The Shakespeare Book: Big Ideas Simply E...


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 “All the world’s a stage”, William Shakespeare wrote, “And all the men and women merely players.” Sit back as the curtain goes up on the dramas, sonnets, and life of one of the greatest writers in the English language.

Shakespeare wrote or contributed to more than 40 plays, ranging from romantic comedies to the profound tragedy King Lear, as well as 154 sonnets. The Shakespeare Book has visual plot summaries of each one, with diagrams to show the intricate web of relationships in plays such as A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Commentaries explain Shakespeare’s sources and set each drama in context, revealing, for instance, how the warring Protestants and Catholics of his day are mirrored in Romeo and Juliet’s Montagues and Capulets.

Written in plain English and packed with graphics and illustrations, The Shakespeare Book illumines the Bard’s world – his marriage, businesses, and friends – and explains how his works became an enduring phenomenon. 

Whether you need a guide through complex plots and unfamiliar language, or you’re looking for a fresh perspective on his well-loved plays and sonnets, this indispensable guide will help you fully appreciate Shakespeare, the man, and the writer. 

Series Overview:
 Big Ideas Simply Explained series uses creative design and innovative graphics along with straightforward and engaging writing to make complex subjects easier to understand. With over 7 million copies worldwide sold to date, these award-winning books provide just the information needed for students, families, or anyone interested in concise, thought-provoking refreshers on a single subject.

From the Publisher

Henry VI Part 1

“This brawl today…shall send, between the red rose and the white, a thousand souls to death and deadly night.”

Henry IV Part 1

“I can teach thee, coz, to shame the devil — By telling the truth.”

Much Ado About Nothing

“But manhood is melted into courtesies, valour into compliment, and men are only turned into tongue, and trim ones, too.”

Troilus and Cressida

“Words, words, mere words, no matter from the heart.”


“If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well It were done quickly.”


“The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”

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