The Sourcebooks Shakespeare

07 Sep

These are just brilliant, though I admit I am judging from just two — Othello and Macbeth — which (glad to say as a pensioner, sad to say from the publisher’s viewpoint) I bought last week at the remainder shop at the end of the Devonshire Street tunnel at Sydney’s Central Station. I have been going through Othello with a student in the past few weeks, and that motivated the purchase. I had no idea whether it would be worth the $9.95, but it emphatically was. 🙂

There is a website too: THE SOURCEBOOKS SHAKESPEARE. Read all about them there, and even hear some of the CDs that accompany them.


On Othello, for example, you get speeches and extracts, sometimes in pairs so you can compare interpretations. You may contrast Janet Suzman’s amazing 1987 South African production starring John Kani (left below) with the historic Paul Robeson (right below) interpretation from the 1940s. Even more amazing, there is F Scott Fitzgerald doing a speech from Act I Scene 3, and if that isn’t amazing enough, a recording of Edwin Booth, the brother of the man who assassinated Abraham Lincoln, performing the role in 1890! The CD is beautifully narrated by Sir Derek Jacobi. On top of that are essays on aspects of the play, and a very user-friendly complete edition. Just great!

othello1 robeson

Both images are links…

This post is also on English/ESL.


Posted by on September 7, 2008 in Best read of 2008, education, English studies, Shakespeare


2 responses to “The Sourcebooks Shakespeare

  1. Neil

    September 9, 2008 at 8:52 am

    I am temporarily unable to post to or edit this site. Check the link to this comment to see why.

  2. Simon

    September 13, 2008 at 7:20 am

    If you’re a diehard Shakespeare fan, check out On the Trail of the Real Macbeth by Cameron Taylor. Really fascinating literary history and a great teaching tool as well.

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