A Dictionary of Quotations from Shakespeare: A Topical Guide to Over 3,000 Great Passages from the Plays, Sonnets, and Narrative Poems

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Dutton, 1992 - 368 pages
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Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise, three-piled hyperboles, spruce affectation, figures pedantical", (Love's Labor's Lost)...you'll find all these and more in this comprehensive, easy-to-use, and thoroughly enjoyable collection of timeless poetry, proverbs, and sayings from the most quotable author in literary history. Margaret Miner and Hugh Rawson have carefully selected over 3,000 quotations and arranged them under more than 400 topics to put Shakespeare at your fingertips. Readers who turn to "Life" will find Prospero's haunting reflection, "We are such stuff as dreams are made on". Speech-writers seeking "words of Wisdom" are reminded of Polonius's comment that "Brevity is the soul of wit". Extensive cross-referencing makes the volume easy to use, and an index of key words helps locate those elusive, tip-of-the-tongue quotations quickly. Shakespeare lovers and researchers will find it especially helpful that over half the entries are annotated with fascinating historical background, notes on Shakespeare's sources, an explanation of the context of the quote, or a definition of an Elizabethan word or phrase. The volume also includes a brief biography of Shakespeare and a chronological listing of his plays and poems. And all line references for the quotations are keyed to the respected and popular Signet Classic editions edited by Sylvan Barnet. Filled with familiar treasures and unexpected delights, A Dictionary of Quotations From Shakespeare offers exquisitely stated, witty, and deeply profound commentary on life as we still experience it today, on our emotions and needs, and on both the grandeur and the foolishness of the human condition. It is a reference work that is asenlightening as it is useful - an essential book for readers, writers, students, speakers, and language lovers everywhere.

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A dictionary of quotations from Shakespeare: a topical guide to over 3, 000 great passages from the plays, sonnets, and narrative poems

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The focus of this entertaining dictionary, the authors say, is on "quotations that are likely to be of practical use for writers and speakers today . . . and relevant to modern times and present-day ... Read full review

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About the author (1992)

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School. At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry. By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true. Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

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