This guide to the most popular works of William Shakespeare provides and overview of his life and times which gives an insight into his writings, themes and characters, and how facts were altered to make the historical plays more entertaining. The book includes plot and main character summaries of such plays as "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Othello", "Julius Caesar" and "Romeo and Juliet". It also contains plot scorecards that allow the reader to follow the play and keep track of the deaths, marriages and family relations. In addition, Shakespeare's poetry is covered in detail. The guide includes an overview of the English of Shakespeare's day with tips on sentence construction, verbs, and knowing the difference between "thee", "thou" and "thine", as well as an examination of his use of words, jokes and puns. The book also offers: tips on how to best enjoy the Bard's work with advice on reading aloud, reading footnotes and using a dictionary; suggestions on how to prepare for a performance of Shakespeare's work and what to look for in film versions; the best places to see a Shakespearean production; the most common Shakespeare quotes still used today; the best films based on the Bard's works; and notable performances.