Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Up to 70% off Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Shop Amazon Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop now
Four Tragedies: Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
Buy Used
£0.01
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Like New | Details
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Unbeatable customer service, and we usually ship the same or next day. Over one million satisfied customers!
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Four Great Tragedies: Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Macbeth (The New Folger Library Shakespeare) Paperback – Aug 1985

2 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, Aug 1985
£16.45 £0.01
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Save £20 on Amazon.co.uk with the aqua Classic card. Get an initial credit line of £250-£1,200 and build your credit rating. Representative 32.9% APR (variable). Subject to term and conditions. Learn more.


Free One-Day Delivery for six months with Amazon Student


Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Washington Square Pr; Reissue edition (Aug. 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671601059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671601058
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 10.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,116,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

About the Author

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born to John Shakespeare and mother Mary Arden some time in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. He wrote about 38 plays (the precise number is uncertain), a collection of sonnets and a variety of other poems. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
First Sentence
A recurring motif in Hamlet is of a seemingly healthy exterior concealing an interior sickness. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 29 Dec. 2005
Format: Paperback
Hamlet
This play, of course, is perhaps the best known in all of English literature. Taking it's inspiration from lesser plays and tales of the same name, Shakespeare crafted the characters, dialogue and plot into a timeless tale of betrayal, the quest for justice, and ultimately a hollow victory. This play, in short, is a downer.
I will speak daggers to her, but use none.
Of course, it really thrilled the audiences, who, lacking the primetime violence of today, enjoyed seeing the blood, the gore, the violence, the swordplay. Those with a more subtle bent were very satisfied with the wonderful dialogues, full of double and self-reflexive meanings. So many of the monologues have become common parlance in our language.
A hit, a very palpable hit.
The 'on one foot' synopsis: Hamlet, prince of Denmark, is suspicious that his step-father killed his father and usurped the throne and his mother's bedchamber; he plots to get revenge; in the meantime his love-interest Ophelia dies; in a duel to the death at the end the mother dies, the step-father dies, the duel contender dies, and Hamlet dies. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
The rest is silence.
Othello
Rude I am in speech,
And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace
Surely Shakespeare was not speaking of himself here. Even his poorly-spoken characters cannot help to have an elegance and subtlety all their own. Othello is another tragedy, this one driven by jealousy. The exact cause of the jealousy can vary; Iago can be jealous of Othello, of his love for Desdemona, of Desdemona herself, or several other possibilities.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Oct. 1996
Format: Paperback
Not only is it a collection of Shakespeare's best tragedies,
it is a library of information about each of the four tragedies
presented here. Wonderful prefaces, written by Mark Van Doren
bring the reader to know the "when's and where's" about the
setting of each tragedy. Cosing out the book is a glossary
terms and phrases that may stump the beginning Shakespearian
reader. This book is great for the college student who needs
it for a class as well as the working adult who wants a great
story to read. I highly reccomend it!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
This is a great collection of Shakespeare's finest tragedies 8 Oct. 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Not only is it a collection of Shakespeare's best tragedies,
it is a library of information about each of the four tragedies
presented here. Wonderful prefaces, written by Mark Van Doren
bring the reader to know the "when's and where's" about the
setting of each tragedy. Cosing out the book is a glossary
terms and phrases that may stump the beginning Shakespearian
reader. This book is great for the college student who needs
it for a class as well as the working adult who wants a great
story to read. I highly reccomend it!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Tragedy! 23 July 2003
By FrKurt Messick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Hamlet
This play, of course, is perhaps the best known in all of English literature. Taking it's inspiration from lesser plays and tales of the same name, Shakespeare crafted the characters, dialogue and plot into a timeless tale of betrayal, the quest for justice, and ultimately a hollow victory. This play, in short, is a downer.
I will speak daggers to her, but use none.
Of course, it really thrilled the audiences, who, lacking the primetime violence of today, enjoyed seeing the blood, the gore, the violence, the swordplay. Those with a more subtle bent were very satisfied with the wonderful dialogues, full of double and self-reflexive meanings. So many of the monologues have become common parlance in our language.
A hit, a very palpable hit.
The 'on one foot' synopsis: Hamlet, prince of Denmark, is suspicious that his step-father killed his father and usurped the throne and his mother's bedchamber; he plots to get revenge; in the meantime his love-interest Ophelia dies; in a duel to the death at the end the mother dies, the step-father dies, the duel contender dies, and Hamlet dies. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
The rest is silence.
Othello
Rude I am in speech,
And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace
Surely Shakespeare was not speaking of himself here. Even his poorly-spoken characters cannot help to have an elegance and subtlety all their own. Othello is another tragedy, this one driven by jealousy. The exact cause of the jealousy can vary; Iago can be jealous of Othello, of his love for Desdemona, of Desdemona herself, or several other possibilities. The emphasis often lies in the performance, and Shakespeare's play is written broadly enough to allow for any of these to be correct interpretations.
But men are men; the best sometimes forget.
Othello satisfied the need for violence, for passion, and for intrigue. 'On one foot', Iago, servant and friend of Othello, who also hates Othello, plants the seeds of suspicion that Desdemona has been unfaithful, leading Othello down a treacherous path that leads in his ultimate murder of Desdemona.
Take note, take note, O world!
To be direct and honest is not safe.
During one performance in the American Old West, an audience member became so entranced and enraged with the actor's portrayal of Iago that he took out his pistol and shot him. The tombstone of the actor reads 'Here lies the greatest actor'.
Lear
The prince of darkness is a gentleman.
This most difficult of Shakespeare plays, both for performing and for studying, is one of the true masterpieces of English (or any) literature, and yet is underperformed and underappreciated due to the power of its complexity and of its tragedy. Indeed, often the tragedy at the end has been softened by having Cordelia survive victorious. Beware these kinds of performances--they not Shakespeare's intent, however much we wish.
Lear begins with folly, and ends in tragedy, while treachery and evil seems to creep like a vine choking off first this person, then that. The fool is the only wise one; the insane are the only protected, and the nobles increasingly lose nobility of intent and action as the events progress. Gloucester and Lear are both deceived by wicked children turned against their better offspring; all ends in tragedy for most of the lot.
Lear addresses sibling rivalries, parent/child relationships, poverty and insanity, and any number of other readily accessible issues, but all interwoven so tightly that they cannot be unravelled easily, yet all the while the world for the characters are unravelling thread by thread before our very eyes. Lear points out the folly of human planning and agency. Lear was banned from performance, actually, during 1788-1820 when George III was considered insane, and the connexion between stage and royalty would be too blurred for official comfort.
Howl, howl, howl, howl! O! you are men of stones!
Macbeth
The witches, the blood-stained hands, the play whose name must not be mentioned in a theatre lest bad luck befall the actor or production. Macbeth is all of these, and more. Loosely based upon a real historical character, the tragedy here is one of ambition.
Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air
Did Macbeth really see the ghost of Banquo at the banquet, or was it indigestion because of the haggis? Macbeth can be played with or without a conscience, which makes for differing character development, but both options are available in Shakespeare's flexible playwriting.
Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven or to hell
Macbeth is driven by his ambition, but also by the ambition of his wife, Lady Macbeth, as treacherous a villain in many respects as any male character in Shakespeare. Macbeth has an overgrown sense of invincibility, convinced by prophecies that his course will be successful, and ordinarily it is (until it all goes awry); it is a successful struggle to the throne, but never secure, and in the end, all is lost.
Macbeth may be the bloodiest of Shakespeare's plays, a thrill for Elizabethan audiences, and a wonder to behold as the scenes get ever more desperate and darker.
This edition
There are so many editions of Shakespeare available, and many have merits. This particular volume of the four major tragic plays provides commentary by David Bevington which is insightful and accessible; it also gives photographs of performances and stagings by the New York Shakespeare Festivals, modernised spelling and concordance listings of major passages. Not short by any means (nearly 1000 pages), this will nonetheless give a good study to the plays, with visual aids, and supportive material, all in one volume.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This book needs footnotes! 31 Dec. 2000
By CRC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
An integral part to any Shakespeare work is the presence of footnotes! This book has a glossary, but it does not do any good because there is not sign in the actual text itself that one can look up specific words in the glossary. While the plays themselves are very enjoyable, do not purchase this edition unless you feel very confident about your ability to read Shakespearean language.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Shakespearean tragedy -Greatness is all 28 Oct. 2005
By Shalom Freedman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
To have the four great tragedies together raises the question of what the essence, the real heart of Shakespearean tragedy is.

In Aristotle's definition of Greek tragedy the overweening pride of the hero(hubris) and tragic fault( hamartia ) lead to his eventual destruction. The audience watching this is in the course of this purged of pity and fear.

In Shakespearean tragedy there is as in Aristotle a hero who is larger than the ordinary man. The hero too has a great flaw and comes to a destructive end. But the doubt and hesitancy of dreaming Hamlet, the great ambition for kingship of Macbeth, the blind filial love of Lear seem more emotionally complex than that of the Greek heroes. And the language in which the story of their respective downfalls is told is too more rich, complex, and ambivalent than that of the clearer Greek earlier model.

And this in such a way that the Shakespearean tragic heroes each seem to be in themselves a kind of supreme human essence, a manifestation of character at its greatest level of intensity.

Shakespeare's greatest heroes are individuals who become in some sense the ' type' of themselves, and live in our minds as models of humanity in its extreme essence.

'Greatness is all'
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
excellent edition of great tragedies 14 Dec. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
this is an excellent 'cheap' edition of the great tragedies. besides being edited by david bevington, considered one of the foremost shakespeare scholars, the bantam edition also includes introductory essays for each play AND the source material that shakespeare used - ie, the actual short stories or plays that the bard drew on to the write his plays. wonderful stuff and a great way to get into shakespeare.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know


Feedback