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William Shakespeare
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The haunted Dane--mad, feigned or merely anguished--is Shakespeare's masterpiece of characterization. A father murdered, a mother married to the murderer, a women he is not allowed to love; Hamlet is the archetypal Shakespearean tragedy. Shakespeare's words within this play rank among the highest ever written by man; witty, full of meaning and altogether genius, Hamlet is one of the world's finest classics. 122 pages, softcover.

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Translated by H.F. Cary With an Introduction by Claire Honess.

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) is one of the most important and innovative figures of the European Middle Ages. Writing his Comedy (the epithet 'Divine' was added by later admirers) in exile from his native Florence, he aimed to address a world gone astray both morally and politically. At the same time, he sought to push back the restrictive rules which traditionally governed writing in the Italian vernacular, to produce a radically new and all-encompassing work.

The Comedy tells the story of the journey of a character who is at one and the same time both Dante himself and Everyman. In the Inferno, Dante's protagonist - and his reader - is presented with a graphic vision of the dreadful consequences of sin, and encounters an all-too-human array of noble, grotesque, beguiling, ridiculous and horrific characters.


Seamus Heaney
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Composed toward the end of the first millennium of our era, Beowulf is the elegiac narrative of the adventures of Beowulf, a Scandinavian hero who saves the Danes from the seemingly invincible monster Grendel and later, from Grendel's mother. He returns to his own countries and dies in old age in a vivid fight against a dragon.
This poem is about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and then having to live on in the exhausted aftermath. In the contours of this story, at once remote and uncannily familiar at the beginning of the 21st century, Seamus Heaney finds a resonance that summons power to the poetry from deep beneath its surface.
Drawn to what he has called the "four-squareness of the utterance" in Beowulf and its immense emotional credibility, Heaney gives these epic qualities new and convincing reality for the contemporary reader.