Books: Anthologies Pt. 6

Hi All! I meant to get this out last week…but life. I’m just going to touch on two Shakespeare anthologies—The Globe and The Norton. I’ll list the contents of each and talk about some differences between the two.

The Globe Illustrated Shakespeare is annotated, and covers the complete works of Shakespeare (or so it says on the cover). This anthology begins with a forward and preface then is separated into three volumes and the appendixes as follows:

Volume 1
The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, King John, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (my personal favorite), The Merchant of Venice, King Richard the Second, The First Part of King Henry the Fourth, The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Much Ado About Nothing

Volume 2
All’s Well that Ends Well, King Henry the Fifth, As You Like It; Pericles, Prince of Tyre; Twelfth Night; or, What You Will; The First Part of King Henry the Sixth, The Second Part of King Henry the Sixth, Timon of Athens, King Richard the Third, Measure for Measure, King Henry the Eighth, Cymbeline

Volume 3
The Tempest, King Lear, Coriolanus, Winter’s Tale, Troilus and Cressida, Hamlet, Julius Ceasar, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, Titus Andronicuus, Othello, Poems

Some account of the life of Shakespeare
Shakespeare’s Will
Preliminary matter in the folio of 1623
Commentary Verses


The Norton Shakespeare (based on the Oxford Edition), Second Edition, like the Globe anthology, has illustrations, but unlike the Globe, The Norton has extended titles (i.e. “The Merchant of Venice” [Globe] vs “The Comical History of the Merchant of Venice, or Otherwise Called the Jew of Venice” [Norton]). This anthology starts with Shakespeare’s genealogy (inside front cover) and a list of the Kings and Queens of England from 1377-1625.

An abbreviated version of the contents:

Contents by Genre
[Comedies, Histories, Tragedies, Romances, Poetry, Lost Plays]
List of Illustrations

General Introduction by Stephan Greenblatt

Shakespeare’s World
The Playing Field
Shakespeare’s Life and Art
The Dream of the Master Text

The Shakespearean Stage, Andrew Gurr

The Complete Works
[Includes all the same contents as the Globe anthology with a few exceptions. This anthology also includes Venus and Adonis, The Rape of  Lucrece, The Reign of King Edward the Third, Love’s Labour’s Won: A Brief Account, The Sonnets and “A Lover’s Complaint”, Sir Thomas Moore: Passages Attributed to Shakespeare, Cardenio: A Brief Account, and The Two Noble Kinsmen]

[includes places important to Shakespeare’s plays]
[includes commentary on Shakespeare and his works, the 1600 contract for the building of the Fortune Theater, Letters, Master of the Wardrobe’s Account, and front matter from the first folio of Shakespeare’s plays]

Textual Variants
General Bibliography
Illustration Acknowledgements
Index of Poems
Index of Songs
Index of Plays

**My use of Appendixes vs Appendices is based solely on the spelling in the respective anthology.

If you’ve never read Shakespeare, I suggest starting with something fun like A Midsummer Night’s Dream (my personal favorite) or something twisty and exciting like Twelfth Night. Midsummer is full of fairies and donkeys, love triangles and singing; and Twelfth is all about mistaken identities. Both of these are really fun once you get into the groove of Shakespearean language. Obviously Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet are super popular plays, but because they are so popular, I’d rather not direct you there first.

Well I said this would be brief, so I will end here. Thanks for sticking with it. I will try to get the last anthology post done this week as well—talking about the UCF student publications—and then we’ll get into some individual titles. Yay!

Happy Reading!


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