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Understanding Shakespeare: The Tempest

Understanding Shakespeare: The Tempest

Robert A. Albano | Classic Literature
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A scene-by-scene analysis of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" with full explanations of all key lines. Also included in this volume is a reprint of the English translation of Jacob Ayrer's "The Fair Sidea," a possible source of the play. "The Tempest" is one of Shakespeare’s most popular and highly...

Understanding Shakespeare: Much Ado about Nothing

Understanding Shakespeare: Much Ado about Nothing

Robert A. Albano | Classic Literature
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The comedy "Much Ado about Nothing" breaks a familiar dramatic convention of the Renaissance. Typically, a writer would direct the central focus of a comedy on the young lovers of the play, and the best lines and most pleasing poetry of the work would be spoken by those characters. In "Much...

Understanding Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream

Understanding Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream

Robert A. Albano | Classic Literature
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Shakespeare's delightful fantasy-comedy explained in clear and simple prose. "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" is, perhaps, William Shakespeare’s most charming and endearing dramatic work. Not only is it a marvelous comedy, but the play is also a wonderful fantasy. Shakespeare was never one to...

Understanding Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor

Understanding Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor

Robert A. Albano | Classic Literature
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A scene-by-scene analysis of Shakespeare's merry comedy about marriage, honor, and revenge. According to evidence discovered long after the playwright’s death, Shakespeare wrote "The Merry Wives of Windsor" at the request of Queen Elizabeth, who wanted to see Sir John Falstaff, one of...

Understanding Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice

Understanding Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice

Robert A. Albano | Classic Literature
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William Shakespeare's intriguing tragicomedy is explained in plain and direct prose! This volume also contains the complete tale from "Il Pecorone," Shakespeare's primary source for the play. In "The Merchant of Venice" Shakespeare plays with the concepts and conventions regarding protagonists...

Understanding Shakespeare: As You Like It

Understanding Shakespeare: As You Like It

Robert A. Albano | Classic Literature
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Shakespeare's witty comedy about love and sibling rivalry described in plain and direct prose! "As You Like It" is one of Shakespeare’s most delightful and most magical comedies. However, the magic in it is not the obvious and direct form of magic found in plays like "A Midsummer Night’s...

Understanding Shakespeare: Henry IV, Part 1

Understanding Shakespeare: Henry IV, Part 1

Robert A. Albano | Classic Literature
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Shakespeare's history play explained in plain and simple prose! One of Shakespeare's best history plays is "The First Part of King Henry the Fourth" (or "1 Henry IV"). Shakespeare actually wrote two plays about the reign of King Henry IV (1399-1413). In "1 Henry IV" Shakespeare covers the...

Understanding Shakespeare: The Sonnets

Understanding Shakespeare: The Sonnets

Robert A. Albano | Classic Literature
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Shakespeare's Sonnets explained in plain and simple prose! Like Sidney's "Astrophil and Stella," Shakespeare's collection of 154 poems forms a sonnet cycle. Written in the early 1590's (but not published until 1609), Shakespeare's sonnets, like other cycles, concern love and focus on the...

Understanding Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra

Understanding Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra

Robert A. Albano | Classic Literature
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Shakespeare's great tragedy explained in plain and simple prose! "Antony and Cleopatra" is – only superficially – a sequel to "Julius Caesar." On the one hand, "Antony" covers approximately the same time period in Roman history as "Caesar"; and several of the characters that appear in...

Understanding Shakespeare: Julius Caesar

Understanding Shakespeare: Julius Caesar

Robert A. Albano | Classic Literature
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Shakespeare's great tragedy explained in plain and simple prose!"The Tragedy of Julius Caesar" is not a play about Julius Caesar. If that may seem strange to the audience of today, it was equally strange to the audience of Shakespeare’s own time. William Shakespeare was a writer of imagination...