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Paperbacks, small format. Price is for the lot.
The covers have little wear, some have small creases and scuffs. Inside the pages are in very good condition, see photos.
FOUR COMEDIES - THE TAMING OF THE SHREW; A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM; THE MERCHANT OF VENICE; TWELFTH NIGHT
A triumphantly patriotic play that also casts a critical eye at war and warriors, this great epic drama depicts a charismatic ruler in a time of national struggle. The young King Henry’s victory over the French despite overwhelming odds creates a spectacle of action, colour, and thundering battles. Whether the warrior-king is urging his men “Once more unto the breach, dear friends,” or wooing Katharine of France, Henry is magnificently adapted to the role he must play in England’s greatness. Henry V represents the culmination of Shakespeare’s art as a writer of historical drama.
HENRY IV part one
A play alive with escapades and action, comedy and history, Henry IV, Part One begins the transformation of the madcap Prince Hal into the splendid ruler King Henry. In it a rebellion against King and State is juxtaposed with another rebellion–the riotous misbehaviour of Hal and his companions, principally Falstaff. A superbly funny liar, coward, lecher, and cheat, the larger-than-life character Falstaff turns this great historical drama into a masterpiece of counterpoint and design.
No dramatist has ever seen with more frightening clarity into the heart and mind of a murderer than has Shakespeare in this compelling tragedy of evil. Taunted into asserting his “masculinity” by his ambitious wife, Macbeth chooses to embrace the Weird Sisters’ prophecy and kill his king–and thus, seals his own doom. Fast-moving and bloody, this drama has the extraordinary energy that derives from a brilliant plot replete with treachery and murder, and from Shakespeare’s compelling portrait of the ultimate battle between a mind and its own guilt.
Set in a topsy-turvy world like a holiday revel, this comedy devises a romantic plot around separated twins, misplaced passions, and mistaken identity. Juxtaposed to it is the satirical story of a self-deluded steward who dreams of becoming “Count Malvolio” only to receive his comeuppance at the hands of the merrymakers he wishes to suppress. The two plots combine to create a farce touched with melancholy, mixed throughout with seductively beautiful explorations on the themes of love and time, and the play ends, not with laughter, but with a clown’s sad song.
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE
This is one of Shakespeare’s darkest comedies, for the romantic story of a young man, Bassanio, who has squandered his fortune and must borrow money to woo the wealthy lady he loves is set against the more disturbing story of the Jewish moneylender Shylock and his demand for the “pound of flesh” owed him by the Venetian merchant, Antonio. Here pathos and farce combine with moral complexity and romantic entanglement to display the extraordinary power and range of Shakespeare at his best.
AS YOU LIKE IT
This wisely funny comedy, which contains some of Shakespeare’s loveliest poetry, contrasts a court’s world of envy and rivalry with a forest’s world of compassion and harmony. In the Forest of Arden, the banished young heroine, Rosalind, disguised as a gentleman farmer, encounters an extraordinary assemblage of characters, including a fool, a malcontent traveler, her own banished father, and the banished young man she loves. Romantic happiness triumphs, even as we laugh at the excesses of love, at the ways of court and countryside, indeed, at everything, in this masterpiece of comic writing.
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
A robust and bawdy battle of the sexes, this ever popular comedy captivates audiences with outrageous humour as Katharina, the shrew, engages in a contest of wills–and love–with her bridegroom, Petruchio. Their boisterous conflict is set off against a more conventional romantic plot involving the wooing of Katharina’s lovely and compliant sister, Bianca. Rich with the psychological themes of identity and transformation, the play is quintessentially light-hearted, filled with visual gags, witty repartee, and unmatched theatrical brilliance from Petruchio’s demand, “Kiss me, Kate!” to the final spectacle of the wedding feast.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Set in a courtly world of masked revels and dances, this play turns on the archetypal story of a lady falsely accused of unfaithfulness, spurned by her bridegroom, and finally vindicated and reunited with him. Villainy, schemes, and deceits threaten to darken the brilliant humour and sparkling wordplay–but the hilarious counterplot of a warring couple, Beatrice and Benedick, steals the scene as the two are finally tricked into admitting their love for each other in Shakespeare’s superb comedy of manners.
2 weeks ago