Review: Shakespeare’s Words

by David Crystal & Ben Crystal

This is a book that I almost can’t live without. It is essentially a dictionary of most of the words that Shakespeare uses in his plays. But I’d be selling it short if I said it was just that. The majority of the book is the dictionary. The editing is very clear and concise, it’s always the first place I look when I come across a word that I don’t know

Aside from just being a dictionary, every so often there are encyclopedic entries about various things; ie: counting numbers, insults/curses/swears, differentiating certain words, terms on a certain subject (mythology, ships, etc).

After all that, you get a couple pages devoted to each show which includes a sypnosis, a list of characters, and venn diagram-esque circles that visually show how all the characters are connected! It’s wonderful for some of the more complex plots where it helps to see how everyone is related. Especially the Hisories.

I’d be lying if I told you that I summarized everything in this book. You’ll just have to by it to see it yourself! This book is a must-have for all Shakespeare enthusiasts and theatre practicioners. Hence the 5 out of 5 rating. Go out and get it! Or else….

Shakespeare’s Words: A Glossary and Language Companion