Finally - a study guide that doesn't assume you're an idiot! The team that brought you the acclaimed SMART ALECK'S GUIDE TO AMERICAN HISTORY is back with a fantastic new series of "study guides for the smart kids" about Shakespeare - including all the stuff your school board would probably rather you didn't find out about. There's something here for everyone, from middle schoolers trying to get through English class to grad students who've read every play a million times, all WITHOUT resorting to re-writing the plays to include the word "dude." Each illustrated Shakespeare guide contains:
- Complete text of the play, plus detailed summaries and analysis of every scene, with an active Table of Contents and internal links for easy navigation.
- All the info you need about Shakespeare's life, times and language (30k words!), including sections on Elizabethan slang, cheat sheets on how money and nobility worked, the history Shakespeare expected his audience to know, tips on how to survive if you get beamed back to 1593, and a useful essay on the roles of sex, violence, and poop in Elizabethan life and literature - like an Elizabethan version of of What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew.
- Guides to movie versions of the play, the sources Shakespeare used in creating the works, a history of the individual play, guides to controversies about each play that make scholars throw folding chairs at one another, and more.
- Numerous illustrations, many of which contain hilarious mustaches and stupid hats.
- Tangents about the Muppets, Star Wars, or whatever else the staff feels like (we don't let the Texas School Board tell US what to do!)
- A general lack of worksheets, vocabulary words, sentence diagrams, and other stuff that would suck all the life out of the plays.
- A section on Shakespeare's "Lost" plays (with several chances to earn $5).
And a whole lot more. Twice as informative, and ten times as entertaining, as the next leading brand of study guides - Smart Aleck's Guides have the courtesy to assume that their readers are not complete morons to start with. The Smart Aleck Staff is confident that they can help you understand and enjoy Shakespeare without resorting to any cheap tricks to "bring him down to your level." They don't really care if you get a good grade or not, but with one guide, you could end up knowing more about Shakespeare than your teacher!
The MACBETH guide contains:
- The full play, with analysis of each scene
- Character List
-"Whose Macbeth Is It, Anyway?" (or, is the text we have really just Thomas Middleton's attempt to punch up an older Shakespeare play?)
- A section on witches in Shakespeare's day - and ours.
- A piece on the "curse" of Macbeth
- A whole section about the play's connection to Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" to go with our usual speculation about what a Muppet version of MACBETH would be like
- "Who is the Third Murderer?"
- A review of Macbeth from 1610.
- A bit on the debate about whether the "weird sisters" are "witches" or "Fates"
- A "Macbeth Scorecard."
- A section of stupid hats from various productions of the play.
- "The Shakespeare Capers Vol. 1: Foul is Fair" (a hard-boiled detective story starring "Duke" Stratford, private eye, which has nothing to do with the play).