20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
the book that killed its creator, 30 May 2000
Ted Hughes told Andrew Motion, not long before he died, that writing this book had shortened his life - all that prose was killing him. It's certainly hefty, dense, and the unwieldy central premise - that Shakespeare developed certain mythical themes and variations throughout the canon - owes more to Hughes' imagination than Shakespeare's. This is why it was criticised on release, criticism which hurt Hughes. But taken on its own eccentric terms, its a hell of a book, shot through with great insights into the plays and the personality behind them. Hughes on Shakespeare's poetry is worth the price alone. Give it a go.