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A Theatergoer's Guide to Shakespeare

A Theatergoer's Guide to Shakespeare

Robert Thomas Fallon

ISBN: 9781566635080

In surveys of plays that will help readers and viewers follow the action with case and understanding, Fallon opens a window to Shakespeare's time while illuminating the timelessness of his works.

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Robert Fallon has written a book for those whose encounter with a play by Shakespeare, either in performance or on the printed page, has left them occasionally puzzled as to what in the world is going on. Shakespeare can be difficult: he wrote largely in verse and not in everyday speech; his plays are set in unfamiliar locales; and his lines abound in allusions that were familiar to Elizabethan audiences but not, alas, to us. His plays move us despite these difficulties, but they would even more so if we had a bit of deciphering and knew more about Shakespeare's London. A Theatergoer s Guide opens a window to that time while illuminating the timelessness of Shakespeare s plays, their portrayal of the human condition in any age. Written for the general reader in plain though not inelegant English, the book is mercifully free of academic jargon or scholarly apparatus. It examines the most frequently staged plays scene by scene, and those less frequently performed act by act, in chapters that may be read in one sitting in anywhere from five to forty minutes. These chapters pursue the sequence of events clearly, but they are much more than tedious plot summaries, and they do not dumb down Shakespeare. They provide intelligent readers with incisive and engaging commentary on character, theme, setting, poetry, and stage history, in surveys that will help them follow the action with ease and understanding. Dedicated theatergoers as well as students and teachers unfamiliar with a play will find the book a rich source of pleasure and insight. It is destined to become a standard work in the field.
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