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Hamlet [Paperback]

William Shakespeare
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 24 1992 0486272788 978-0486272788 Reprinted edition

In this quintessential Shakespeare tragedy, a young prince's halting pursuit of revenge for the murder of his father unfolds in a series of highly charged confrontations that have held audiences spellbound for nearly four centuries. Those fateful exchanges, and the anguished soliloquies that precede and follow them, probe depths of human feeling rarely sounded in any art.
The title role of Hamlet, perhaps the most demanding in all of Western drama, has provided generations of leading actors their greatest challenge. Yet all the roles in this towering drama are superbly delineated, and each of the key scenes offers actors a rare opportunity to create theatrical magic.
As if further evidence of Shakespeare's genius were needed, Hamlet is a unique pleasure to read as well as to see and hear performed. The full text of this extraordinary drama is reprinted here from an authoritative British edition complete with illuminating footnotes.
A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

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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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It harrows me with fear and wonder May 16 2010
"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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By A Customer
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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...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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5.0 out of 5 stars You will be absorbed into the story, Sept. 23 2006
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
This really is "The Tragical History of Hamlet Prince of Denmark" and not only the Prince but his family. Not only his family but his friends. Not only his friends but all though that came before him and is told to those that came after him.

You can slow down and pick apart many underlying themes and may of the phrases that now challenge Bible sayings in today's sound bites. But the real fun is in just reading the story and you will find that it is not as foreign as you may have thought.

A quick synopsis is that Old Hamlet conquered Old Fortinbras seizing his land. Now that Old Hamlet is dead, Young Fortinbras wants his land back and is willing to take it by force. Meanwhile back in D'nemark Young Hamlet who is excessively grieving for the loss of his father, gets a now insight from his fathers ghost. Looks like he was a victim of a "murder most foul"; it looks like his mother and uncle were in cahoots on the murder.

The story is about what each person felt and acted or did not act upon the situation.

You will find many movies and perverted imitations of the story but nothing will replace the original that was intended to be watched but reads well.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
All was well
Published 2 months ago by jessica fang
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book and great service!! Really happy!
I really like the book, I mean what isn't there to like about Shakespeare's great works!!

Great service, the book is brand new, and the price made me love it even more... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Elfca
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT CONDITION
JUST LIKE NEW!!! This was my first time ordering and I cant believe the great condition of the book for such a low price.
Published 13 months ago by Jennifer Ollenberger
5.0 out of 5 stars You will be absorbed into the story
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. Read more
Published on Aug. 26 2010 by bernie
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as represented in 'Click to look inside'
Can't complain about the price, but the cover illustration is wrong (wrong publisher), there are no 'notes', 'list of characters' or 'reading list' and the book is 122 pages, not... Read more
Published on July 14 2009 by Michael from Montreal
5.0 out of 5 stars You will be absorbed into the story,
This really is "The Tragical History of Hamlet Prince of Denmark" and not only the Prince but his family. Not only his family but his friends. Read more
Published on July 16 2006 by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars You will be absorbed into the story
This really is "The Tragical History of Hamlet Prince of Denmark" and not only the Prince but his family. Not only his family but his friends. Read more
Published on July 18 2005 by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Prince
This cover caught my eye, with its snazzy black and red thing. Plus, when I paged through it, I wasn't disappointed. Read more
Published on Feb. 13 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Chasing Shakespeare, finding Hamlet
The sheer magnitude and dramatic measure of Shakespeare is never to be missed -- but it can be a challenge tackling the linguistics of sixteenth century English, especially text... Read more
Published on Dec 4 2003 by Christopher Ryan Renni-Calliope
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