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Hamlet Paperback – Sep 24 1992

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Reprinted edition edition (Sept. 24 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486272788
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486272788
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.2 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From Amazon

Undoubtedly the most famous of all of Shakespeare's plays, Hamlet remains one of the most enduring but also enigmatic pieces of western literature. The story of Hamlet, the young Prince of Denmark, his tortured relationship with his mother, and his quest to avenge his father's murder at the hand of his brother Claudius has fascinated writers and audiences ever since it was written around 1600.

For many years interest focused on both Hamlet's inability to avenge his father's death, claiming that "the native hue of resolution / Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought", and, according to none other than Freud, his oedipal fixation with his mother. However, more recently critics have turned their attention to Hamlet's bold theatrical self-reflexivity (most famously reflected in the performance of "The Mousetrap"), its fascination with issues of theology and Renaissance humanism, and its dense, complex poetic language. What is so remarkable about the play is the way in which it tends to uncannily reflect the concerns of different epochs. As a result, Hamlet has been at different moments defined as a romantic rebel, an angst-ridden existentialist, a paralysed intellectual and an ambivalent New Man. Whatever subsequent generations make of Hamlet, they are unlikely to exhaust the possibilities of this most extraordinary play. --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

The big H comes to Penguin's great revamped "Pelican Shakespeare" line. What else do you need to know? Buy it!
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

By bernie TOP 50 REVIEWER on Aug. 26 2010
Format: Paperback
This really is "The Tragical History of Hamlet Prince of Denmark" and not only the Prince but also his family. Not only his family but his friends. The tragedy started in the previous generation. Will it end with Hamlet?

Many people are interested in dissecting underlying themes and read more into the characters actions than was probably intended. Many of phrases from Hamlet now challenge Bible for those popular quotes that no one remembers where they came from. The real fun is in just reading the story and as you find that it is not as foreign as you may have thought; you see many characters like these around you today.

A synopsis, Old Hamlet conquered Old Fortinbras seizing Fortinbras' land. Now that Old Hamlet is dead, Young Fortinbras wants his land back and is willing to take it by force. Meanwhile back in Dänemark Prince Hamlet who is excessively grieving the loss of his father, the king, gets an interesting insight from his father's ghost. Looks like Old Hamlet was a victim of a "murder most foul"; it appears his mother and uncle were in cahoots on the murder. On top of that they even get married before the funeral meats are cold.

The story is about Hamlet's vacillating as to what to do about his father's murder. However he does surprise many with his persistence and insight.

You will find many great movie presentations and imitations of the story; this is an intriguing read but was really meant to be watched.

William Shakespeare's Hamlet (Two-Disc Special Edition)
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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on May 16 2010
Format: Paperback
"Hamlet" doesn't need any introduction -- the tortured Dane, the ghost, meditations on suicide and a climax full of death. But as well-known as the storyline is, the play itself is what deserves the attention, both for Shakespeare's shadowy plot filled with uncertainty and treachery -- and for his brilliant, immortal writing, which takes on a new dimension when read on the page.

Prince Hamlet of Denmark is understandably upset when, only a short time after his father's death, his mother Gertrude marries his uncle Claudius, who is now the new king. Who wouldn't be unhappy? But when Hamlet encounters the tormented ghost of his father ("I am thy father's spirit/Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night"), he learns that his dad was murdered by his uncle -- but he's plagued by indecision, since he's unsure if the spirit was truly his dad.

In response to this vision, Hamlet's behavior becomes more bizarre and erratic -- he dumps his girlfriend Ophelia, arranges a play that mimics real life a little too closely, and generally acts like a loon. But when an argument with his mother ends in tragedy -- and the death of one of Ophelia's loved ones -- Hamlet's fate is sealed as Claudius begins plotting to get rid of him too.

Small warning: like all Shakespeare's plays, it's best to read "Hamlet" after you've seen a good performance, because the entire thing was intended to be acted out. Otherwise, it's like reading a movie script to a movie you haven't seen -- easy to get lost, and the dramatic effects aren't easy to connect to.

But if you HAVE seen a good performance of "Hamlet," then the play will just jump off the page.
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Format: Audio CD
Arkangel have produced a highly listenable edition of 'Richard II', which (along with the Roman plays like 'Coriolanus') contains some of Shakespeare's most powerful political insights.

Arkangel's production never allows the listener to forget the subtle complexities at work. The actors do a marvellous job wringing meaning out of lines which might never have been gleaned from the written text, and the unspoken nuances, for instance, when Mowbray is told of his banishment, are palpable. The opening scene is intensely acted, with Bolingbroke and Norfolk spitting venom at each other before a king whose decadent boredom is obvious. Rupert Graves is excellent as Richard II, with highly expressive delivery (amused condescension, anger etc.) changing as his character's situation changes.

Also worth mentioning (in a play that completely lacks humour) is John Nettleton as the Duke of York, coming across as such a pompous old duffer that I almost laughed out loud each time he opened his mouth. The play's music is highly memorable, too, and was stuck in my head for days.
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Format: Paperback
...but that I have bad dreams.

Shakespeare's writing fills the mind with all manner of beautiful, exotic, tragic images and without any use of description, but through the dialogue and the reactions of the characters. The characters themselves are so heartbreaking and fascinating that one can't help falling in love with them. Hamlet is a maddeningly interesting character with his manic-depressive attitude, his possibly real, possibly faked, insanity, his almost overpowering sense of angst and his frustration at the world around him. Ophelia is the saddest and most beautiful of heroines with her slow descent into madness as tragedy continually strikes her life and she eventually drowns herself surrounded by flowers and singing sweet little songs. HAMLET is the sort of story that haunts you, but that you want to--need to--constantly revisit for its perceptive observations of life on this planet and the nature of humanity.

I would also suggest reading Tom Stoppard's 1966 play ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD for a brilliant parody/homage to the story and characters of HAMLET.
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