A new book is out today which will be a boost to all those forced to study the works of William Shakespeare as part of their university degree, but who can make neither head nor tail of the Bard.
The book, 'Shakespeare's Plays In One Sentence' is a further condensing of the idea of Charles and Mary Lamb, who, in 1807, published 'Tales From Shakespeare' for children, so that younger readers could discover Shakespeare's genius mind, without having to contend with his waffling.
The new publication, then, attempts to hack its way through the unintelligible 'wordiness' of the Bard's material, and to expose the essence of the play in a single sentence.
A play set in Scotland about the stress experienced by those who seek to gain power.
Romeo and Juliet
A play about two lovers whose families don't get on.
The Merchant Of Venice
A play about a Venetian merchant who defaults on a loan from a Jewish moneylender.
A play about a general, and the things his unfaithful ensign does when he is passed over for promotion.
There is some further explanation, but, thankfully, not much, and the book is bound to be the thinnest ever about 'the great man who grates'.
Students at universities welcomed the idea. Andrew, who is studying English Literature at Exeter University, said:
"I haven't a clue what Shakespeare is droning on about, and, after about half a page, I'm ready for a nap. This new book will come in very handy for me."
Another, Tracey, who studies at Leicester, told us:
"Anything that can cut down on Shakespeare's superfluous spouting has to be a good thing. I'll be buying a copy."