By Colin Butler
"A resource for high school teachers and their advanced students, for undergraduate faculty and their students in survey courses that include some of the Bard’s plays, and for the occasional theatergoer. The Practical Shakespeare is highly readable, informative, and thought-provoking."
Ronald Salomone, coeditor of Teaching Shakespeare into the Twenty-first Century
A comprehensive treatment of Shakespeare’s plays, The Practical Shakespeare: The Plays in Practice and on the Page illuminates for a general audience how and why the plays work so well.
Noting in detail the practical and physical limitations the Bard faced as he worked out the logistics of his plays, Colin Butler demonstrates how Shakespeare incorporated those limitations and turned them to his advantage: his management of entrances and exits; his characterization techniques; his handling of scenes off-stage; his control of audience responses; his organization of major scenes; and his use of prologues and choruses. A different aspect of the plays is covered in each chapter.
Butler draws most of his examples from mainstream plays, such as Macbeth, Othello, and Much Ado about Nothing. He brings special focus to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is treated as one of Shakespeare’s most important plays. Butler supports his major points with quotations, so readers can understand an issue even if they are unfamiliar with the particular play being discussed. The author also cross-references the use of dramatic devices in the plays, increasing the reader’s enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s achievements.
Clear, jargon-free, easy-to-use, and comprehensive, The Practical Shakespeare looks at stagecraft and playwriting as conduits for students, teachers, and general audiences to engage with, understand, and appreciate the genius of Shakespeare.
Colin Butler, for many years the head of the English department at a British grammar school, lives in Canterbury, England, where he writes on literary subjects.
Save 20% ($21.56)
Save 20% ($31.96)
US and Canada only
Availability and price vary according to vendor.
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
The aesthetics of frame theory form the basis of Framing Shakespeare on Film. This groundbreaking work expands on the discussion of film constructivists in its claim that the spectacle of Shakespeare on film is a problem-solving activity. Kathy Howlett demonstrates convincingly how viewers' expectations for understanding Shakespeare on film can be manipulated by the director's cinematic technique.
Shakespeare is a central shaping and defining figure in our culture. His plays are being taught, filmed, and performed every day in many places and in most of the world's languages. At the same time, teachers and students from junior high through the early undergraduate years often struggle with the Bard in discomfort and negativity that can only be counter-productive. Teaching Shakespeare into the Twenty-First Century is by teachers and for teachers.
An impossible question from a Chinese actor—“Why is Shakespeare eternal?”—drove Sidney Homan after fifty years in the theater to ponder just what makes Shakespeare...well, Shakespeare. The result, Directing Shakespeare, reflects the two worlds in which Homan operates—as a scholar and teacher on campus, and as a director and actor in professional and university theaters.
Hamlet has inspired four outstanding film adaptations that continue to delight a wide and varied audience and to offer provocative new interpretations of Shakespeare’s most popular play. Cinematic Hamlet contains the first scene-by-scene analysis of the methods used by Laurence Olivier, Franco Zeffirelli, Kenneth Branagh, and Michael Almereyda to translate Hamlet into highly distinctive and remarkably effective films.