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The Complete Pelican Shakespeare

4.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  490 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews

The distinguished Pelican Shakespeare series has sold five million copies. Now Penguin is proud to offer this fully revised new hardcover edition of The Complete Pelican Shakespeare.

Since the series debuted more than forty years ago, developments in scholarship have
Published February 28th 1974 by Penguin Classics
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 897)
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Lucian McMahon
Feb 05, 2016 Lucian McMahon is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
1808 pages, double-columned pages, you say? That's right, I'm getting serious about reading a Shakespeare play a week and all the sonnets sprinkled in there somewheres. Although reading this bad boy on the subway during rush hour could be a little...dicey.

See you on the other side.

Romeo and Juliet
The Taming of the Shrew
The Tempest
Measure for Measure
The Merchant of Venice
A Midsummer Night's Dream
As You Like It
My beloved Complete Shakespeare from college into which I occasionally dip. I have only read certain plays and a few sonnets. Have not nearly completed my education in the Bard, but I like knowing it's there.

May 28, 2015: re-read Hamlet. Still not my favorite. I've always wished I liked or at least appreciated it more. This weekend will re-watch Kenneth Branaugh's "full-text" film, hoping for the "aha" moment.
Erin Germain
Finally finished reading this. I don't mean that in a "thank goodness that's over" way, just that it wasn't something I could really tear through. Overall, I enjoyed it. Shakespeare is one of those, like all mortals, who has his good moments and his not-so-good moments. When he is good, he is brilliant. When he is bad, he is terrible. And there were a few I can say I did not enjoy, at all.

I'm probably inviting the Pitchfork and Torches crowd, but I have to say that I have never enjoyed Romeo and
I abandoned this edition because of the annoying political agenda that permeated introductory articles and explanatory notes.
I want an edition that is free from today's ideologies and to enjoy solely the TIMELESS Art of Shakespeare. I hope my new edition based on the First Folio will be more equidistant.

5. AS YOU LIKE IT (p. 401-437)
6 Iul 2015 -

4. MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (p. 365-400)
20 Mai 2015 - 24 Mai 2015

3. ROMEO AND JULIET (p. 1251-1294)
26 Feb 2015 - 02 Mar 2015

2. TWELFTH NIGHT (p. 438-4
Sommer Ann McCullough
It's Shakespeare, what more need I say? Over my first semester I read, in brilliant British accents with Ashley, the following plays from the anthology:

King Lear
romeo and Juliet
Midsummer Night's Dream
Twelfth Night
Taming of the Shrew
Richard III
Henry IV (part 1 and 2)
Much Ado About Nothing
D.E. Chandler
Apr 17, 2016 D.E. Chandler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students, instructors, authors, theater enthusiasts
This book serves as the textbook for the Shakespeare class that I'm taking. It is a highly insightful and thorough volume, and well worth the cost. This book will reside on my shelves for the rest of my life. If you are looking for the definitive Shakespeare, this is it.
May 13, 2014 Salvatore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Worth it. There are some shit plays and poetry. There are some brilliant turns of phrase. Words, words, words: Characters, characters, characters: there are a lot of them here. To see the mind of the creator develop, try new things, and reuse successful devices - all of these are rather fascinating to me and indeed why I like to read an author's full work. Screw you, Harold Bloom: Shakespeare didn't invent the human. He was human. And knew how to express that (occasionally) via poetry and drama ...more
Favorite play read: Julius Caesar

Favorite play performed: Twelfth Night

Favorite character: Actors playing the wall & moon in Midsummer Night's Dream

Favorite line: from Two Gents of Verona
SPEED: How then? shall he marry her?
LAUNCE: No, neither.
SPEED: What, are they broken?
LAUNCE: No, they are both as whole as a fish.

Favorite adaptation/modernization: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

Skipped most of the 150 sonnets. Have now read or seen, in historical order:
Richard III
Taming of the Shre
Jan 13, 2016 Nick marked it as never-finished  ·  review of another edition
Read to page 438.

In retrospect it was ridiculous to think that I could ever get through this whole thing, but damn if I didn't try. I realized I wasn't going to finish halfway through As You Like It, when I read like the fiftieth cuckold joke in that play and asked myself, "What am I really getting out of this?" True, I hadn't made it to the tragedies, i.e., the Shakespeare plays people actually care about, but I was looking at 300 more pages of comedies and 450 of histories before I got there.
Lisa Rohrscheib
Jan 21, 2015 Lisa Rohrscheib rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful edition. However, print is not as dark and font is slightly smaller and more difficult to read than in Riverside 2nd edition. Also, footnotes are not quite as easy to read as in the Riverside.
May 02, 2012 jordan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On 5 May 2012, I finished Shakespeare. The thirty-seven canonical plays, plus Two Nobel Kinsmen and Edward III, and the poetry included in the Complete Pelican Shakespeare.* This is to say I have read it all, not that I have unpacked it all. I am far more familiar with some plays than others, and I am far more interested in working further with some plays than others.

*I don't actually have a specific memory of reading Much Ado About Nothing, but I've seen it twice on stage (plus once on film) an
Jan 10, 2013 Jeff added it
This is one of the 2 tomes I've listed here that I haven't read completely... (the other is Perrin's Literature Sound and Structure) but this was my text book for my lit class on Shakespeare, and as the title suggests its got everything Billy boy ever wrote.... or whoever you believe wrote whatever. Anyway the stuff attributed to Shakespeare. I'm not gonna count the sonnets but among plays here's what I've completed:

Twelfth Night
Romeo & Juliet
Henry V
Henry IV (both)
Richard III
Stephanie McClure
Mar 09, 2008 Stephanie McClure rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Stephanie by: Shakespeare Class
So far I've read The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, great play as are they all. I'm currently reading Much Ado About Nothing. Will be reading The Tragical History of Hamlet Prince of Denmark, then Measure for Measure, and lastly The Tragedy of Othello the Moor of Venice. I would love to read the rest of the plays but sadly I probably will not unless I take another Shakespeare class.

I have finished Much Ado, Hamlet, Measure for Measure, and Othello! I loved all of these plays. I now, fully understand
Steven Gilbert
Jan 05, 2014 Steven Gilbert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For 2013 I challenged myself to read one Shakespeare play a month and though a few challenged my attention, on the whole it was a wonderful experience. I've been sharing my reviews each month but thought I'd leave this endeavor with a quick summary.

5 Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, King Lear, Julius Caesar
4 Much Ado About Nothing
3.5 Macbeth, The Sonnets
3 The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale
2 The Life of King Henry the Fifth
May 11, 2008 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
In my opinion as a proto-scholar of Renaissance and 17th C. studies, this is the Shakespeare collection that strikes the best balance between scholarship and readability. Commentary is offered by such notables as Stephen Orgel of Stanford and Peter Holland, Director of the Shakespeare Institute. It includes all alternative folio and quarto renditions and the text is presented in an eye-friendly font, but most importantly, its not too heavy!
The Pelican Shakespeare is pretty good. It includes all of Will's works, the poems, sonnets and plays, along with commentary and criticism for each. The lines are numbered and notes are well annotated without cluttering up the pages. I recommend this edition to anyone who is used to reading Shakespeare and wants a good edition of the complete works without spending a lot.
Lisa Vegan
Jun 05, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: absolutely everybody 12 to 14 (dependig on the reader) & up all the way through adulthood
Shelves: fiction, reviewed, plays
I read almost all of this book in high school. Had already read a few of Shakespeare's plays in other books/editions. This is a terrific collection and I do highly recommend it. I'm especially fond of it. Although, reading each of his works in different editions is perfectly ok as well, and I've read and enjoyed other versions too. But read him!; nobody is greater.
Jan 02, 2011 Ren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shakespeare
This book is fairly light on study, commentary, etc, prevalent on most other collections of Shakespeare's works, and that's just perfect. I rather like forming an opinion of my own. The only prevalent outside information that you get is from (relatively) short introductions and footnotes on archaic words and, of course, gratuitous French and Latin.
I haven't read everything in it, obviously, and the 5 stars is mostly because...well, the book has everything Shakespeare and I bought it at a used-book store four years ago, in mint condish, for 20 bucks. If that doesn't deserve a 5, right off the bat, I don't know what does. Bargain.
Carmen Martines
Dec 18, 2007 Carmen Martines rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes, I do read Shakespeare. His works tend to infiltrate most of mine. I have been accused of using archaic language, especially when I write poetry; but the master is still the master. I am continually in awe. I guess that's why I am an English Lit major.
Apr 23, 2007 justin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
first off, I'll admit to not having read all of it, though I think I have read all of the Tragedies and Romances. My favorites are probably "King Lear," "Hamlet," "Romeo and Juliet" and maybe "The Tempest"
May 18, 2007 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Love, love , love Shakespeare!! My favorite play is the Winters Tale, followed closely by Titus Andronicus. I haven't read a single one that I haven't liked though.
Nov 05, 2007 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What am I going to say about this that hasn't already been said? I love Shakespeare in all his "matey genius." My favorites are Macbeth, King Lear, and the Tempest.
Sep 28, 2008 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Self-serving recommendation by one of the editors (me). Very good value, however, and the typography is excellent. Also the single-play editions.
Nov 12, 2008 Schizophelia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great Shakespeare all-in-one with lots of gorgeous pictures, drawings, and footnotes if you're not down with the English fancy talk.
Jul 12, 2008 Gina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: preforming-arts
Ok, so I haven't read the entire book but did get through a number of works in HS & college. One day, I'll fill in the missing gaps.
Derek H
Jun 10, 2008 Derek H rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my first choice for a Shakespeare anthology (that'd probably be the Riverside), but, c'mon... it's friggin' Shakespeare...
Dec 05, 2007 Dylan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Books to have in every home: 1) medical reference guide, catcher in the rye, bible, and this (if nothing else just for show)
Stacy Crandall
Dec 09, 2011 Stacy Crandall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stacy by: SMC
A great collection of poems and plays by Shakespeare.
Oct 29, 2007 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The average rating is only 4.4? Are you kidding me?
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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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