I'm going to try and reread them too. As I think I'm going to have different opinions on them as an adult.
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more
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“Who knows himself a braggart, let him fear this, for it will come to pass that every braggart shall be found an ass.” 55 likes
“Would the fountain of your mind were clear again,
that I might water an ass at it!”
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