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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35 Items found Print
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Antony and Cleopatra
Oxford School Shakespeare
by William Shakespeare
from Oxford University
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$8.46
Bard of Avon
by Diane Stanley & Peter Vennema
from William Morrow & Company
Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: BIO)
$6.79
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
Brightest Heaven of Invention
by Peter Leithart
from Canon Press
for 10th-Adult
in Shakespeare Materials (Location: E5B-LIT)
$21.00
Complete Guide to Shakespeare's Best Plays
by Aileen M. Carroll
2 Revised
for 9th-12th grade
in Shakespeare Materials (Location: E5B-LIT)
$9.00 (1 in stock)
Fandex: Shakespeare
from Workman Publishing
for 4th-8th grade
in Shakespeare Materials (Location: E5B-LIT)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Hamlet
by William Shakespeare
from Oxford University
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$8.46
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
How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare
by Ken Ludwig
1st Paperback Edition from Broadway Books
for Adult
in Shakespeare Materials (Location: E5B-LIT)
$16.00
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
King Richard III
Cambridge School Shakespeare Series
by William Shakespeare
from Cambridge University
Historical Drama for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$13.00
King Richard III
Cambridge School Shakespeare Series
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
Historical Drama for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$3.40
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
Merchant of Venice
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$2.55 $1.50 (1 in stock)
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
More Tales from Shakespeare
by Marcia Williams
from Candlewick Press
for 3rd-7th grade
in Classics Retold (Location: FIC-RET)
$8.99
Much Ado About Nothing
by Lois Burdett
from Firefly Books
for 2nd-5th grade
in Classics Retold (Location: FIC-RET)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Othello
by William Shakespeare
from Oxford University
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$8.46
Romeo and Juliet
by William Shakespeare
from Oxford University
Tragedy for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$8.46
Romeo and Juliet (No Fear Shakespeare)
by William Shakespeare
Study Guide ed. from Sparknotes
for 9th-12th grade
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$5.06
Shakespeare for Kids
by Colleen Aagesen & Margie Blumberg
from Chicago Review Press
Shakespeare Reference/Activity Book for 4th-7th grade
in Shakespeare Materials (Location: E5B-LIT)
$17.95
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's Hamlet
by Leland Ryken
from Crossway Books
for 9th-Adult
in Literary Analysis & Reference (Location: E5C-LIT)
$5.99 $3.50 (1 in stock)
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)
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
by Marcia Williams
from Candlewick Press
for 3rd-7th grade
in Classics Retold (Location: FIC-RET)
$7.99
Tempest
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$2.55 $1.50 (1 in stock)
Tempest
by William Shakespeare
from Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$6.79
Tempest for Kids
by Lois Burdett
from Firefly Books
for 4th-6th grade
in Shakespeare Materials (Location: E5B-LIT)
$5.00 (1 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)
Two Gentlemen of Verona
by William Shakespeare
from Washington Square Press
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$5.09 $4.00 (1 in stock)
Usborne World of Shakespeare
Usborne Internet-Linked
from Usborne
Shakespeare Reference for 4th-8th grade
in Renaissance & Reformation (Location: HIS-RENREF)
William Shakespeare and the Globe
by Aliki
from HarperCollins
Biography for 4th-6th grade
in Renaissance & Reformation (Location: HIS-RENREF)
$6.39 $3.60 (1 in stock)
Winter's Tale
by William Shakespeare
Unabridged from Dover Publications
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$3.40