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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Essential reading if you love the Bard, or are puzzled why other people do. Ackroyd works his magic on the social, political, economic, and cultural contexts.
Published 12 months ago by Michael Ormsby

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the perfect introduction to Shakespeare it claims to be
Most of the book is taken up with discussing the sources, main characters and plots of Shakespeare's plays, but where there are quotations from the plays (mainly in the chapter discussing the tragedies and in the final chapter called `The Wit and Wisdom of Shakespeare') very little help is given to the reader to enable them to understand the meaning of the text...
Published on 20 Mar. 2011 by Birdman


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the perfect introduction to Shakespeare it claims to be, 20 Mar. 2011
Most of the book is taken up with discussing the sources, main characters and plots of Shakespeare's plays, but where there are quotations from the plays (mainly in the chapter discussing the tragedies and in the final chapter called `The Wit and Wisdom of Shakespeare') very little help is given to the reader to enable them to understand the meaning of the text. Similarly, there's almost no help for the reader in understanding the sonnets, the complete set of which takes up seventy pages of the book. It would have been better if only a selection of the sonnets had been included along with an explanation of each one. According to the book's back cover it claims to be `...the perfect introduction to the Bard, ideal for anyone who has ever avoided the man or his work' and `indispensable for students struggling through their first play...'. However, the lack of explanation of Shakespeare's language is disappointing as it is undoubtedly the main stumbling block for people new to Shakespeare. Overall, the book is useful in learning about Shakespeare's plays but not very useful when it comes to understanding the language of Shakespeare.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 15 April 2014
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This review is from: A Brief Guide to William Shakespeare (Kindle Edition)
Essential reading if you love the Bard, or are puzzled why other people do. Ackroyd works his magic on the social, political, economic, and cultural contexts.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 17 Dec. 2014
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condensed version of plays
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