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An Ancient Tale New Told - Volume 1

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About the author:
John Missall has been a life-long student of Shakespeare. He and his wife Mary Lou are historians specializing in the Seminole Indian Wars of Florida and have authored several books on the subject, both fiction and non-fiction. Their novel "Hollow Victory" won the 2012 Best Fiction Award from the Florida Historical Society, and their history "The Seminole Wars: America's Longest Indian Conflict" is one of the most popular books written on the subject.

An Ancient Tale New Told - Volume 1

The Stories of Shakespeare - Tragedies

Authored by John Missall

The stories told in the plays of William Shakespeare are among the most beloved in all literature. In this unique three-volume set, award-winning author and historian John Missall retells each play in modern prose while retaining Shakespeare's original language for the characters' conversations. The stories closely follow the action of the plays, retaining the Act/Scene structure of the originals. By using little added embellishment and minimal paraphrasing, the author allows the reader to easily understand these timeless dramatic works and appreciate Shakespeare's powerful yet beautiful wording.

Volume I: The Tragedies includes the most familiar works, such as "Hamlet," "MacBeth," and "Romeo & Juliet," plus the lesser-known plays, such as "Coriolanus," "Troilus & Cressida," and "Timon of Athens." Also included is "The Merchant of Venice." Although normally classified as a comedy, it is often viewed today as the "Tragedy of Shylock."

Illustrated with numerous Shakespeare-inspired works of art, "An Ancient Tale New Told" is the perfect tool for those who would like to become familiar with the greatest works in the English language.

From the text:
Hamlet enters the room, deep in thought and not noticing that Ophelia is there. His mind is still on suicide. "To be or not to be: that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them. To die-to sleep. No more; and by a sleep to say we end the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep." So why not take one's own life? There's a catch: "To sleep, perchance to dream. Aye, there's the rub. For in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil must give us pause. There's the respect that makes calamity of so long life; for who would bear the whips and scorns of time, the oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely [contempt], the pangs of despised love, the law's delay, the insolence of office, and the spurns that patient merit of the unworthy takes, when he himself might his quietus [settlement] make with a bare bodkin [dagger]?" It is the fear of the unknown that keeps us from ending our own lives. "Who would fardels [burdens] bear, to grunt and sweat under a weary life, but that the dread of something after death, the undiscovered country from whose bourn [borders] no traveler returns, puzzles the will, and makes us rather bear those ills we have, than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards of us all, and thus the native hue of resolution is sickled over with the pale cast of thought, and enterprises of great pitch and moment with this regard their currents turn awry and lose the name of action."

Publication Date:
151518966X / 9781515189664
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
7" x 10"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Drama / Shakespeare

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