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Prefaces to Shakespeare

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  25 ratings  ·  4 reviews
This collection serves as a comprehensive introduction for the general reader to Shakepeare. Tanner brings Shakepeare to life, explicating everything from big-picture issues to close readings of Shakepeare's deployment of complex words in his plays.
Hardcover, 827 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by Belknap Press (first published 2010)
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For the first time since his untimely death, Tony Tanner's introductions to all of Shakespeare's plays have been published collectively. All in all this constitutes a tome that is surprisingly accessible, especially when considering the depth, variety and importance of the works it encompasses.

It quickly becomes apparent that the author is as erudite and well-read as he is self-effacing. What a delight to encounter scholarship at this level which serves the subject so devotedly without, at the s
Staggering. I so enjoy reading "complete" approaches to Shakespeare by well-read academics, particularly those like the late Tony Tanner who really want you to enjoy the works as much as they do. All too often with modern interpreters of Shakespeare, the desire is either to see the work entirely "as Shakespeare did" (a ludicrous aim that usually reveals more about the interpreter's own neuroses), or otherwise to completely reject the idea of a 1590s audience, and strive for only the bits that ar ...more
Tom Hughes
If you only read one book about Shakespeare's plays, this is the one. Firstly, you can just read about the plays you know, or the plays you've seen or maybe the plays you are going to see (there is a lot of Shakespeare in New York theaters this year). It's organized to make that easy -- one preface per play.

Tanner's not afraid to introduce issues that are ambiguous and hard to decipher in the plays but he does it in a way that only makes you want that much more to read the whole play through. Ho
Great resource on the plays--illuminating essays that offer new things to enjoy in the less celebrated works.
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