TALES FROM SHAKESPEARE – Stories of William Shakespare’s Immortal Plays for Children

shakespeareTales from Shakespeare is the collection of stories written by Charles Lamb and Mary Lamb. William Shakespeare’s 20 most popular plays are retold in this book in the form of stories. These stories had been written for young children to make them familiarize with Shakespeare’s writings.

In this collection Charles Lamb and Mary Lamb had attempted to make the narration as simple as possible as these are intended to entertain the young readers. The collection of stories include William Shakespeare’s most popular tragedies and comedies. With much expertise and clarity the authors had tried make use of simple language in it’s narrative as the book was for children. Only few times they had made use of dialogues which is also noteworthy.

The Comedy of Errors, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, All’s Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure, Othello, Macbeth, King Lear, Timon of Athens, Cymbeline The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest, Pericle: Prince of Tyre and Hamlet, Prince of Denmark are the plays narrated in Tales from Shakespeare.

Charles Lamb concentrated in Shakespearean tragedies whereas Mary Lamb had attempted in narrating his comedies. Each story gives away the complete play in a very concise and clear manner focussing on the main characters and it’s theme. Even though the authors had cleverly omitted some minor characters it won’t really affect the narration or the play.

Tales from Shakespeare renders in it the immortal and classic plays of William Shakespeare in the form of stories. Along with familiarising these classics to young children Mary Lamb and Charles Lamb had also aimed to make them aware of some basic values that they should come across in life like trust, friendship, honesty, true love, loyalty etc. These tales may even be in their lives in later years as enrichers of the fancy, strengthners of virtue, a withdrawing from all selfish and mercenary thoughts, a lesson of all sweet and honourable thoughts and actions, to teach tales-from-shakespearecourtesy, benignity, generosity, humanity etc.

In Romeo and Juliet we can see the loyalty of true lovers. Even King Lear is tragedy in it’s real sense we could make children come aware of true love and caringnes for parents with the example of Cordelia. In The Taming of the Shrew the idea of being modest is discussed. The Merchant of Venice becomes a classic example in depicting friendship.

With each and every story depicted in this collection the youngerones can be made aware the essential qualities that anyone should possess in life. Tales from Shakespeare which was first published in 1807 still remains one of the best classics that had ever written for children.


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