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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Review & Giveaway - The Sixty-Minute Shakespeare – Hamlet

The Sixty-Minute Shakespeare – Hamlet

Abriged by Cass Foster

Price: Entire Series: $45.89; individually: $8.99.
Published by:  Five Star Publications
   
I'm a big Shakespeare fan.  Since I was young, probably middle school aged, I have loved Shakespeare.  Whenever there is a chance to attend a production, I'm the first one signing up.  In fact, the boys and I saw Macbeth on stage last spring and will be going to King Lear in a week. Shakespeare was one of the key reasons I decided to major in English in college.

That being said, I was skeptical of an abriged version.  Shakespeare in sixty minutes sounds like a good idea, especially when you want to expose young minds to the bard without weighing them down with language and lengthy disposition, but, could it be done right?

Cass Foster, Professor Emeritus of Theatre, doesn't retell Shakespeare, but, rather, keeps the language and tone of the play intact while condensing some of the lengthier scenes and removing those that are extraneous to the key story.  I know Hamlet well.  Reading this copy, not a single key event was missed keeping the story and its intriguing tale intact.  While some of the excitment of the fighting has been removed, students might find the original rhetoric laborious.  Keeping the outcome unchanged makes sure none of the final suspense is lost.

I did appreciate that Foster uses footnotes at the end of each page to help explain trickier wordings that may be lost on the young reader.  One example - Hamelt states, "O, old friend, thy face is valenced since I last saw thee."  Valenced is notated and at the bottom of the page is defined as "bearded." 

Additionally, some cues are added to help the instructor use this text as a script for the play.  It may not be suitable for school-wide production; however, the comments are helpful if the play were to be enacted in a class or co-op to help the students identify with the characters and really get into the spirit of Shakespeare.

There are five additional plays in the Sixty-minute Shakespeare series: Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night.  Personally, I would love to own and read them all.  I’m already thinking of how I want to incorporate more Shakespeare into our high school literature.

Whether you love Shakespeare and want to introduce it to your children, or you find Shakespeare difficult and would like a simplified option for enjoying these acclaimed stories, I have to say I would readily recommend these books.

To find out more, check out the following links:

www.GetShakespeare.com
http://www.twitter.com/Fivestarpub

Giveaway

Now for the giveaway - you can win one copy of Sixty Minute Shakespeare for your very own.  If I weren't doing the giveaway, I would enter to get another title.

To enter, simply go to GetShakespeare.com and tell me which title you would like to win.

For additional entries:

1.  Friend me on GFC
2.  Like Five Star Publications on Facebook
3.  Like Heartfelt Homeschooling on Facebook
4.  Tweet about this giveaway and tell me you did

This giveaway ends Friday, September 16th at Midnight.  The winner will be selected using Random.org.

*** This is a MamaBuzz Media review. The product was provided by: five star publications for my honest review.  All views and opinions are my own.

43 comments:

  1. I think I would like to try Much Ado About Nothing. As I recall, the various storylines in that particular play got a little confusing (I read 23 Shakespearean plays in a 16 week semester, though, so maybe it was tied into reading that one so quickly). Still, that sounds like a fun one to try! :)

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  2. I liked Five Star Publications on FB.

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  3. I like Heartfelt Homeschooling on FB.

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  4. I would like to win Twelfth Knight! My daughter loves this play!

    Thanks, Becky Jane
    riseaboveyourlimits at gmail dot com

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  5. GFC Follower!

    Thanks, Becky Jane
    riseaboveyourlimits at gmail dot com

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  6. FB Five Star Publications
    @Becky Chapman

    Thanks, Becky Jane
    riseaboveyourlimits at gmail dot com

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  7. FB Heartfelt Homeschooling!
    @Becky Chapman

    Thanks, Becky Jane
    riseaboveyourlimits at gmail dot com

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  8. Tweeted your giveaway
    @BeckyJane_
    http://twitter.com/#!/BeckyJane_/status/111567618183413760


    Thanks, Becky Jane
    riseaboveyourlimits at gmail dot com

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  9. The Scottish play is one of my favourites, so I'd choose Macbeth :)

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  10. I would be interested in A Midsummer Night's Dream. I've seen this once in a movie (?) and it caught my attention.

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  11. I liked Five Star Publications on FB

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  12. I like Heartfelt Homeschooling on FB (nlhome)

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  13. If we are chosen, we would like the A MidSummer Night's Dream. Thank you! jaslinn77@yahoo(dot)com

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  14. I am now following on GFC. Thank you!! jaslinn77@yahoo(dot)com

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  15. Liked Five Star Publications on FB.
    Thank you!! Jaslinn77@yahoo(dot)com

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  16. I like Heartfelt Homeschooling on FB! Thank you!

    jaslinn77@yahoo(dot)com

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  17. I shared on Twitter! https://twitter.com/#!/jaslinn77/status/111732011835736064

    Thank you! @jaslinn77

    jaslinn77@yahoo(dot)com

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  18. Romeo and Juliet - oh how fun! ;)

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  19. Tough decision! I think if I could choose one, I would go with A Midsummer Night's Dream. I think.

    Because that's the one of these I'm least familiar with, and would most want a bit of extra help in doing.

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  20. I follow via Google Friend Connect.

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  21. I like Five Star Publications on Facebook.

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  22. I like Heartfelt Homeschooling on Facebook. I thought I already did...

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  23. I'd love A Mid-Summer's Night Dream...it's one of my faves~so hilarious!

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  24. I'd like Much Ado About Nothing or Midsummer Night's Dream. I need to add more Shakespeare to my high schoolers repertoire.

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  25. I already like Heartfelt Homeschooling on FB.

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  26. I like Five Start Publications on FB.

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  27. great giveaway! I think I would choose either Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet.

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  28. I tweeted your giveaway.

    @MarcyKY

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  29. Much ado about nothing would be my choice.

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  30. I think A Mid Summers Night Dream. I really don't know any of these except for Romeo and Juliet. lol

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  31. I think I'd have to pick Hamlet, but they all sound tempting.

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  32. I liked Five Star Productions on FB.

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  33. I also liked Heartfelt Homeschooling on FB. :)

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  34. Much Ado About Nothing would be my first choice~ Because I'm much less about tragedy~ ;)

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  35. I'm following you~ (#299~ Woohoo! You're almost to 300!) Nothing like a last minute entry~ ;)

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  36. Midsummer Night's Dream:)

    Stopping by from the crew;)
    Lizzie

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Thank you for commenting - I love to hear your thoughts!