Review: The Shakespeare Book by DK Publishing

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Learn more about the work of William Shakespeare with The Shakespeare Book, packed full of infographics, inspirational quotes, character guides, and more bonus material that illuminates the bard’s work, from Shakespeare plays like Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, and As You Like It, to his best-loved sonnets, and even obscure lost works. Every comedy, tragedy, history, and poem of Shakespeare’s is collected here in this comprehensive guide.

Shakespeare’s canon comes to life with images, idea webs, timelines, and quotes that help the reader understand the context of Shakespeare’s plays and poems. Each play includes a glance-able guide to story chronology, so you can easily get back on track if you get lost in Shakespeare’s beautiful language. Character guides are a handy reference for casual readers and an invaluable resource for playgoers and students writing reports on Shakespeare. The Shakespeare Book includes the best of Shakespeare, and it’s set to become a staple for theater lovers, Shakespeare students, and Shakespeare fans because its information is delivered in such an understandable and inspirational way.

While it didn’t get as in depth about some of the themes of the plays as I may have liked, this is a very good overview of Shakespeare’s works, laying them out chronologically and explaining not only the plot, but some of the thematic elements of the work and a history of interpretations of the play itself. It’s a good reference, especially when introducing someone to Shakespeare and points out much of what is referred to as “problematic” in some of his lesser accepted plays. Definitely a reference book, but a very nice looking and easy to use one that won’t intimidate new inductees to the plays.

4 out of 5

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