BOOKS | THEATER
BK - The Shakespeare HandbookTHE BARD IN BRIEF
By R. W. Maslen and Michael Schmidt
The Shakespeare Handbook is the definitive Bard-in-brief. Presenting 50 of the most significant and best-loved scenes from Shakespeare; each extract is preceded by a summary of the play - its plot, characters and themes.
The scenes themselves are beautifully and clearly laid out, with key quotes highlighted and explained, and illustrated with a famous painting, drawing or still. Arranged chronologically to show the progression in Shakespeare's style and themes, the seminal scenes chosen by Professor Schmidt: range from the comedy of Bottom's head turning into that of an ass to the tragedy of Cleopatra's death; and from the wonderful love scenes of the Merchant of Venice to the bloody dealings of Richard III.
This collection showcases the Bard's greatest dialogue, from 'Must he needs die?' and 'Is this a dagger...?' to 'Once more unto the breach' and 'All the world's a stage' It encompasses all of Shakespeare's plays, from the lesser-known Cymbeline, King John, Titus Andronicus to the most famous scenes of all time in Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Hamlet and Macbeth. This accessible guide is the easiest way to fill one of the most embarrassing, and common, of all gaps in a reader's knowledge.
Michael Schmidt is Professor of English Literature at the University of Glasgow. He also manages the poetry publisher, Carcanet Press, and is the author of The Story of Poetry and The First Poets. Robert Maslen has written the books Elizabethan Fictions (1997) and Shakespeare and Comedy (2005) and edited works by Philip Sidney, Thomas Dekker and Mervyn Peake. He teaches English Literature at the University of Glasgow.