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Twelfth Night (Penguin Shakespeare) [Paperback]

William Shakespeare , Michael Dobson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Hardcover 47.31  
Paperback 5.59  
Audio, CD, Audiobook 13.61  
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Book Description

7 April 2005 Penguin Shakespeare
Separated from her twin brother Sebastian after a shipwreck, Viola disguises herself as a boy to serve the Duke of Illyria. Wooing a countess on his behalf, she is stunned to find herself the object of his beloved's affections. With the arrival of Viola's brother, and a trick played upon the countess's steward, confusion reigns in this romantic comedy of mistaken identity.

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Twelfth Night (Penguin Shakespeare) + The Merchant of Venice (Penguin Shakespeare)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (7 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141014709
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141014708
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 11.1 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 121,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Book Description

For four centuries Twelfth Night has inspired theatre directors and performers. Surveying a dazzling range of Twelfth Night productions – including many significant productions which have not received due critical attention previously – Schafer provides the reader with an indispensable stage history of this popular play, from its first performance to today. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Michael Dobson is currently Professor of Renaissance Drama at Roehampton University, London. Stanley Wells is Emeritus Professor of the University of Birmingham and Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Michael Dobson is currently Professor of Renaissance Drama at Roehampton University, London.

Stanley Wells is Emeritus Professor of the University of Birmingham and Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare's best comedy, beautifully presented 28 April 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
You don't need me to tell you Twelfth Night is a wonderful play -- what you need is this new Penguin edition, which has the best introduction to the play on the market and at the lowest price going. The introductory material on the play's themes and its possibilities in the theatre and on screen is nearly as funny, sexy and engaging as the play itself. I'm almost glad my old Arden copy fell apart so that I had to buy this one -- it really is fresher and livelier.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dobson's Choice 13 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback
The play's the thing but this one has been so well worked over that I'd just like to tip my hat to Michael Dobson, who has given us a clear, witty and insightful introduction to the text that steers well clear of the academic diarrhoea that afflicts too many with WS. For writing so, there's gold (to take a recurring motif here). This is one of the best packages of literature you'll ever get your mitts on. Buy now while stocks last.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars nice 3 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback
nice service and nice product - best of luck to that company and to all companies in 2011 - may they all do really well!
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
SmartPass is great audio format and easy to access for a variety of kids
I facilitate 10 home educated students studying English for GCSE. The SmartPass material for Twelfth Night really helped the group to enjoy and understand the play. They achieved good grades for the Shakespeare component of their coursework, and all scored B or above.
The SmartPass material we used consisted of two audio presentations of a fully dramatised production of Twelfth Night. One version contains the play and integrated commentary, the other is an uninterrupted rendition. At first I thought the commentary would be intrusive, however, after only a few minutes listening I was "hooked" and realised that I was enjoying both commentary and play. More importantly my daughter was also engrossed and learned far more from listening to the commentary than she ever would from me.
The commentator or "Passmaster" puts the action into context and highlights themes, symbols and motifs as they arise in the play. I found her voice very engaging which is important in a primarily audio product. Full transcripts of both the play and commentary are also provided as PDF files. This helps in searching and making notes. The teachers pack also contains suggestions for interesting group activities. These additional features are helpful in supporting curriculum and specification study by the teacher.
My group is unusual in that we have few formal lessons with a "proper" teacher and hence study the play at home. Some students struggle with text because of dyslexic tendencies and SmartPass helped them to study Twelfth Night on their own without that stress.
The material is a provided in MP3 format which means it can be used on portable music players/phones or CDs.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  120 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best Shakespeare play on audio ever 8 Jun 1998
By Molly the Cat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio Cassette
Each of the Harper/Caedmon Audio series of Shakespeare's plays, originally recorded in the 60s by the Shakespeare Recording Society and now being reissued on cassette, lives up to a high standard of performance. But the "Twelfth Night" recording is, in my view, the best. The stellar cast includes a young Vanessa Redgrave as Olivia, and a hilarious Willoughby Goddard as Sir Toby. The scenes where Paul Scofield as Malvolio is deceived with a forged letter into thinking that Olivia loves him have a side-splitting humor that comes through even though the play is nearly 400 years old. The sound quality is excellent. I would have to say that this is the crown jewel of the whole Caedmon series.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Naxos complete recording the best so far 4 Nov 2000
By F. Behrens - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Please notice that G.H.'s in-house review above does not refer to the recording pictured above, nor do any of the reviews so far. What follows refers only to the Naxos set.
There are now three complete recordings of <Twelfth Night> available. We have the older and elegantly read version on Harper Audio with Dorothy Tutin as the best Viola of the lot. Acted with a bit more verve though with less poetry is the Arkangel Shakespeare recording with a Scottish Malvolio and a cast of younger sounding actors who are making names for themselves in Great Britain. However I am very impressed with the "Twelfth Night" that is one of the latest additions to the Naxos Classic Drama series.
By far, this is the best-produced "Twelfth Night." One actually feels he is hearing an actual stage performance with all of the action but with the loss of none of the poetry. Perhaps the Viola does sound a little maturer than imagination would have her and the Sir Toby Belch a little less belchy sounding than others. None of the Festes sing as marvelously as did Peter Pears on the long deleted Marlowe Society recording (also with Tutin); however, on this Naxos set David Timson stays nicely in tune--and directs the production to boot. And he keeps things moving neatly along, which is saying a lot for Shakespeare recordings.
The CD version has the advantage of excellent tracking cues for not only each scene but for key points within the scene. The Harper CDs give a new track only for each new scene and the tapes (of course) are quite useless in that regard. The Arkangel series at present exists only on tapes but they are planning to reissue the entire series on CDs. So this Naxos release is the one of choice so far.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Homeschooling Shakespeare 30 Jun 2008
By Eileen Cunningham - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Folger Shakespeare edition of this play gives it a leg up on other versions as far as homeschooling goes. First, the text of the play appears on the right-hand pages, leaving the left-hand pages for glosses, text notes, and illustrations that clarify numerous allusions in the play. Second, sections in the introductory material explain Shakespeare's language, life, and theater, as well as the print history of the play. In the closing material, the editors have included textual notes, an essay entitled "*Twelfth Night*: A Modern Perspective" by Catherine Belsey, an annotated list for further reading, and a key to famous lines in the play. Most useful for homeschooling, perhaps, are the lesson plans available at the Folger web site in either PDF or print version. This play served as the basis of the popular movie *She's the Man*, which can be viewed as a follow-up for comparison and discussion.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Comedy 16 Dec 2005
By Kirk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This play is about a girl who goes under cover as a man to try to find her twin brother who was lost in a shipwreck. she goes to work for the self indulgent Duke Orsino. the play is filled with comedic events such as the Duchess Olivia falls love with the main character, Viola, because Olivia thinks Viola is a man, as well as the drunken antics of Sir Toby and Sir Andrew. overall it was a very funny play and I enjoyed reading it and I would reccoment it to anyone who likes Shakespeare.

The wording, the same as with any shakespeare play, was a little hard to get used to. When reading it I would get a vague understanding what the character was saying but then I would chekc the definition of specific words that are on the the opposite page. It would then become clear to me what was happening in the play. I enjoyed the comedic flow of the story. the series of different converging plots made for a little difficult comprehension but it all came together at the end of the play. This was definitely a funny play, and it was even better when I saw it on stage. There seems to be so much one misses when just reading a play, but when one sees it on stage the overall understanding of what is happening and why is greater. I thouroughly enjoyed reading the play as well as seeing it on stage and it was overall a solid comedy by William Shakespeare.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Shakespearean Comedy 12 Jan 2002
By Ashley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As a high school student reading Twelfth Night, I find it one of the finest Shakespearean comedies. It is the story of two twins, Viola and Sebastian, who become shipwrecked and land on the island of Illyria, both thinking that the other is dead. It includes a classic example of mistaken identities, in which Viola disguises herself as a man (in order to work for Orsino) and is confused with Sebastian. Sebastian is mistaken for Cesario (Viola's fake identity) by Sir Toby and Sir Andrew, and then by Olivia, resulting in their marriage. Sebastian's friend Antonio mistakes Viola for Sebastian and is thrown in jail when Viola claims she doesn't know him. These cases of mistaken identity create a comical mess that is only resolved when Viola and Sebastian appear together, and everyone understands what has happened. The mistaken identities in this plot also create a complex love triangle between Orsino, Olivia and Viola. Viola finds herself falling for Orsino, who she woks disguised as Cesario. Orsino sends her to tell Olivia that he is in love with her. Viola does as her employer wishes, and Olivia falls in love with Cesario. While all this is going on, the reader is entertained with Sir Andrew's hopeless attempts to woo Olivia, and with the trick played on Olivia's head servant Malvolio by Sir Toby and Maria, Olivia's uncle and servant woman. While it can be confusing to keep track of characters true identities, it is definitely a worthwhile play. Having seen the play before actually reading it, I felt this comedy was just as entertaining and enjoyable to read as to see acted on stage.
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