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William Shakespeare: The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) Paperback – 21 Apr 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 1424 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 2 edition (21 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199267189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199267187
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 17.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

remains the most distinctive, and in many ways the best, one-volume Shakespeare currently available and will not be easily replaced. (Forum for Modern Languages)

About the Author

Stanley Wells is Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and General Editor of the Oxford Shakespeare series. He is Emeritus Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Birmingham.

Gary Taylor (PhD Cambridge) is Professor in the English Department at the University of Alabama. He has published widely on Shakespeare, editing and the relationship of race and ethnicity to the history of literatures in English.

John Jowett is Associate General Editor of the Oxford Collected Works of Thomas Middleton, Co-Editor of the Oxford Complete Works of William Shakespeare and co-author of Shakespeare Reshaped 1606-23 (Clarendon Press). He has recently completed an edition of Richard III. His research interests include bibliography, editing and textual criticism, Renaissance theatre culture and print culture and Shakespeare's contemporary dramatists, especially Middleton.

William Montgomery - biography unavailable

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 16 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I teach Shakespeare at university level and this is the text that I use. It's certainly not perfect (what is?) and I recommend that students might also want to look at an Arden edition, especially for help with the language. Taylor and Wells have tried to provide us with the most accurate texts of Shakespeare's plays while admitting the caveat that this is a shifting position. The introduction is good on the literary and theatrical background, the volume is robust and well-produced, and the bibliography of further reading is useful.

On the negative side, this uses a fairly small font so some readers might find that a problem. It also, as other reviewers say, doesn't include explanatory notes on the plays themselves or the language, though there is a glossary at the back. The size and weight of the book makes it hefty to carry around and read.

On the positive side, however, I like the fact that this is an edition produced by textual scholars and is as reliable as it's possible to be. I also like that it returns us to the titles under which the plays were known and/or written in their own time, rather than the modern versions, and don't think this is just the editors being gimmicky.

So if you're a Shakespeare 'beginner' and unfamiliar or uncomfortable with sixteenth century language then this might not be the best edition, and I would recommend the Ardens. But if you are a general reader, a student familiar with Shakespeare or someone wanting to experience the plays as they were without needing story summaries and interpretations, then I would recommended this, especially at this price.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By O. G. M. Morgan on 19 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I adore Shakespeare and the idea of having his complete works in my pocket is wonderful, but this version is badly designed. Firstly, the searching is very poor. If you search for a word, the Kindle searches for a string. That means it is looking for a set of letters anywhere within the text, not just the exact word, or even the beginning of the word. Since this is the Complete Works, it will search the Complete Works. There is no way to limit a search to any individual play. I've seen this flaw in other Kindle books, so it may be integral to the design, but that doesn't alter the fact that it is annoying.

The other irritation with this is its ability to lose its place. Occasionally, I like to go back and re-read a passage. In this Kindle edition, attempting to page back can put you anywhere.

Also, the "Go To..." function here will get you only to the start of a play, or to a remembered location. There is no way to get automatically to individual Acts.

Altogether, I'd say that this really hasn't been thought out properly. These defects ought to have been blindingly obvious. Unfortunately, Kindle-readers who want Shakespeare should probably stick to buying the plays individually, even though that is obviously more expensive.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Dean G. Jennings on 16 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a student of English I reckoned this would be much more convenient than lugging around the physical copy. However, there are only divisions at the beginning of each play, meaning you have to enter a page number or worse yet, search for the word "coxcomb", which brings up about two dozen entries you're forced to scroll through. This makes it very difficult to keep up in class, and near impossible on older non-touch screen Kindle models, making me wish I'd just bought the hard copy.

It's also very poorly formatted, with inconsistencies in how scenes are named and lines running over into each other. Overall, very disappointing product, especially considering the amount of free copies that format and divide scenes properly. Not to mention that this "scholarly edition" amounts to a two page foreword at the start of each play. I would advise those in my position to pick up this Kindle version; THE COMPLETE PLAYS OF SHAKESPEARE (Illustrated and Commented Edition) All of William Shakespeare's Unabridged Plays AND Yale Critical Analysis) THE COMPLETE ... (The Complete Works of Shakespeare), which is properly formatted, and £8 less.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alain on 11 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first thing that struck me about this Oxford edition is that, unlike in many other editions, there are no marginal glosses and endless footnotes cluttering the text. If you prefer to have them, then this edition is not for you. There is, however, a partial glossary in the back; for further assistance, this edition also includes a bibliography, which is quite extensive.
For those smitten (bitten?) by the Bard, or who love the English language, or both, top-notch dictionaries are indispensable. My two favourites are the two-volume Shorter Oxford and Webster's Second. The latter has been out of print for more than 50 years, but it's not too difficult to find one that is in at least reasonably good condition.
Lastly, it should be noted that the four scholars who review the works have made changes when such changes were deemed more in keeping with Shakespeare's original work; this is explained in detail in the General Introduction and in the User's Guide.
Great edition, highly recommended.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Oracle VINE VOICE on 8 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
The Oxford Shakespeare is the best single-volume complete works that I've come across. It's particularly good for those who want to look at the plays and poems as they were written, rather than how they developed, as a great deal of effort has gone into trying to construct the most accurate versions of the texts. This is a good attempt to reconstruct the plays as a Renaissance audience would have know them (albeit with modern spellings) and as such is a must for students of 16th and 17th century drama. A particular bonus is the inclusion of the passages believed to be written by Shakespeare from Sir Thomas More and summaries of the lost works Cardenio and Love's Labour's Won.

If you're studying or performing one of plays then do get an individual edition with detailed notes, but as a reference tool this is tough to beat.
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