Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare

Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare

by Isaac Asimov
Publisher: Avenel Books
Hardcover, 1536 pages
Current Retail Price: $25.00
Not in stock

Two Volumes in One

VOLUME ONE The Greek, Roman, and Italian Plays
VOLUME TWO The English Plays

Illustrated with 40 maps and 16 charts

This volume does something thought by many to be impossible—it adds a refreshing and novel approach to the already overcrowded shelves of Shakespearian comment. Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare is an objective, scene-by-scene exploration of thirty-eight plays and two narrative poems in terms of their mythological, historical, and geographic roots. It is not, says Dr. Asimov, a literary evaluation but rather supplies the modern reader with a working knowledge of the topics which Shakespeare assumed his potential Elizabethan audience to be well versed in. Volume One deals with the Greek, Roman, and Italian plays. With a liberal supply of maps, charts, and quotations to supplement his text, Dr. Asimov presents the historical facts surrounding each play, while at the same time attempting to account for arising discrepancies. He does not hesitate to regard Shakespeare as fallible and when necessary he points out the English master's excessive distortion of historical fact.

In Volume Two Dr. Asimov deals with the fifteen plays distinctively rooted in English history. He gives additional value to the central objective of the text as he explores the literary and linguistic history of particularly powerful Shakespearian images, and as he attempts to broaden the dimension of individual characters by approximating their ages through references by Shakespeare to specific historical events.

Careful attention is given in each analysis to the maintenance of the story line so that the user of the GUIDE needs only to possess a marginal knowledge of any single play in order to ultimately reach a deeper appreciation for the dramatic genius of William Shakespeare.

About the author:

Isaac Asimov was born in Russia in 1920 and was brought to the States by his family in 1923. He grew up in Brooklyn, entered Columbia at 15, and graduated at 19. He received his doctorate from Columbia in 1948 for a thesis on enzyme chemistry. Today Isaac Asimov is one of publishing's most prolific and widely read authors. By application of the Asimovian Law of Composition (which calls for writing nine to five, seven days a week) he averages at least 12 new books a year—ranging from science—both fact and fiction—to history, religion, literature, and geography. To date, Isaac Asimov has had 199 books published, with one more near completion.

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