Varsity Tutors’ Pre-Reading Guide to Shakespeare is a fantastic resource for anyone who is encountering the Bard’s works for the first time in a high school or college English class, or any student apprehensive about reading and understanding more of them. Unlike resources that provide direct summary, this book has been written as a pre-reading guide. Instead of telling you what you’ll know after reading a play, it tells you what’s most useful to know before you start reading the first lines. Its concise sections spotlight complex and abstract textual features that a direct summary can often miss.
Introductory sections provide quick snapshots of context about Shakespeare’s works, the culture in which they originated, and how they were performed—useful information to be aware of no matter which play you’ve been assigned. The introduction also features advice about close reading and how to craft your observations about a play into an excellent paper. In chapters on tragedies, histories, and comedies and problem plays, the book covers a series of the most commonly studied works. Each section offers specific and concise advice about what to watch for as you read that particular play—major themes, key context, and important connections to make that can enrich your reading experience.
Whether you’re a first-time Shakespeare reader or just want to make sure you’re as prepared as possible to understand the next play you’re assigned, Varsity Tutors’ Pre-Reading Guide to Shakespeare can help you improve your understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare’s works.
Eight helpful introductory essays
Focused reading guides for seventeen of the most commonly studied Shakespeare plays
Over 100 pages of helpful advice for getting the most out of reading