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Shakespeare for Dummies

" Shakespeare For Dummies is exquisite." — From the Foreword by Dame Judi Dench of Mrs. Brown and Shakespeare in Love " John Doyle asks actors never to hide in fear from Shakespeare' s words, but to use them to bring the story to life." — Natascha McElhone, costar of the films The Truman Show and Mrs. Dalloway " What great fun! What the film Shakespeare in Love has done to make Shakespeare the man accessible to a general audience, this book will do to make Shakespeare the writer enjoyable." — Charlotte J. Headrick, Ph.D., Professor and Director, Theatre Arts, Oregon State University

Includes a Scorecard for Every Play!

Shakespeare… Difficult? Zounds! ' Tis all much ado about nothing! Does the thought of sitting through A Midsummer Night' s Dream give you nightmares? Did Romeo and Juliet seem like a foreign film — without the subtitles? Relax. As John Doyle and Ray Lischner prove in this uniquely accessible guide, Shakespeare is not only the greatest writer who ever lived, but he' s also a great entertainer — once you get a handle on his wild plots and witty wordplay. With Shakespeare For Dummies® , you get snappy summaries and scorecards for every play to help you keep track of who' s who, who' s in love with whom, and who' s killed whom — plus fun tips on understanding Elizabethan English, including all those racy puns and jokes. " Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Ears"

  • Discover how Shakespeare became the Steven Spielberg of Elizabethan England — and why some people still claim that his plays were ghostwritten
  • Go inside an Elizabethan theater — and find out how they managed with almost no seats, no roof, and no women onstage
  • Improve your understanding of the language with tips on sentence construction, verbs, and those troublesome thees, thous, and thines
  • Find contemporary idioms and phrases that come from Shakespeare' s plays
  • Get the lowdown on where to find Shakespeare festivals and performances — and discover how to maximize your enjoyment of a play
  • Find out the possible identity of the mysterious " Dark Lady" in Shakespeare' s sonnets
  • Catch ten of the best shows ever made of the Bard' s plays — and meet the ten greatest Shakespearean actors of all time
Product Details

Table of Contents

Foreword. Introduction. PART I: What Makes Shakespeare Special. Chapter 1: Meet William Shakespeare. Chapter 2: Will's World. Chapter 3: Shakespeare in the Modern World. PART II: You Call That English? Chapter 4: Why Does Everyone Talk So Funny? Chapter 5: Did You Hear the One About . ? Chapter 6: How to Read Shakespeare's English. PART III: The Play's the Thing. Chapter 7: Once Upon a Time. Chapter 8: Shakespeare's People: Characters, Actors, and Audiences. Chapter 9: Use Your Imagination. Chapter 10: Reading a Play. Chapter 11: At the Theater. PART IV: Scorecards and Summaries. Chapter 12: Keeping Score. Chapter 13: Comedies. Chapter 14: Histories. Chapter 15: Tragedies. PART V: The Other Poems. Chapter 16: All About the Sonnets. Chapter 17: Narrative and Other Poems. PART VI: The Part of Tens. Chapter 18: The Ten Best Places to Watch Shakespeare's Plays. Chapter 19: Ten Everyday Phrases from Shakespeare. Chapter 20: The Ten Greatest Shakespearean Performers. Chapter 21: Ten Films and Shows Based on Shakespeare's Plays. Index. Book Registration Information.

About the Author

About the Authors John Doyle, former artistic director of four renowned theater companies in Britain, has directed more than 160 professional productions, including Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, and Much Ado About Nothing. Ray Lischner helped form TACIT (Theater Arts at the California Institute of Technology) and participated in every production. He has performed in several Shakespeare plays, including Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Titus Andronicus.

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