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Essential Shakespeare Handbook

4.3  ·  Rating details ·  176 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews

A portrait of Shakespeare's life and times: critics, contemporaries, patrons, and the era's vibrant theater.

Full commentaries on all 39 plays including detailed plot summaries, a survey of dramatic interpretations on stage and screen, and an intr
Paperback, 480 pages
Published January 16th 2013 by DK (first published April 1st 2004)
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Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For some reason I like this book much more than any other Shakespeare reference material I have come across, even though it is introductory and simply an overview. There is something very appealing and engaging about the layout that really makes me want to read it all the time. Each play is summarised along with lots of pictures, quotes and analyses, as well as visual representations with a comparison of prose to verse, and a comparison of the date and length of each play relative to the others.
Georgi Marrapodi
Apr 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A full guide of all the Shakespeare works
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reading-list
You know I have always been a fan of Shakespeare, well more so any Shakespeare. This book is a great way to help you understand Shakespeare's works. This is also good for those in acting school. I think that this book does a good job, the book is a lot handy, compact, illustrated, general, knowledgeable guide to all things Shakespeare, from synopses to performance histories and interpretations to background. This book is excellent for learning about Shakespeare's work It doesn't take the place o ...more
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
الكتاب مفيدجدا جدا جدا بيتكلم عن مختصر لحياه شكسبير وتاريخه الادبى وملخص عن اعماله المسرحية والشعرية وانتقاداتها الادبية واهم الاعمال الؤثرة بيها مسرحيا وسنمائيا الكتاب فعلا مفيد وم زى كتب كتير كانت بتتكلم عن اعمال شكسبير مش ممل ابدا والصور والاسلوب مش هيخلوق تزهق هو بس طويل شوية بس عادى عن نفسى قررت اضيفه لمكتبتى
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as a gift when I was a child fresh from Shakespeare camp (I was so into Shakespeare camp that I actually received several Shakespeare related gifts). And I have to say that I was more into this book than I was into the actual plays. You could look at which female characters had the most lines, which plays had the highest body counts, check to see which Harry Potter actors played different parts (Petunia as Richard II blew my mind). I spent hours upon hours across several yea ...more
May 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Perfect playgoing resource for the novice as well as the aficionado.
Dorling-Kindersley has mastered the art of providing maximum information in minimal space, and with gorgeous illustrations. Each play is covered in about 10-15 pages. The character list summarizes each person's role in the story, and gives the number of lines they speak; characters are also identified by handy icons for "identify change" "dies", "ghost" etc. The plot summary is highlighted with similar icons for "play within a
David Gray
Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent overview of the works and world of Shakespeare. While trying to reduce each play to a 6 or 8 page synopsis is obviously a challenge, this book does a nice job of not just summarizing but also using visual elements and explanatory sections (such as "reading the play," "seeing the play" etc) to provide context for how the play has evolved as has our understanding of it. While some of the visual elements seem a bit contrived, or are more for atmosphere than anything specific to ...more
Kate Dimitrova
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a great reference book -- for each play it offers a synopsis, a list of characters, plot summary by act and then goes on to offer historical analysis. I use it for every Shakespeare play I see; I read it before I go and take it with me to the production. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves Shakespeare but would like a guide. A great resource made by DK!
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It used to be that for my own part, it was Greek to me. Not so!
This one was a real find, handy packed with blessedly brief yet comprehensive information about the plays, Shakespeare's life, Elizabethan times, everything and anything! Side notes, summaries and yes, pretty pictures present a pleasing portrait.
Iain Watson
Essential Shakespeare Handbook by Leslie & Riding Dunton-Downer, Alan (2004)
Sue Shewkenek
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It is a valuable tool for Shakespeare enthusiasts!
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-organized, helpful art & photos.
Mar 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A decent reference book if you just need the highlights.
May 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is the best choice for anything Shakespeare you need for school. It seriously has like all the information. And it's published by DK, so there can't be much better.
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent resource for all things Shakespeare.
Mike Talley Jr
Oct 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
A fantastic and helpful book and companion to the works of Shakespeare. A must have to learn in depth information on all his works.
Katie Mccrary
rated it it was amazing
May 31, 2014
SJH (A Dream of Books)
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