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Arden Shakespeare: Complete Works (Arden Shakespeare) [Hardcover]

By Richard Proudfoot (Editor), Ann Thompson (Editor), David Scott Kastan (Editor), Harold Jenkins (Editor), Stefano Azzalin (Illustrator), Jon Tyson & Sylvia Yount
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Item description for Arden Shakespeare: Complete Works (Arden Shakespeare) by Richard Proudfoot, Ann Thompson, David Scott Kastan, Harold Jenkins, Stefano Azzalin, Jon Tyson & Sylvia Yount...

The Complete Arden Shakespeare, published for the first time in 1998, is now available in an updated hardback edition. The Complete Arden Shakespeare contains the texts of all Shakespeare's plays, edited by leading Shakespeare scholars for the renowned Arden Shakespeare series. The updated edition includes eight newly revised playtexts as published in the Arden Third Series since 1998. A general introduction by the three General Editors of the ongoing Arden Shakespeare series gives the reader an overall view of how and why Shakespeare has become such an influential cultural icon, and how perceptions of his work have changed in the intervening four centuries. The introduction summarises the known facts about the dramatist's life, his reading and use of sources, and the nature of theatrical performance during his lifetime. Brief introductions to each play, written specially for this volume by the Arden General Editors, discuss the date and contemporary context of the play, its position within Shakespeare's uvre, and its subsequent performance history. An extensive glossary explains vocabulary which may be unfamiliar to modern readers. * The sound, reliable, critical edition of Shakespeare's work * Updated and revised to include all of the editions currently available in the Arden Third Series * Includes The Two Noble Kinsmen, the Poems and the Sonnets * General introduction by the Arden General Editors * Brief contextual introductions to each play * Glossary with about 400 entries

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Item Specifications...

Pages   1360
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 2.5" Width: 8.75" Height: 10.75"
Weight:   6.05 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 1998
Publisher   Arden
ISBN  1904271030  
ISBN13  9781904271031  

Availability  0 units.

More About Richard Proudfoot, Ann Thompson, David Scott Kastan, Harold Jenkins, Stefano Azzalin, Jon Tyson & Sylvia Yount

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Proudfoot, King's College, London.

Richard Proudfoot has an academic affiliation as follows - King's College London.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > English > British Literature
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory > General
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > British > Shakespeare

Reviews - What do customers think about Arden Shakespeare: Complete Works (Arden Shakespeare)?

beware: false advertising!  Aug 22, 2007
I purchased this work for my niece for her graduation from high school. She preferred this edition because she liked the way it looked: all handsome in its red cassette. So I ordered it for her. But behold: the picture doesn't match the actual product! What you get doesn't come in a handsome red cassette, but actually is the oversized regular version with its rather dull jacket.
After complaining about this to this site, the image mysteriously disappeared for a while, but now it seems to be back. No doubt misleading many more oblivious customers into paying for something they in the end aren't getting. So this site: please remove this image, and place the correct one, so at least customers know beforehand what they are getting.
Best Text Available of Shakespeare's Works  Jun 24, 2006
I see that most of the other reviews of this edition were posted by cry-babies-- "Waahhhh!! Waaahhhh!! There are no footnotes!! I can't read it!!! Waaahhh!!" If you're a n00b to the Bard and can't yet hang with Elizabethan English, then you should buy either the New Folger paperback editions or the Arden paperback editions-- they've got the training wheels you'll need to get comfortable with Shakespeare's language. However, after you've read three or four plays, you really shouldn't need the footnotes anymore-- at that point they start to get in the way and distract from the enjoyment of reading these wonderful works (it's a lot more rewarding to interact with the mind of a genius without having a "filter" in the way). Also, as one other reviewer noted, if this edition did include all the glosses and footnotes and annotations from the paperback editions, it would be unmanageably huge (there's a reason the Oxford complete works edition--also very well-edited-- has those ultra-thin Bible-style "tracing paper" pages). But the fact is, whining and one-star ratings aside, this is simply the best, most trustworthy, and most authoritative edition available of the texts of Shakespeare's works. The Arden editors are full-on awesome and have put together an edition that belongs on the bookshelves of every lover and/or serious student of literature. English majors, English teachers, poets, and all the people out there who just plain love Shakespeare simply have to own this book.

Thing is, it's not Arden's fault if you can't read the plays and poems without someone to hold your hand. If you're one of those people, then like I said, there are plenty of other good editions out there. Start with some easy plays like Twelfth Night and Measure for Measure, buy the New Folger or Arden paperback editions, and get yourself comfy with WS's language. Then move on to some tougher plays, and try to begin weaning yourself off the glosses. You really shouldn't need to read more than three or four plays before you can kiss the helping hand goobye. And if you've already read a bunch of Shakespeare's plays and you're still relying on footnotes, then you need to just bite the bullet and at least try to read a play out of this GREAT edition before you give up and come back here to post your negative reviews. Who knows? You might just surprise yourself and get through it much more easily than you thought you could.

Am I being "spiteful" (this site says that's a no-no)? Maybe... but I'm really not trying to be. It just irks me to see a bunch of one-star reviews by people who simply do not know what they're talking about. There are three really great, awesomely-edited Complete Works editions out there (this one, the Oxford, and the Penguin), and in the opinion of many, many scholars, the Arden is the best of the best. If you need footnotes, then go buy an edition that says "annotated" on it-- that's why they're published. But giving this killer book one star because you can't read Shakespeare without help is like giving a terrible review to a high-end Ferrari because it doesn't have an automatic transmission and you can't drive a stick. You're slamming a great book based on a criterion which is simply unfair. So what if it doesn't have footnotes? Unless the publishers tricked you and put the word "annotated" on the cover (which they didn't), you have no right to complain about the lack of something which was never promised to begin with, and which plenty of readers neither want nor need.
worst Shakespeare ever!  Jun 2, 2005
Don't buy this book: you'll regret it. (The single star is for the edition, obviously not for the works themselves.)

The Arden Shakespeare paperbacks are great: you'll love them. The font is easy on the eye, there are footnotes at the bottom of each page, and there are helpful introductions. If you see one, don't hestitate to buy it.

Naturally you might think that this big, hardbound book containing all Shakespeare's works is just a collection of all those various Arden paperbacks: you would be wrong.

Folks, this is nothing except the text of the plays and sonnets! Yikes! There are NO FOOTNOTES OR GLOSSES for the plays; instead, there's a glossary of extinct English in the back, meant to cover all the material. Why they didn't just anthologize all those wonderful paperbacks is beyond me, but they didn't.

There is a very brief introduction before each play (only a few paragraphs), but these introductions talk about folios and textual history, etc. Nothing your Average Joe would be interested in (such as a discussion of themes).

In short, a very reader-unfriendly Shakespeare, although it might suit your needs if, say, you were already a credentialed scholar with no need of footnotes whatsoever.

If, however, you're like the rest of us -- AND CANNOT READ SHAKESPEARE WITHOUT FOOTNOTES -- you are likely to be angry and disappointed with this expensive book.
Good comprehensive edition  Apr 12, 2002
Even without the notes I've found this edition more than helpful. It's good to have the complete playtexts as verified by the Arden team in a single volume. It also includes introductions by the Arden editors which are very useful.

I wonder if the skeptics realise that a Complete Works with all the Arden notes would run to about 10,000 pages? And just for the record (to the best of my knowledge) all the Arden single editions are still in print.

A very comprehensive and valuable edition. Mighty pretty-lookin' too...

Not the worst Complete Shakespeare  Apr 4, 2002
This is a strangely uneven volume. It is a commercial exercise rather than an educational or cultural one. The publisher has taken advantage of the justified reputation of the - not now really current, "mark II", not "mark III" - Arden editions of separate works to bring them together into one volume, but has left out a good deal which earned the reputation of those editions. The result is that this edition does offer, on the whole, exceptionally well edited TEXTS (i.e. versions with sensible and accurate modernisation of spelling and modernisation, exhibiting good choices among variants and necessary emendations), but not much else that is not also found, and usually in a superior form, in other collected editions of Shakespeare. The most appalling drawback of this volume is the absence of explanatory notes (which WERE present in the editions of individual works!), without which a modern reader will inevitably misunderstand much of what Shakespeare writes. A glossary (which is offered) is not a good substitute: modern readers usually do not KNOW what they do not understand, as much Elizabethan English looks like modern English but in fact means something different. Only explanatory notes can offer help in such cases, as the Arden editions of individual works very frequently did. Introductions to Shakespeare's work are superior in e.g. Bevington's edition. (See my review of that, which many readers have found helpful.) All in all, I would not recommend this edition, though someone who wants just the text could do worse (by buying one less well edited). If you are keen on the Arden editions of individual works, then buy those, as they offer so much more. New editions of individual works are in the process of appearing, though they are not always better than those they are seeking to replace. Several of the older Arden volumes, e.g. the *Hamlet* or the *Romeo and Juliet* (both from the 80s, so not really "old"), are hard to surpass, and a very good buy if you can get them, often at low cost. Joost Daalder, Professor of English, Flinders University

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