Thursday, August 9, 2018

Macbeth (No Fear Shakespeare) Paperback – April 15, 2003 by William Shakespeare (SparkNotes)

 like the dual-language feature. Having the "plain modern English" next to the original Shakespeare does really help you understand and get the main story down.

However, I was disappointed that the book lacks any kind of introductory info to Shakespeare or the play. That would have been very valuable.

Also sorely lacking are any helps for the original text, such as explaining what words and phrases in the original meant. The book seems to assume that the modern version is enough explanation - but it's not, if you want to really understand the original language. For example, on the first page Shakespeare's word "collier" is rendered in the modern version as "garbage man." This is not what it means.

Of course this book makes me lament the current state of education and student preparedness. Apparently, most young people these days aren't avid readers. Thus the need for a book like this that treats Shakespeare as a foreign language that needs a full modern translation.

I hope students don't stop at the modern version of the text, but use it as a bridge to really appreciating Shakespeare's original literary version, and see first-hand why Shakespeare is still considered the best writer in the English language.

Each No Fear guide contains:

The complete text of the original play
A line-by-line translation that puts the words into everyday language
A complete list of characters, with descriptions
Plenty of helpful commentary

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