Shakespeare Materials

It would be interesting to know how much those who claim Shakespeare didn't write his own plays are motivated by jealousy. Many writers are jealous of ol' Billy—he's the one author universally recognized as the best ever. Most, however, rejoice that such literary magic was distilled for subsequent generations by an alchemist of less-than-noble origins and obscure life.

The idea that Shakespeare didn't write Shakespeare was around before the movie Anonymous. Critics point out that Willy Shakes knew a lot about the world for one who'd never left England (did he, though? he didn't know his geography very well), that he was well-versed in the ways of the English Court for a common man, or that an uneducated bumpkin from Stratford-upon-Avon couldn't produce a body of work that transcends the volumes of "superior" writers.

Shakespeare ended his days as a businessman in his hometown, away from the chaos, mud and spectacle of London. Is that how a great writer would end his days? What about the mystery of his handwriting? was he illiterate? if he could read and write, wouldn't there be more than a few signatures and some misspelled words? At first glance, the evidence seems compelling to attribute "Shakespeare's" work elsewhere, to the Earl of Oxford, Sir Francis Bacon, or some cadre of playwrights.

The reasons for finding another author for Shakespeare are more related to worldview than personal motives. Postmodernists like to obscure authorship in an effort to show that standards and absolutes are human constructs; modernists (and postmodernists) like to impose contemporary values on the past. The latter is a big motivating factor in the Shakespeare debate: Elizabethans had no concept of ownership when it came to texts, but most higher critics suppose they did.

There's no substantial reason to believe William Shakespeare was not the source of the plays attributed to him. What is absolutely certain is that no one before or since has so thoroughly captured the scope of the human predicament, or done so half as well as the Bard of Avon. His poetry lies between biblical oracle and Miltonian pedantry; his prose the most poetic lines penned by a seller of wheat (or a nobleman, for that matter).

Good literary education often begins with Shakespeare. A lot of it ends there, too. So much modern fiction is unreadable because writers don't look far enough back for inspiration; a few generations ago, writers read Homer, Milton, Shakespeare and Dickens. A noble company, ironically helmed by a commoner with less education than those who call themselves scholars in his name. We carry most of his plays, and a variety of resources to help you understand them. Remember that Shakespeare's plots are borrowed and recycled; it's the genius of expression that sets his work apart.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

 

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Complete works of Shakespeare online
Which Shakespeare Play Should I See?
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33 Items found Print
Active Filters: 8th grade (Ages 13-14)
All the World's A Stage
by William Shakespeare
from Fulcrum Group
for 4th-Adult
in Shakespeare Materials (Location: E5B-LIT)
$14.00 (1 in stock)
As You Like It - Memoria Press Literature Set
from Memoria Press
for 8th grade
in Memoria Press Literature & Poetry (Location: LITSG-MP)
$31.38
As You Like It - MP Student Guide
from Memoria Press
for 8th grade
in Memoria Press Literature & Poetry (Location: LITSG-MP)
$11.95
As You Like It - MP Teacher Guide
from Memoria Press
for 8th grade
in Memoria Press Literature & Poetry (Location: LITSG-MP)
$12.95 $9.00 (2 in stock)
Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare
by Edith Nesbit
from Yesterday's Classics
Shakespeare/Drama for Children for 4th-8th grade
in Yesterday's Classics (Location: FIC-YC)
$10.76
Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare
by Edith Nesbit
from Living Book Press
Shakespeare/Drama for Children for 4th-8th grade
in Yesterday's Classics (Location: FIC-YC)
$13.46
Fandex: Shakespeare
from Workman Publishing
for 4th-8th grade
in Shakespeare Materials (Location: E5B-LIT)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Green Tiger's Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare
by E. Nesbit
from Laughing Elephant
for 4th-8th grade
in Classics Retold (Location: FIC-RET)
Henry V
Oxford School Shakespeare
by William Shakespeare & Roma Gill, editor
from Oxford University
Historical Drama for 7th-10th grade
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$8.46
Julius Caesar
Oxford School Shakespeare
by William Shakespeare & Roma Gill, editor
from Oxford University
Historical Tragedy for 7th-10th grade
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$8.46
Macbeth
Oxford School Shakespeare
by William Shakespeare & Roma Gill, editor
from Oxford University
Historical Tragedy for 7th-10th grade
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$8.46
Midsummer Night's Dream
Oxford School Shakespeare
by William Shakespeare & Roma Gill, editor
from Oxford University
Comedy for 7th-10th grade
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$8.46
Midsummer Night's Dream - Student Guide
by David M. Wright, Kate Janke
from Memoria Press
for 8th-10th grade
in Memoria Press Literature & Poetry (Location: LITSG-MP)
$11.95
Midsummer Night's Dream - Teacher Guide
by David M. Wright, Kate Janke
from Memoria Press
for 8th-10th grade
in Memoria Press Literature & Poetry (Location: LITSG-MP)
$12.95
Shakespeare of London
by Marchette Chute
1st edition from E.P. Dutton & Co.
for 6th-12th grade
in Biographies (Location: BIO)
$9.00 (1 in stock)
Shakespeare Stealer
Shakespeare Stealer #1
by Gary Blackwood
from Puffin Books
Historical Fiction for 4th-8th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$7.64 $5.00 (1 in stock)
Shakespeare Trilogy
by Gary Blackwood
from Puffin Books
for 4th-8th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
Shakespeare's England
by Louis B. Wright
from Harper & Row
for 3rd-8th grade
in Horizon Caravel Books (Location: VIN-HOR)
Shakespeare's Scribe
Shakespeare Stealer #2
by Gary Blackwood
from Puffin Books
Historical Fiction for 4th-8th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$5.94 $4.50 (1 in stock)
Shakespeare's Spy
Shakespeare Stealer #3
by Gary Blackwood
from Puffin Books
for 4th-8th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$5.94
Shakespeare's Spy
Shakespeare Stealer #3
by Gary Blackwood
from Scholastic Inc.
for 4th-8th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$3.50 (1 in stock)
Stories from Shakespeare
by Marchette Chute
from Collier Books
for 4th-8th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$7.50 (1 in stock)
Tales from Shakespeare
by Charles Lamb, Mary Lamb
from Wordsworth Classics
Shakespeare Stories for 3rd-8th grade
in Classics Retold (Location: FIC-RET)
$4.24
Tales from Shakespeare
Puffin Classics
by Charles & Mary Lamb
from Puffin Books
Shakespeare Stories for 3rd-8th grade
$5.09
Tales from Shakespeare
by Richard Armour
from Penguin Classics
for 7th-12th grade
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$11.90 $8.00 (1 in stock)
Tales from Shakespeare
by Charles & Mary Lamb
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
Shakespeare Stories for 3rd-8th grade
Tales from Shakespeare
by Richard Armour
from Living Book Press
for 7th-12th grade
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$11.86
Tales from Shakespeare - Guide
by Matt Whitling
from Logos School
for 5th-8th grade
in Shakespeare Materials (Location: E5B-LIT)
$12.00 $8.00 (2 in stock)
Twelfth Night
by William Shakespeare
from Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
Comedy for 8th-12th grade
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$5.94 $4.50 (2 in stock)
Usborne World of Shakespeare
Usborne Internet-Linked
from Usborne
Shakespeare Reference for 4th-8th grade
in Renaissance & Reformation (Location: HIS-RENREF)
Will Shakespeare and the Globe Theater
World Landmark #21
by Anne Terry White
from Random House
for 5th-9th grade
in World Landmark Books (Location: VIN-LAN)
William Shakespeare's Star Wars Part the Fourth
William Shakespeare Star Wars #4
by Ian Doescher
Advance Reading Copy from Quirk Books
for 4th-10th grade
in Science Fiction (Location: FIC-SCI)
$12.71
Young Person's Guide to Shakespeare
by Anita Ganeri
First U.S. Edition from Harcourt, Brace & World
for 3rd-8th grade
in Theater, Drama & Film (Location: ELE-THEAT)
$12.00 (1 in stock)