- Taschenbuch: 240 Seiten
- Verlag: Penguin (27. März 2014)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0718195701
- ISBN-13: 978-0718195700
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13 x 1,9 x 19,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 778 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Shakespeare's Restless World: An Unexpected History in Twenty Objects (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 24. April 2014
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MacGregor is not a man for making airy generalisations about the past. He examines concrete evidence and like a Sherlock Holmes teases out of it more information than you would think possible to deduce (Peter Lewis Daily Mail)
Shakespeare's Restless World, filled with anecdotes and insights, eerie, funny, poignant and grotesque, is another brilliant vindication of MacGregor's understanding of physical objects to enter deep into our fore-fathers' mental and spiritual world (Christopher Hart Sunday Times) -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.
The acclaimed BBC Radio 4 series exploring the world of William Shakespeare through a selection of objects from his era, presented by British Museum director Neil MacGregor. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Audio CD.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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Each chapter focuses on one object linked to an aspect of the plays - for example, a model ship leads us to the witches in Macbeth - and then MacGregor tells the reader of how the audience at that time would have reacted when witches were still believed to have the power of raising storms, causing shipwrecks etc.
In another chapter, he looks at The Tempest and a 'magical' mirror and then goes on to discuss how magic and science were intermingled ' at time when superstition was wide-spread. A woodcut leads to the one Irish character in Shakespeare's plays, a soldier in Henry V, and gives an opportunity for MacGregor to discuss the troubled relationship between England and Ireland during Elizabeth's reign. Every chapter, though short, is packed full of information.
Pictures of the objects are included, so the reader can relate better to them. So all in all it is not a bad book. Maybe because I have already read so much on Shakespeare and his time I got a little bit bored. So maybe this book is more for people who are trying for the first time to get a better understand of Shakespeare's plays. Then I can definitely recommend it. If you already know quite a bit, this is a nice refresher course.
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You cannot do this in a museum, because you cannot read an essay while standing in front of a glass case. But the author of this book, Neil MacGregor, lets you know what it would be like if museums had armchairs. In a previous volume, "A History of the World in 100 Objects", he takes an object, say, a Korean roof tile 1,300 years old, and explains how a person of that period would have regarded it, what it meant in the context of its time.
He has done the same thing in "Shakespeare's World" with 20 objects from Shakespeare's time. An example is a silver medallion about 2½ inches in diameter, made in commemoration of Drake's circumnavigation of the earth in 1577-80, when Shakespeare was a teenager. In order to truly under this object, you have to know that Shakespeare lived when Europeans first began to understand the world in an entirely new way, a great round globe (one of his theaters was named "The Globe"), full of brave new worlds with strange and wondrous people in them. His plays are full of references to maps (Comedy of Errors), strange lands (The Tempest) and exotic foreigners (Othello, Shylock). To have lived in Shakespeare's time was to have begun to see the world in an entirely new way, just like for us the world changed when we saw images of the earth taken from space.
Another object is a communion cup. In order to understand this object you have to know that everyone was forced to drink from such cups in church and everyone had, by law, to go the church. It helps to know this when Claudius orders Hamlet to drink from a goblet, and when Gertrude refuses to obey him when he tells her not to.
Another object is a fork, an elegant and rare object lost by some rich person in the audience while watching a play. This signifies luxury, which is associated with Italy. This chapter contains information on Elizabethan foods, and explains what Falstaff's meal would have meant to the audience: "potatoes", rare and exotic, "kissing comfits", breath mints in a land of primitive dentistry, and "sea holly", an aphrodisiac.
The book helped me to better understand Shakespeare's world and his plays. I kept wondering, however, how the author had time to both run the British Museum, and also write such fascinating books.
"Shakespeare's Restless World" as the title suggests is all about the world and the times in which The Bard lived. The twist in the tale is that MacGregor talks of Shakespeare's times and worlds through twenty objects. At this stage, I must also mention that MacGregor is the director of The British Museum, so getting hold of these objects must have been pretty easy for him. Having said that, what worked most for me was the premise of the book. It is unique in its approach. It also at the same time cannot be categorized as a "history read" because though it is that in some parts, at others it is very different. It speaks to us about the times gone by, the objects and their meaning in those times and how Shakespeare finally has emerged to be a world-wide phenomenon.
The reason I loved this book is it is but obviously written differently and at the same time, it is not a boring read at all. It makes you want to know more. After all what could be the relation between a fork (not invented in England) and Shakespeare? What could be the connection between swords and battles and the plays as written by the man? To what extent was he influenced by his world and the objects around him? I also cannot stop gushing about the book. In fact, at a point, I also went back and reread my favourite parts.
The book is written in a superb manner. There are parts that are funny and parts that are not so. The objects picked are so unique and that is the major point of the book. The vivid description of the objects (along with a lot of pictures - so please do not read this on an E-reader) adds to the writing and how the influences came about. "Shakespeare's Restless World" is a unique read of how the socio-economic structure, the religious turmoil, the rampant diseases, sex even, lead to Shakespeare's plays and their writing and how influenced he was by the world around him. A must read for history and Shakespeare fans.
For those readers with little time to read, each chapter is relatively short (four or five pages) and stands alone so you can read in short bursts. It's more academic than Bill Bryson's book on Shakespeare (although I have to say Bryson's book is just as informative) and you don't have to be a Shakespeare buff to find the information interesting. You just need an interest in history.