Playing Shakespeare is the premier guide to understanding and appreciating the mastery of the worlds greatest playwright.
Together with Royal Shakespeare Company actorsamong them Patrick Stewart, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Ben Kingsley, and David SuchetJohn Barton demonstrates how to adapt Elizabethan theater for the modern stage. The director begins by explicating Shakespeares verse and prose, speeches and soliloquies, and naturalistic and heightened language to discover the essence of his characters. In the second section, Barton and the actors explore nuance in Shakespearean theater, from evoking irony and ambiguity and striking the delicate balance of passion and profound intellectual thought, to finding new approaches to playing Shakespeares most controversial creation, Shylock, from The Merchant of Venice. A practical and essential guide, Playing Shakespeare will stand for years as the authoritative favorite among actors, scholars, teachers, and students.