• A Midsummer Night’s Dream

    Shakespeare’s intertwined love polygons begin to get complicated from the start–Demetrius and Lysander both want Hermia but she only has eyes for Lysander. Bad news is, Hermia’s father wants Demetrius for a son-in-law. On the outside is Helena, whose unreturned love burns hot for Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander plan to flee from the city under cover of darkness but are pursued by an enraged Demetrius (who is himself pursued by an enraptured Helena). In the forest, unbeknownst to the mortals, Oberon and Titania (King and Queen of the faeries) are having a spat over a servant boy. The plot twists up when Oberon’s head mischief-maker, Puck, runs loose with a flower which causes people to fall in love with the first thing they see upon waking. Throw in a group of labourers preparing a play for the Duke’s wedding (one of whom is given a donkey’s head and Titania for a lover by Puck) and the complications become fantastically funny.

  • Four Great Tragedies

    The greatest tragic plays of William Shakespeare–including ,, ,, ,, and ,.,What is tragedy? The Elizabethans defined it as a “lofty” play showing “personages of great state” caught up in a “lamentable” action that “beginneth prosperously and endeth unfortunately.” Whether judged by this or any other standard, the plays selected for this collection are considered to be the four central works of Shakespearean tragedy and must be included in any list of the world’s finest tragic literature.

  • Hamlet

    Many consider the tragedy of “Hamlet” to be Shakespeare’s masterpiece and one of the greatest plays of all time. It has entertained audiences for centuries and the role of Hamlet is one of the most sought after by actors. It is the story of Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark who learns of the death of his father at the hands of his uncle, Claudius. Claudius murders Hamlet’s father, his own brother, to take the throne of Denmark and to marry Hamlet’s widowed mother. Hamlet is sunk into a state of great despair as a result of discovering the murder of his father and the infidelity of his mother. Hamlet is torn between his great sadness and his desire for the revenge of his father’s murder.,”Hamlet” is a work of great complexity and as such has drawn many different critical interpretations. Hamlet has been seen as a victim of circumstance, as an impractical idealist, as the sufferer of an Oedipus complex, as an opportunist wishing to kill his Uncle not for revenge but to ascend to the throne, as the sufferer of a great melancholy, and as a man blinded by his desire for revenge. The true motivations of Hamlet are complex and enigmatic and have been debated for centuries. Read this classic tragedy and decide for yourself where Hamlet’s true motivations lie and how they influence his ultimate demise.

  • Henry V

    Henry V is Shakespeare???s most famous ???war play???; it includes the storied English victory over the French at Agincourt. Some of it glorifies war, especially the choruses and Henry???s speeches urging his troops into battle. But we also hear bishops conniving for war to postpone a bill that would tax the church, and soldiers expecting to reap profits from the conflict. Even in the speeches of Henry and his nobles, there are many chilling references to the human cost of war.

  • King Lear

    Shakespeare???s King Lear challenges us with the magnitude, intensity, and sheer duration of the pain that it represents. Its figures harden their hearts, engage in violence, or try to alleviate the suffering of others. Lear himself rages until his sanity cracks. What, then, keeps bringing us back to King Lear? For all the force of its language, King Lear is almost equally powerful when translated, suggesting that it is the story, in large part, that draws us to the play.,The play tells us about families struggling between greed and cruelty, on the one hand, and support and consolation, on the other. Emotions are extreme, magnified to gigantic proportions. We also see old age portrayed in all its vulnerability, pride, and, perhaps, wisdom???one reason this most devastating of Shakespeare???s tragedies is also perhaps his most moving.,The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world???s largest collection of Shakespeare???s printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit Folger.edu.

  • Macbeth

    What he hears will change everything. Egged on by his wife, he decides to kill in order to gain the Scottish crown. How many people will have to die in Macbeth’s pursuit of power? With armies, ghosts and magic against him, will Macbeth survive in this tale of greed and betrayal? Getting the crown is one thing – keeping it is quite another.,Baker Street Readers are retellings of literary classics in 64 pages, with illustrations. These books make classic stories available to intelligent young readers as a bridge to the full texts and to language students wanting access to other cultures.

  • The Complete Works

    This collection gathers together the works by William Shakespeare in a single, convenient book.

  • The Oxford Shakespeare

    Hailed by The Washington Post as “a definitive synthesis of the best editions” and by The Times of London as “a monument to Shakespearean scholarship,” The Oxford Shakespeare is the ultimate anthology of the Bard’s work: the most authoritative edition of the plays and poems ever published.,Now, almost two decades after the original volume, Oxford is proud to announce a thoroughly updated second edition, including for the first time the texts of The Reign of Edward III and Sir Thomas More, recognizing these two plays officially as authentic works by Shakespeare. This beautiful collection is the product of years of full-time research by a team of British and American scholars and represents the most thorough examination ever undertaken of the nature and authority of Shakespeare’s work. The editors reconsidered every detail of the text in the light of modern scholarship and they thoroughly re-examined the earliest printed versions of the plays, firmly establishing the canon and chronological order of composition. All stage directions have been reconsidered in light of original staging, and many new directions for essential action have been added. This superb volume also features a brief introduction to each work as well as an illuminating General Introduction. Finally, the editors have added a wealth of secondary material, including an essay on language, a list of contemporary allusions to Shakespeare, an index of Shakespearean characters, a glossary, a consolidated bibliography, and an index of first lines of the Sonnets.,Compiled by the world’s leading authorities, packed with information, and attractively designed, The Oxford Shakespeare is the gold standard of Shakespearean anthologies.

  • The Taming of the Shrew

    Renowned as Shakespeare’s most boisterous comedy, The Taming of the Shrew is the tale of two young men, the hopeful Lucentio and the worldly Petruchio, and the two sisters they meet in Padua. Lucentio falls in love with Bianca, the apparently ideal younger daughter of the wealthy Baptista Minola. But before they can marry, Bianca’s formidable elder sister, Katherine, must be wed. Petruchio, interested only in the huge dowry, arranges to marry Katherine -against her will- and enters into a battle of the sexes that has endured as one of Shakespeare’s most enjoyable works.