Tales from Shakespeare contains short story versions of
Shakespeare's five most famous romantic comedies, his
last romance, and one tragedy. Charles and Mary Lamb
rewrote the famous plays as short stories for children.
They simplified the language and gave the stories an
explicit moral purpose to help children understand the
plays' many messages.
Shakespeare had often adapted narratives of different kinds
for the theatre, and he had frequently blended romantic
tales with comic plots of his own making. The Lambs'
versions of the plays concentrate more on the romance and
leave out the purely comic action, and therefore the stories
resemble the original sources of the plays.
Tales from Shakespeare
The Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb were written to be an 'introduction to the study of Shakespeare', but are much more entertaining than that. All of Shakespeare's best-loved tales, comic and tragic, are retold in a clear and robust style, and their literary quality has made them popular and sought-after ever since their first publication in 1807.
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