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Shakespeare editions
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You are currently reading a thread in /lit/ - Literature

Thread replies: 52
Thread images: 9
I want to read Shakespeare /lit/, but I'm completely lost when it comes to choosing editions. I'm talking physical books.
What are the best options for someone that wants to read and understand him? (I clarify this because I know there's plenty of editions meant for study with endless footnotes). Should I go for individual books for every of his major works? Should I stick with a complete collection perhaps? In any case, which editions?
Pic related.
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been spending months looking for shakespeare editions. your options are super limited if you want individual editions - all paperback, arden or norton are generally recommended. oxford is not a bad choice either.

for complete one volume tomes, go for riverside or pelican.

is this your first time reading shakespeare? if so you might want something that's heavier on the footnotes to explain syntax and vocabulary.
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>>7613030
How many annotations, footnotes, explanations and essays do you want for each play?
Do you want a collected works or individual books?
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>>7613038
Not OP but I have the Arden version of hamlet and there are way too many notes. Literally 3/4 of the page is explanation and 1/4 is the actual play. It makes any kind of flow impossible.
After that I bought the rest in the modern library rsc editions. They explain the more archaic words or expressions that we wouldn't know currently. 1 essay is included.
Shakespeare isn't that hard to understand and I think that Arden and probably Norton overdue the notes unless you want to be a Shakespeare scholar.
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>>7613059
yea which is why i inquired. he said he wanted to "read and understand" and idk if he wanted or didn't want extensive footnotes from the way he phrased his question
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>>7613030
The Charles Knight editions (1891) are a bit archaic but the most beautiful I've found. Super detailed, baroque illustrations, critical essays, and even theories (which have somewhat been debunked) about possible "lost works" of Shakespeare's. For an up-to-date edition that's better for actors/directors than readers, the Kitteredge Shakespeares are your best bet. Riverside is okay if you like British history and contextual footnotes, but overrated and overpriced.
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>>7613066
I agree, it does depend on what he wants and what he already knows.
Arden is the most scholarly and has almost everything you would ever need. It's too much for me though.
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>>7613038
Is the RSC Shakespeare (Complete) really better than the Norton? I had heard the latter was the standard. It's significantly cheaper so I hope you're right.
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>>7613030
Jonathan Bates for the Royal Shakespeare Company, published by Macmillan

The Complete Works will be the best value book you'll ever buy.
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>>7613082
norton has more notes and contextual information; glosses along the side of the page with explanatory footnotes.

greenblatt's supplementary materials are interesting if you go for that.

if you just want to read the plays without the need for deep dive scholarly stuff RSC is fine.
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>>7613038
>>7613046
I've never read a complete work by him but I've read my share of poetry and Greek tragedies. I tend to read literature from the Greeks to the 19th century so I don't have a problem with that, but I know Shakespeare is hard.
I can put a number on the footnotes and essays I want but my idea is not to go overboard and choose an edition that's only worth it if you aim for an in-depth study of the subject. When I say I want to understand I'm acknowledging the need for explanations but I'm aware that that can be a difficult line to draw.
Regarding individual vs complete works, the quality of the content takes precedence. But if you ask me I can't deny individual books have the upper hand when it comes to comfort.
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also if you want individual copies the yale shakespeare can be found used at a decent price (150 - 200ish) on abebooks. they're quite old though so the spines/lettering will be very faded. i almost pulled the trigger on a set before settling on a world of shakespeare (penguin published individual editions of the pelican) set. it was sold for $100 on amazon ~10 years ago but now goes for like 500, but they're much newer and look nice enough. light on the in-text notes/commentary which is fine for me since i just wanted a reading copy set.
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>>7613099
i recommend getting a one volume complete set then. Pelican or RSC sounds really good for what you're looking for in this case, as the norton/riverside would probably feel excessive.
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>>7613111
Anons gave a lot of responses in a short amount of time, so I apologize for only addressing the first two posts.
Yes, RSC/Pelican sounds good. The Arden edition that >>7613059 mentioned is exactly what I want to avoid, and RSC/Pelican seem to have the amount of help required for someone that wants to read and enjoy his works.
Any differences worth mentioning between RSC and Pelican?
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>>7613030
bubba download the shakespeare torrent. it contains a bunch of the editions in PDF. you can get a feel for the style of annotations, content of annotations, page set-up, and what not
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>>7613198
not him but where is said torrent/what's it called?
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Modern library RSC annotations for the first page of Richard II.
Annotations aren't repeated, so they get less and less as the play goes on.
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How is the RSC Complete Shakespeare? I'd like essays, and a glossary, but also good font and typesetting for readability.
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>>7613198
What torrent? That could be useful.

>>7613215
That's really helpful, anon. It means that the reader has to read the works in the order they appear in the book if it doesn't repeat footnotes too.
What about the paper quality and binding in general?
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>>7613258
The book in the picture are individual plays.
Standard paper back book binding (haven't had any problems) and thick paper. Same as other modern library books if you have any.
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>>7613215
>>7613258
One more thing I forgot to ask, can the book be opened flat on the table or do you have to read the inner edges from a different angle?
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>>7613267
Oh I get it, I thought we were looking at the complete edition. I wonder if the complete edition are the same books compiled (same footnotes and all).
I like those individual books. It's going to be more more expensive but I like how they look and they're definitely the comfy choice.
Any particular order you recommend reading his works?
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Is there a Complete Shakespeare that isn't split into double-columned pages like a Bible?
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File: 1436987872085.jpg (3 MB, 3000x2000) Image search: [iqdb] [SauceNao] [Google]
1436987872085.jpg
3 MB, 3000x2000
>>7613285
They are actually pretty cheap, I played $8 Canadian for each new.
I saved this chart a while ago. I read most of the plays before seeing it so read in a different order. Essentially all over the place.
I don't think it really matters except things like: Richard II --> Henry IV part 1 --> Henry IV part 2 --> Henry V

Some day I will read them all in chronological order to see if it does make a difference.
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>>7613305
off the top of my head only the RSC shakespeare is single columned

pelican/riverside/norton are all double
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>>7613030
I'd recommend the Arden editions, despite the previous comments. I own these two and King Lear. They are great editions for serious study at a reasonable price. I now that the notes are not your thing, but I think Arden editors manage to make them unintrusive and very informative.
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>>7613390
example annotations and footnotes for Arden's the merchant of venice
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Nortons essential Shakespeare 6th edition
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>>7613403
From Romeo and Juliet. Even if they take a lot of space, it's not like they are useless. As I said, they are scholarly editions, and quite thoroughly so. If you don't like their layout, choose another one, like Oxford's. I preferencia Arden though, and would recommend them anytime.
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>>7613403
And this is from the Sonnets edition.
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>>7613433
I like the way they did it for the sonnets.
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>>7613436
I know, right? But I think it is the norm now. I skimmed the Oxford Shakespeare one and it had the same layout. Regardless, it is very convenient.
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Any images from the Norton Complete and the RSC Complete?
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>>7613338
Nice, you've made up my mind to get that one.
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>>7613312
I'm from South America so buying books in English is expensive from the get-go. My options are a library that specializes in English books but some times doesn't have what I'm looking for, and Book Depository. Usually the price is almost the same, but in this case the RSC individual editions are extremely expensive in the library and Book Depository sells them at 12 dollars each. The complete edition coats 45 dollars.
I think now you can understand why I said it's more expensive and why I'm interested in details about the complete edition like if you can open it flat or not.

>>7613390
>>7613403
>>7613426
>>7613433
Thank you for taking the time to take those pictures anon. The Merchant of Venice footnotes are just too much for me. It really goes all in and I don't think that's what I want. The Sonnets one has a really nice format though.
If after reading some I feel like I need more information, I'll go for these editions no doubt.
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>>7613312
And thanks for that chart too! Fuck I hate posting from my phone. I keep forgetting about what I was supposed to be answering to.
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>>7613490
BTW lad if you ver want to read Chaucer get the Riverside edition. Untranslated and all.
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>>7613503
Duly noted.
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>>7613490
>The Merchant of Venice footnotes are just too much for me.

Just remember that the picture is only of one page. It's not like every single page is like that. There are pages of Rome and Juliet and King Lear that are as annotated as that example, but there are also scenes that aren't nearly as annotated because they don't need to be.
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>>7613503
What about the Norton Critical Edition? Although it only has 15 tales and the General Prologue it is mostly untranslated, and it is quite cheap t b h
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>>7613038
This guy isn't completely right. Yale made an outstanding set of all of his works, in nice small individual hardbacks. They stopped in the early 70s or late 60s, but a full set can still be had on ebay for under $150 on a good day. You may have to wait a few months to get them in the condition you want. I bought such a set for $100 and couldn't be happier.

Also, you can get all of his plays without line numnbers, footnotes, etc. for free from MIT while you wait then reread in the physical form. You will likely want to read each play a few times anyway. Might as well start now and just wait.

If the hardbacks don't appeal to you I'd get(in this order of recommendation): Riverside complete, RSC indivudlas, Oxford individuals, Arden inviduals.
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>>7613617
Why not RSC complete?
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>>7613617
i literally mentioned the yale like a page down m8 >>7613101 didn't include it initially cause it's not in print
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>>7613030
>tfw in a Shakespeare class this year and the teacher wants to put a liberal spin on every story were reading

should I drop?
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>>7613590
You can get Riverside Chaucer for £20
It has all the Canterbury Tales, and all his other works
It has less critical material, but still has an intro, notes etcetera
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I thought the Bevington edition was held in high esteem, am I wrong?
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>>7613853
no it just slipped my mind. bevington is a well regarded edition as well.
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>>7613885
You would obviously still recommend the Riverside over Bevington?
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>>7613030

Oxford was compiled by scholars, Arden was compiled by dramatists. Arden is superior.
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Bumping hoping someone with an RSC complete sees this.
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>>7614544
Last try
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>>7613775
Yes. Your teacher sounds like an obnoxious cunt. Study the plays in your own time and try to take a better class on Shakespeare next year.
Thread replies: 52
Thread images: 9
Thread DB ID: 458529



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