Actually, as a former English major (and an old-fashioned purist, I guess), I cringed when I learned that students could now read the modern English version of Shakespeare's plays in school, but...if it hooks 'em, I guess it's okay. At least these parallel editions show the original text on facing pages, so there's some exposure to the "real thing"!
THIS is the way to understand Shakespeare! My 11 year old son wanted to know the story of Romeo & Juliet and I briefly explained the storyline to him. He then wanted to read the play, but was put-off by the difficult writing style of that era. Wanting him to actually READ the script, I searched for a book that would be enticing to him and assist him in fulfilling this desire to read "real" Shakespeare. "No Fear Shakespeare" definitely fits the bill! My son sat and read through the play in just a few days and could hardly put the book down. Not sure how much of the "real" Shakespeare he read as compared to the "translated" Shakespeare, but that doesn't matter to me. He got through the play and actually understood it! Very easy-to-read layout and super-helpful translation---no flipping back and forth in the book or having to refer to footnotes just to understand the dialogue.
I'll definitely be investing in more of the "No Fear Shakespeare" series for our family!
I ordered this book for a my daughter to read for an English class. It is helpful for spots in which a student might have trouble with the original text, but the modern translation on the right hand side sometimes is less helpful that it could be. At times I wondered why the translated version was worded the way it was.
This is a great romantic tragedy, which I had to read for my Intro. to Drama class. This is one of those works of Shakespeare that has been done in a multitude of forms and variations, so it is quite likely that everyone has a rough idea of the story. Still, you really cannot replace the original. There is a lot of unbelievable story to it, which can overdo it to the point of being distracting, but overall the language and story are so supremely memorable that it automatically qualifies as a must-read. As to the edition itself, I found it to be greatly helpful in understanding the action in the play. It has a layout which places each page of the play opposite a page of notes, definitions, explanations, and other things needed to understand that page more thoroughly. While I didn't always need it, I was certainly glad to have it whenever I ran into a turn of language that was unfamiliar, and I definitely appreciated the scene-by-scene summaries. Really, if you want to or need to read Shakespeare, an edition such as this is really the way to go, especially until you get more accustomed to it.