Everyman's is actually good for Shakespeare. Hardback volumes with a couple plays in each. Lovelier and more durable than the Folger or Bantam mass-market paperbacks but just as portable. The best ones to get if you're not gonna buy them all are Tragedies vol. 1 (Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, King Lear) and Histories vol. 2 (Richard II, Henry IV pts 1 ans 2, Henry V = the Henriad, a continuous saga and the best of the history plays; also includes King John).
>>7579510 >the Henriad, [...] the best of the history plays
Glad to see this opinion on /lit/, though I go even further and consider 1H4 Shakespeare's best. The most perfect balance of structure, location and character -- and contains the greatest wit in literature.
You will find that essentially every edition varies too little to matter if published in the last 20-30 years. i like Riverside for a complete works.
MIT has every Shakespeare play in a good format for free. You can very well just print them out. Especially if its for a class or study in general, as taking notes on printer paper is shameless. You could get a dollar store binder and spend $5 printing and have yourself a complete shakespeare if you wanted to be hardcore about it.
It's easier to say which edition NOT to get: the newest Oxford Complete. They follow some weird scholarly philosophy where they REFUSE to collate our best extant texts and instead opt to assume that the "latest published" folio or quarto represents the most up to date editorial intentions of Shakespeare himself.
The result is butchered editions of the plays literally missing important lines, speeches, or whole scenes (said text IS always included at the end of every play, but flipping back and forth is not how you should have to read these plays).
In general, you absolutely want a "reconstructed text" guided by sound philology and scholarship. Don't let the "reconstructed" part scare you, I'm not talking about SJW revisionism: the truth is in the vast majority of cases we DON'T have a single, authoritative version of each play and it really is the business of experts to "reconstruct" the best, authoritative versions from the mess that's come down to us in manuscript and the various folios and quartos.
FOR SINGLE EDITIONS: Get the Ardens, no doubt, like >>7579446 said. Fantastic critical apparatus and scholarship.
If you must have HARDCOVER SINGLE EDITIONS: Get the complete set of the Yale Shakespeare. All humble, pocket-sized editions of uniform blue, will look nice on your shelf. Also includes great notes and critical apparatus.
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