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Literature and Law. Editor: Michael J. In recent years, there has been a continuing and persistent world-wide interest in the interaction between the two disciplines of law and literature. Furthermore, legal advocates must recreate a concrete sense of reality, developing vivid and valid pictures of a specific time and place. Collectively, the essays in this book are designed to deal with themes of guilt and innocence, right and wrong, morality and legality.

In addition, the essays offer detailed explications of key passages, thus illuminating Shakespeare's most critical yet challenging material. The organization of this companion underscores the relationships among characters and plays and encourages students to engage in comparative studies and critical thinking. Additional resources are given for research and classroom assignments, and the first volume includes essays on broad topics related to Shakespeare and his milieu. Volume I: Overviews and the History Plays This volume begins with essays on a number of broad topics related to Shakespeare and his world, including his era, his text, the theater, his life, and his language.

Shakespeare's history plays brilliantly expose the motivations of great kings and offer timeless political commentary. But because his material is unfamiliar to students, the histories are among his most challenging works. Volume II: The Comedies Among the most enjoyed and performed plays in the world, Shakespeare's comedies capture the spirit of his age and offer students a wealth of information about his era.

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But because of the themes and issues they address, they are also among the most difficult. Included in this volume are extended analytical essays on such masterpieces as: ; Hamlet ; King Lear ; Macbeth ; Othello ; And others. And though best known today as the world's greatest playwright, Shakespeare wrote a number of poems that would have easily secured his literary reputation.

While his language has unsurpassed beauty, it also poses problems for modern readers.

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This volume explores the sonnets in a lengthy essay and individually profiles 33 of the most studied ones. Those who teach undergraduate Shakespeare courses should familiarize themselves with these volumes, which may tempt beginning students with misappropriation. Summing Up: Recommended. Certain to be in high demand.

It can be recommended without hesitation for undergraduates, as well as advanced high school students and general readers. The books are well written and easy to comprehend. Although the audience is students, teachers and serious scholars will get the most use out of them. An essential purchase for high school and public libraries, the set helps demystify Shakespeare's major works.

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This set is very useful for the student or general reader and stands out in a surprisingly uncrowded market. Although there is no shortage of criticism on Shakespeare's major works aimed at students, such as A Companion to Shakespeare's Works Blackwell, or Gale's Shakespearean Criticism series, a basic plot outline and simple analysis can be difficult to find. Befuddled students trying to translate the Bard's antiquated terminology often need some guidance, and this set provides just such assistance.

Mining similar territory are the single-topic, more detailed Cliffs Notes series or the less-extensive Masterplots series Salem.

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Highly recommended for all high-school, college, and public libraries. The volumes are organized by genre beginning with Overviews and the History Plays. The essays in that volume offer information on Shakespeare's life, the age and culture in which he lived, the Elizabethan and Jacobean theater, the texts and publication histories of the plays, and the English language of the era. These pieces are followed by detailed articles about the history plays.

Susan C.W. Abbotson

The comedies and the tragedies are discussed in volumes 2 and 3, respectively.