We don’t have an authoritative, master text for Shakespeare’s work. Questions, too, linger about the authorship of some parts of his corpus (though I’m no “truther” on this subject). And all of this is not to mention that Shakespeare’s writing was meant for the stage, not private study.
That said, I will be reading from The Norton Shakespeare: Based on the Oxford Edition edited by Stephen Greenblatt and published by W. W. Norton in 1997. Now in its third edition, this text breaks apart the Bard’s work into four volumes: Comedies, Histories, Romances and Poems, and Tragedies. Greenblatt includes wonderful introductory material and each play starts with some excellent commentary by scholars. I will be partaking of this supplemental content based on interest and, where understanding eludes me, by necessity.
I used these texts in college and remember them costing an arm and a leg, even used. Ever since, I lugged them around from place to place, city to city. I knew they’d come back in handy.
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Ah…good times–good memories. As I sit here writing, I look to my left and see my 1st Edition of Greenblatt’s text sitting on my shelf. And to think that I serendipitously came across the text after class one day in a used bookstore; sitting there in pristine condition beckoning for me to take it home.
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