Customer Reviews for

Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted November 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Fine work about the finest writer

    Greenblatt's outstanding work about Shakespeare effectively accomplishes what many scholarly books do not. This is a solid study that is very readable. As all Shakespearean scholars are, Greenblatt is forced to put together few facts to create a living breathing playwright. Each chapter captures an era of Shakespeare's life using plausible suppositions and supports it with the Bard's own works. Greenblatt's true scholarship shows, but he does not let it be hidden by obtuse language and obscure machinations. The role of Marlowe in Shakespeare's life as well as his views of Jews in Renaissance England are particularly solid chapters. My favorite, though, is the work on Macbeth and its relation to James I. It is not often that one wants to return to a scholarly book, but this is one of those. A comfortable, sturdy read that opens doors to the greatest writer in the English language.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent book for the non-Shakespeare scholar who loves Shakespeare

    Another book that called out to me from the bookshelves of an airport bookstore - and another book that absolutely did not disappoint. Greenblatt's writing is engaging and engrossing. He sets the stage (pun, I suppose, intended) of Elizabethan England as a vivid backdrop to the events of Shakespeare's life. Though, as other reviewers pointed out, the thinness of the data force the author to engage in conjecture, it is fascinating conjecture. Additionally, Shakespeare's writing is delightfully woven into the conjecture, and I found myself again awestruck at his writing - as awestruck as I was the first time I truly began to appreciate it. I highly recommend this book - keep in mind, I'm no Shakespeare scholar, but I suspect that is precisely the audience for which it is intended.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2004

    Riveting and imaginative biography

    Stephen Greenblatt's writing takes the reader into the Elizabethan world. The details are fascinating and the connections to Shakespeare's life and his plays are illuminating. The reader is drawn into this world in the same way that one is drawn into a richly detailed novel.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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