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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A scholar's text?
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...
Published on 16 Jan 2011 by Roman Clodia

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really recommended on the Kindle
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...
Published 1 month ago by O. G. M. Morgan


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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A scholar's text?, 16 Jan 2011
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: William Shakespeare: The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) (Paperback)
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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bard at his best, 19 Aug 2010
By 
P (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: William Shakespeare: The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) (Paperback)
Although I don't own any of the alternative 'complete works' publications (I have also heard, for example, good things said about the RSC complete works edition) for me at least, this Oxford edition is simply an essential part of any fans library. Indeed, it's a great version for anybody who may be studying Shakespeare, but is not full of 'study notes' at the bottom of every page (which I don't like). Instead what we have here is the truly complete (as far as we know at least) canon of the Bard's works. They are presented in a form that is as close to what Shakespeare intended them to be, as is possible to get (at least to our understanding).

Before each play, there is a brief (one page) background introducing the context of the play, and what we know of its performance history, how it was received by critics and audiences, as well as the editors own justifications for having presented the play in such a way that either incorporates, or omits, elements from previous publications (mainly from the good or bad quartos and folios). It's also a real treat to have, for the first time, two different versions of King Lear reproduced in here (purely because we don't know which version in the 'definitive' one).

I own the first edition of this (published back in 1986 or '87 I think) but I have to say I believe this second edition really does surpass it. Not only do you now get more, but you also have, by way of introduction to the volume, a very detailed account of why new things have been included, as well as any reassessments which have been made of the works since 1987.

In conclusion then, a real gem, and a must have for anybody who was ever into Shakespeare, or indeed literature and the English language in general. I can't recommend it highly enough!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive and beyond, 8 Mar 2010
By 
Oracle - See all my reviews
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This review is from: William Shakespeare: The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for bedtime reading!, 22 Aug 2011
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I'll keep this short. This is a scholarly and beautifully produced edition of the writer who created our mind-map. If, like me, you're constantly re-reading or teaching these plays, it's not especially convenient to sit down and enjoy - too heavy and the wrong size. I love to sit up and read Shakespeare and/or Dickens in bed, especially during the winter months; from that point of view I find the Everyman edition in several volumes unbeatable, primarily because it has larger, clearer print and one column of text per page for my tired old eyes.
If all of that doesn't bother you however, and you want the plays in one volume, this handsome tome may suit you well!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very nice edition to add to your library, 11 Sep 2013
By 
Alain (Lafayette, LA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: William Shakespeare: The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really recommended on the Kindle, 19 Feb 2014
By 
O. G. M. Morgan (Hants, England) - See all my reviews
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very difficult to navigate, incredibly light on extra content., 16 Oct 2013
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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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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 19 Mar 2008
By 
Ms. Anna L. Waters (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: William Shakespeare: The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) (Paperback)
This edition is not worth spending the extra money on. The text is cramped, with no explanatory notes on the page. A poor edition to try to study from. I wish I had bought the RSC edition.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superior collection, 17 Nov 2013
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If you love Shakespeare you will find this collection indispensable. It includes all the plays and sonnets. The accompanying notes are very helpful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent copy in good condition., 2 Nov 2013
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This review is from: William Shakespeare: The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) (Paperback)
It is an academic tome and therefore very dry in language and tone. However, the introduction and index facilitated accurate and speedy reading and research. It was easy to cross-reference with other works/authors in the same field.
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William Shakespeare: The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare)
William Shakespeare: The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) by William Shakespeare (Paperback - 21 April 2005)
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