About the Reader’s Editions

The Readers’ Editions grew out of the needs of readers reading aloud in a group. We discovered things we all wanted, such as line numbers of every line, a chart with which we could divvy up the parts, a way to read the gloss (definition) of a word without losing our places, and more. Below is a graphic showing the ideas that were developed into this series.

Included in each edition, especially for readers new to Shakespeare, are short but clear explanations on:

  • The important differences between thee/thou and you/your.
  • Why words are often in a strange order.
  • Using parenthetical information to help clarify a line.
  • Why there are so many apostrophes in words, as in, “In viewing o’er the rest o’ th’ self-same day.’
  • What the accent marks indicate, as in, “three crabbèd months.”
  • The difference between verse, blank verse, prose, and rhyme and what they indicate.
  • Why some lines in a Shakespeare play are indented.
  • Latin stage directions such as exeunt and manent.

Also included are:

  • Common words used in this particular play.
  • Motifs and themes to watch for in this play.
  • A list of characters, how many lines each one has, and which scenes they are in.
  • Pronunciation guide to names in this play.
  • A map of the area.
  • Tips for your reading group.

At the back of each book you will find:

  • Questions for discussion and ideas to think about.
  • A chart of the lines per character per scene to make it easier to divvy up parts.

This graphic shows the format of each book and the elements that are designed specifically for readers:

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If you want to know all the gory academic details of how I developed this series, feel free to download the chapter here. It is a 35-page PDF with British spelling and punctuation and is typed on British A4-sized paper, which is slightly taller than our U.S. paper.