• Will in the World

  • How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare
  • By: Stephen Greenblatt
  • Narrated by: Peter Jay Fernandez
  • Length: 15 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 09-24-04
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Recorded Books
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.1 (370 ratings)

Regular price: $25.86

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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning author Stephen Greenblatt is one of the most influential literary thinkers in the world. An acclaimed interpreter of Shakespeare's works, his ideas have changed the way countless people approach the classics. Now Greenblatt's uniquely brilliant voice delivers a magnificent biography of the Bard himself. It is impossible to have any understanding of literature and not be familiar with William Shakepeare. He has influenced Western culture more than any other author. But how were Shakespeare's remarkable accomplishments even possible? How could a man without wealth, connections, or a university education move to London and quickly become the greatest playwright of all time? In this emerging narrative, Elizabethan England is reawakened, and we at last understand how Shakespeare became a legendary figure.
Don't miss Stephen Greenblatt talking about his book at the 2005 New York Times TimesTalk event, The Enigma of Shakespeare.
©2004 Stephen Greenblatt (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC
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Critic Reviews

"This wonderful study, built on a lifetime's scholarship and a profound ability to perceive the life within the texts, creates as vivid and full portrait of Shakespeare as we are likely ever to have." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Timothy on 04-06-07

For Fans of History and Language

I took a chance on this book because, in spite of studying three or four of his plays in high school, I knew almost nothing about Shakespeare or his world. The author's depiction of the social, political and cultural landscape of Elizabethan England may be highly speculative as other reviewers have noted, but I found it interesting and credible. The notion that 15th century political elites were paranoid about the entertaiment industry shows that some things never change. It's easy to picture Shakespeare walking the fine line between political correctness and wicked satire.
The book is beautifully written and read. It's a little deep in places but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By D. Littman on 11-12-04

Outstanding book-on-tape

This book is outstanding from all key perspectives: it is well-narrated, it is well-written & organized, & it is a compelling piece of historical writing. I am confused by an earlier reviewer's idea that this is a degraded "politically correct" piece of work. I don't see that anywhere in the work. Clearly the author has sought to reconstruct Shakespeare's life & thought through the plays themselves & through historical works about the times in which he lived (historical works where he does not appear), & that is necessary since the track he left to us, 100s of years later, is 99.9% from his plays. But any reader of current literary biography knows that most of what appears in a great writer's work is semi-autobiographical, so there is no crime in speculating from the work-to-the-life. The author makes frequent use of caveats, so there is no attempt to pull the wool over our eyes. And their use enriches the work, it does not detract from it. One of the best books I've gotten from Audible.

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20 of 22 people found this review helpful

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