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Shakespeare: The Complete Works

4.49 of 5 stars 4.49  ·  rating details  ·  40,535 ratings  ·  686 reviews
1968 hbj publisher. underlining and notes in margin all in pencil.
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)
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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
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
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
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
Ted
Have I read this book? Only part of it.

But is anyone going to argue about my rating?



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 is not intended for the scholar ..."

Two-column format
...more
Sammy
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
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
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
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
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
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
Julie Bozza
An awesome birthday present from my darling erudite sis. ...more
Marius

AS YOU LIKE IT (p. 472 - 525)
6 July 2015 - 9 July 2015
Kaethe
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
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?
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
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
03-31-15

All's Well That Ends Well

01-09-15

Troilus & Cresieda

11-09-14

The Merry Wives of Windsor

10-02-14

Hamlet

06-02-14

Twelfth Night

05-06-14

As You Like It

10-18-13

Julius Caesar

08-15-13

Henry V

05-16-13

Much Ado About Nothing

03-28-13

Henry IV, Part Two

10-26-12

Henry IV, Part One

09-16-12

The Merchant of Venice

06-12-12

The Life and Death of King John

02-07-12

A Midsummer Night's Dream

12-20-11

Romeo & Julliet

06-25-11

Richard II

03-20-11

Love's Labour Lost

02-16-11

Two Gentlemen of Verona

05-07-10

The Taming of th
...more
Ben
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
LynAnne Smucker
Read a lot in college, seen a lot of productions of the plays, read some of the sonnets and haven't read all of his works, but then unless you are a Shakespeare scholar there are some plays that aren't the most interesting like Titus Andronicus or Trollius and Cressida.
Miriam
I have a very old (1943) edition of this book, which I use mostly for reference. My edition has very little in the way of footnotes or annotation, although there is a very useful glossary of Elizabethan terms in the back. Additionally, there are indices of characters and of first lines of songs and soliloquys.

This book (at least the 1943 edition) is not for those who have to read just a play or two for class-- go pick up a Folger edition if that is the case-- or for those who are performing a pl
...more
Jeremy
Reviewing this particular book properly would require over a thousand other books... It is brilliant to the point of blinding, and it is formative to the modern human mind. Harold Bloom (you, the fat, ugly, old guy that didn't dig Harry Potter all that much...) has it inventing you - the modern human - and while I have my reservations on his thesis, I apreciate the poetry of that idea.

If a literrorist had me at gunpoint saying I would be shot dead if I did not walk away from my perosnal library
...more
Jeb
Favorites: Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night's Dream, King Lear. Second-favorite: Othello. Don't give as much of a damn about as I should: Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar. I tend to enjoy but the plots muddle in my head: Much Ado, As You Like It, Comedy of Errors, All's Well That Ends Well, Twelfth Night. Would like to see/read/study: Winter's Tale, Tempest. The histories: not interested.
Thomas M.
There are, and hopefully will always be, stories that touch and move you in such a way that they stick in your memory and never let go. It is even a greater influence when your love of an author allows that author to mentor you hundreds of years after his death. In my opinion it is truly the best form of mentoring, because it passes on the high ideals of the author without being it being weighed down by the fallacies of the man.

Shakespeare taught me that it was OK to admire the villain; that it'
...more
Ea Solinas
Shakespeare requires no introduction -- he is "the Bard," the most imposing playwright and storyteller in the English language.

And "William Shakespeare: The Complete Works" brings together every one of his thirty-nine plays and his brilliant poetry. His stage work ranges wildly from harrowing tragedies to airy little puffs of comedy which are even more moving when paired with the romantically intense, complicated sonnets and narrative poems. While it takes some work to fully understand some of h
...more
Betty
It's essential to re-read the classics from time to time.
Jenifer
Only a little annoyed that it doesn't have the line numbering like I need for class, but that doesn't stop me from rating this five stars cause it's just that epic! Love having it all in one place!
Drew Butler
macbeth is a famous play by shakespear who just so happends to made romeo and juliet. The book has the original diolaoge and the same amount of tragedy and action as the original. macbeth is about a man who is feirce and intimidating. He is played off as almost indestructable. like a 1600s hericles. the story has murderers, witches and even romance. I recomend this to anyone who enjoyed the romeo and juilet movie or book.
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Question 1 21 Oct 12, 2009 12:16PM  
  • The Complete Plays
  • Complete Works of Oscar Wilde
  • Jane Austen: Seven Novels
  • The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume 2: The Romantic Period through the Twentieth Century
  • Five Novels: Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations
  • Charlotte & Emily Brontë: The Complete Novels
  • The Complete Plays
  • The Complete Stories and Poems
  • Jules Verne: Seven Novels
  • The Riverside Chaucer
  • English Renaissance Drama
  • The Friendly Shakespeare: A Thoroughly Painless Guide to the Best of the Bard
  • Ten Plays
  • The Complete Poems and Plays, 1909-1950
  • Immortal Poems of the English Language
  • The Norton Anthology of Poetry
  • Poetry (Norton Critical Editions)
  • Edmund Spenser's Poetry
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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
More about William Shakespeare...
Romeo and Juliet Hamlet Macbeth A Midsummer Night's Dream Othello

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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.” 38 likes
“Would the fountain of your mind were clear again,
that I might water an ass at it!”
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