In "Appreciating Shakespeare" a master teacher and theatrical dramaturge makes the essentials for deeply appreciating the meaning in Shakespeare's works easily understandable for readers and playgoers of all ages. Part 1 provides background on Shakespeare's life, language, poetic and dramatic techniques, theatrical context, and historical and cultural background. Part 2 offers short essays on twenty-two plays and one on selected sonnets.
Founded on the best scholarship and responding to requests from listeners to his "Appreciating Shakespeare with Doctor Rap" podcasts, this book is written for all readers interested in bettering their appreciation of the meaning in Shakespeare's works. Whatever your level of experience with Shakespeare, this book will guide you toward deep appreciation of some of the greatest and most moving works in the English language. The author addresses questions like "What's so great about Shakespeare?" "Did people really talk like that?" "Why all the footnotes?" and "Whose interpretation is right?" Included is a chapter on how studying Shakespeare can illuminate the nature of all art. The essays in Part 2 point readers to the universally meaningful thematic heart of each play.
"Appreciating Shakespeare" delivers in an easily readable way what is most essential to know for deep appreciation of the plays without overwhelming readers with more information and literary argument than are needed for that appreciation. It can be read straight through but also arranges the essentials according to the most commonly asked questions, making it easy for readers to pinpoint their areas of interest.