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A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599

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In 1599, an epochal year for Shakespeare and England, Shakespeare wrote four of his most famous plays while Elizabethans sent off an army to crush an ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599

Overall customer rating: 4.000
StephKaye

An Innovative, Informative Biography of the Bard

by StephKaye on Nov 24, 2007

As soon as I saw this book, I knew I had to read it. So little is known for certain about William Shakespeare's life that it makes sense to explore his work in tandem with the goings-on of the day. This book is a fair balance of history and conjecture. Shapiro does not make up imaginary dialogues, but paints a thorough picture of what the Bard's life could very well have been like in the crucial year he wrote _Hamlet_. I have taught that play several times, and was thrilled to learn so much more about the process Shakespeare went through in writing it. Shapiro explains many of the ground-breaking features of other plays such as _Julius Caesar_ and _As You Like It_ as well, giving solid support for the vague contention that Shakespeare remains one of the greatest writers of the English language. The only (minor) error I noticed was that he claims introducing scenes with a Chorus is an innovation on Shakespeare's part, when Marlowe had done it in _Doctor Faustus_ a decade previously. A great way to learn more about the writer and his era.

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