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Titus Andronicus [Audio]
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William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English poet and dramatist of the Elizabethan and early Jacobean period, is the most widely known author in all of English literature and often considered the greatest. He was an active member of a theater company for at least twenty years, during which time he wrote many great plays. Plays were not prized as literature at the time, and Shakespeare was not widely read until the middle of the eighteenth century, when a great upsurge of interest in his works began that continues today.

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Gr 7-9ÄThis effort fails miserably as an introduction to the play or as a review tool for high school students. Plenty of well-written treatments exist at a variety of lengths and language levels that present the story with some of the verve it deserves. Given the choice here of short words and sentences and choppy, one-to-three sentence paragraphs, this British import may well have been intended for reluctant readers. If so, any advantage of the extreme simplicity of language is overbalanced by the truly dreadful illustrations. Anyone struggling with Shakespeare would be further turned off by these blurry, careless, unpleasant black-and-white drawings that face every page of text. Random and often inaccurate definitions at the bottoms of a few text pages and equally random-seeming quotations under the illustrations complete this unappealing package.ÄSally Margolis, Barton Public Library, VT

The latest in Yale's "Annotated Shakespeare" series are two of the old boy's greatest hits. Besides the scholarly texts, these include lists of suggested further reading, essays, and more. Fab for the price. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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