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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To read, or not to read. There is no question.
I absolutely love Shakespeare and Hamlet is my favorite Shakespearian play thus far. Besides Shakespeare's usual flare for the English language, Hamlet's quick wit, philosophical and artful masterpieces of soliloque, and a wonderfully tragic plot make Hamlet an engaging read (or viewing, I've done both). The characters arouse all the sympathy, hatred, and love they...
Published on March 1 2000 by A. Matsen

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars WORTHLESS, PRENTENTIOUS TRASH
All and all this play is atrocious. Though it is acclaimed as the greatest work of drama ever, it is hardly that. People who say such things, have absolutely no credibility. Hamlet's only purpose is to confuse the reader. Any intelligent person can see through his character and realize that he is little more than a feeble mind with a large vocabulary. He is almost...
Published on Dec 23 1999 by Daniel H. Lawrence ...


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To read, or not to read. There is no question., March 1 2000
By 
A. Matsen (USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hamlet (Mass Market Paperback)
I absolutely love Shakespeare and Hamlet is my favorite Shakespearian play thus far. Besides Shakespeare's usual flare for the English language, Hamlet's quick wit, philosophical and artful masterpieces of soliloque, and a wonderfully tragic plot make Hamlet an engaging read (or viewing, I've done both). The characters arouse all the sympathy, hatred, and love they were intended to. I read this play in a matter of days because I couldn't put it down. If you don't have time to read this play, or comprehending the language is a trial PLEASE see it somewhere. Watching the actors and listening to their voice inflections will help a lot, I promise.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Folger Library Books- Shakespeare, Dec 10 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Hamlet (Mass Market Paperback)
I am writing this review not so much as in reference to any one particular title, rather to the Folger Library editions of Shakepeare. I find this company's books to be of most value when reading Shakepeare because the book reviews terms no longer used,and helps to make plots clearer. It is often hard for some to understand the complexities of Shakeperean work, and I have seen the way Folger's organizes their books help readers to understand them better. Any book you order from this company will be enlightening and helpful, providing you with a more enjoyable exposure the Shakespeare's great works.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You will be absorbed into the story,, Sept. 23 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hamlet (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars You will be absorbed into the story,, July 16 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hamlet (Paperback)
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 take time to scrutinize and pick apart many underlying themes or 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 scripts that were intended to be watched.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You will be absorbed into the story, July 18 2005
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Hamlet (Paperback)
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 take time to scrutinize and pick apart many underlying themes or 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 Dänemark 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 scripts that were intended to be watched.
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4.0 out of 5 stars folly of youth, Dec 14 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Hamlet (Mass Market Paperback)
Like another reviewer wrote, Hamlet is a tragedy of youth, but it isn't the tragedy of lost innocence, it's a tragedy of youthful rashness. Yes, I said rashness. Hamlet doesn't think too much, he thinks too rashly, too hastily, without mature consideration. Just because his mother is a whore he quickly concludes that all women therefore must be whores. This is why he torments Ophelia and bids her, "get thee to a nunnery". This is why he decries, "woman, thy name weakness". This is why he's despondent and unable to respond to his father's injunctions.
There are plenty of examples in the play of this youthful recklessness. Laertes, when he learns of his father's death, immediately rushes back to Denmark and assembles an army to exact revenge. Fortinbras does the same thing in order to retake the land his father lost to Hamlet's father. Both are checked in their youthful exuberance by their respective kings. Polonius' advice to his son is nothing but words of caution against youthful excesses (drink, women, gambling). Polonius' advice to his daughter is nothing but strictures against falling hopelessly in love with Hamlet. The little dialogue between Hamlet and Rosencrantz about the state of theater in London is about how a wild and vociferous younger generation of actors have sabotaged the stage and are holding the older generation at bay.
Hamlet himself exhibits other rash behavior. When he sees Ophelia's funeral procession and hears Laertes' expressions of grief, he (Hamlet), regardless of the danger he throws himself in, he recklessly jumps into the procession and proclaims HIS love above the brother's. When Hamlet first sees the ghost he doesn't think to question whether the apparition is authentic. He believes it instinctively. It only occurs to him much later that he may have been the dupe of an evil spirit. When he discovers someone eavesdropping on his talk with his mother, he immediately kills him without even looking to see who it is. When the king invites Hamlet to fence with Laertes for a stake, he rashly throws caution to the wind and cavalierly accepts the offer.
Cases of this youthful impulsiveness are legion in the play and wherever it goes unchecked, tragedy ennsues. Not just Hamlet's death, but also Laerte's deception by the king, and Ophelia's suicide. Fortinbras alone comes out unscathed, and only because he accepted the wise counsel of the king of Norway.
So Hamlet can be seen as a play about the folly of youth. Issues about the evil in human nature are raised, but these are not the central themes. In fact, the play lacks a certain unity of design because there is a big difference between the rashness of youth, which is not an evil, and fratricide and incest, which are. There's a big incongruity between the central and secondary themes. For this reason I give Hamlet less than five stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare's Gem Amongst Gems, Dec 2 2002
By 
Chris Salzer (Gainesville, GA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hamlet (Mass Market Paperback)
To say that Hamlet is good would be the understatement of the decade. Hamlet proves to be a masterpiece of masterpieces -a shining paradigm of unparalleled magnificence unlike any other play ever written. I thoroughly enjoyed Julius Caesar, Othello, Macbeth, Henry V, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo & Juliet, The Tempest, etc.
Nonetheless, I unquestionably rate Hamlet as Shakespeare's crowning achievement - his magnum opus.
Hamlet proves to be a prodigiously powerful and profoundly potent play incredibly chock-full of amazing quotes and axioms that I memorize and incorporate into everyday life - from Polonius's sanctimonious speeches spoken to Laertes and Ophelia("To thine own self be true") to Marcellus("Something is rotten in the state of Denmark") to of course the avenger himself Prince Hamlet("Frailty, thy name is woman!").
Although Hamlet's faults of inaction, procrastination, and paradoxical impetuosity preclude our protagonist from overcoming his impending and unalterable doom, I unavoidably empathize with him and his inevitable plight. Hamlet is grievously wronged by so many in his life - his uncle Claudius, his mother Gertrude, his love Ophelia, the ostensibly wise Polonius, shamefully by his traitorous "friends" Rosencrantz & Guildenstern, and lastly by his murderous foil(no pun intended)Laertes. The undeniable central theme of uncontrollable fatalism pervades throughout Hamlet. I felt as if Hamlet was on an unstoppable one way train going 200 miles/hour straight into a brick wall. Sadly, he knows he shall soon meet his untimely demise as he picks up his foil to fight Laertes. Fittingly, the victorious young Fortinbras proves to personify what could have and should have become of our tragically departed hero.
To be read time and time again - even if just for the supremely witty quotes. Recommended AFTER reading: Kenneth Branagh or Laurence Olivier's film versions - both long, but undeniably superb.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Drama that Delights Everyone, Sept. 11 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Hamlet (Mass Market Paperback)
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, written by William Shakespeare, considered to be one of the best playwrights of all time, was a solid, entertaining drama. Hamlet is consistently suspenseful and full of struggle between the characters.
As a first time Shakespeare reader, I found the play challenging to read because it contains language written about four centuries ago. However, Shakespeare carefully crafted his words of prose so that every sensible person would enjoy reading it.
Hamlet is about a prince of the same name. He learns that his father, once King, had been murdered by his uncle, now the King, who, soon after his father's death, married Hamlet's mother. The ghost of King Hamlet arrives one night and wants Hamlet to revenge his father's death. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is woven with many unique characters that only Shakespeare could provide. These characters include the pathetic Polonius, the suicidal Ophelia and the ignorant and foolish Queen Gertrude. Hamlet struggles throughout the play to determine the right thing to do regarding his father's death, and how to do it.
I recommend this book to all people who love great drama. In this bold piece of literature and many of his other works, Shakespeare has the unique ability to teach many valuable and interesting lessons, some of which are comical, and some of which are serious. If you are new to the world of dramas such as Hamlet, you may soon become an addict. As you can see, Shakespeare is an amazing playwright, and I hope you have the pleasure of reading this story in the future.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "The Time is out of joint." (warped-- not , lack of "pot"), March 26 2002
This review is from: Hamlet (Mass Market Paperback)
Ah, me. To read the reviews of this play -- and to
think of the wasted minds, education, and culture.
Why don't we just shut down the schools and bring on
the dancing girls? Where are we headed?
Or to quote from this play:
"What is a Man
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
Surely He that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason
To fust in us unused. " -- Hamlet.
[Act 4, Scene 4.]
---------
But enough "preaching."
This review applies to THE NEW FOLGER LIBRARY
edition of HAMLET. This series is remarkable
in a number of ways. I especially like the
formatting of the text. The text of the play,
well printed -- not cramped, is on the right-hand
page in the book, while on the left-hand page are
the notes and glosses and illustrations which
help to explain words or allusions which occur
in the text on the right-hand page. This arrangement
makes things very easy and interesting to read.
Before the text of the play itself, this
edition has short sections titled: Shakespeare's
HAMLET. Reading Shakespeare's Language (which has
subsections titled: Shakespeare's Words. Shakespeare's
Sentences. Shakespearean Wordplay [not foreplay, but
if it were wordplay in the Foreword, it might be
Foreword play or word Foreplay -- which is what
punning is, and Shakespeare likes puns quite a bit --
as did Herman Melville and Henry David Thoreau].
Implied Stage Action.). Shakespeare's Life.
Shakespeare's Theater. The Publication of Shakespeare's
Plays. An Introduction to this Text.
In the back of this volume is an essay titled
"HAMLET: A Modern Perspective." by Michael Neill.
His first sentences are certainly provocative: "The
great Russian director Vsevolod Meyerhold used to
maintain that 'if all the plays ever written suddenly
disappeared and only HAMLET miraculously survived,
all the theaters in the world would be saved. They
could all put on HAMLET and be successful.' Perhaps
Meyerhold exaggerated because of his frustration -- he
was prevented from ever staging the tragedy by Soviet
dictator Joseph Stalin, who apparently thought it too
dangerous to be performed -- but Meyerhold's sense of
HAMLET's extraordinary breadth of appeal is amply
confirmed by its stage history. Praised by Shakespeare's
contemporaries for its power to 'please all' [not in
the modern era, 21st century Ameriky on the verge of
sliding into either "A Clockwork Orange" or "Bladerunner"
barbarism and mediocre diffusion...] as well as to
'please the wiser sort,' it provided his company
with an immediate and continuing success.
-- Michael Neill. (p. 307)
In the back are also suggested "Further Readings"
(which appear to be very interesting essays) and a
Key to Famous Lines and Phrases. At this price,
and with such an attractive volume, and formatting
this is really "a deal" as "they" say.
Remember, there ARE hierarchies of value in life --
everything is NOT just "stuff."
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5.0 out of 5 stars attention shakespeare lovers, Jan. 9 2002
This review is from: Hamlet (Mass Market Paperback)
Hamlet has always been thought of as one of the classics of literature. I could not think of another book which deserves this title more. The story of a Danish pricne who learns from his fathers ghost that his father, the king, was murdered by his brother, Hamlet's uncle, who then went on to marry Hamlet's mother. Hamlet is overcome by a longing for revenge, but also indecisive. Shakespeare creates a great amount of tension between the chatacters with powerful confrontatoins and biting language. It is a suspenseful tragedy, filled with anguish.
William Shakespeare was a genious when it came to breaking down the human psyche, and Hamlet is perhaps one of the most complex plays when it comes to human emotions. It is undoubtably one of his finest works, full of very complex, interesting characters, and a wonderfully chaotic plot. There are innumerable theories on Hamlet, why he is so indecisive, and if it all comes down to an oedipus complex. whatever way you interpret it, everyone can get something out of it. I feel like I am priveleged to have read such a wonderful play.
Hamlet is a character that I can relate to in some ways, being a very indecisive person myself. I felt I could connect with him better than many Shakespeare characters, MacBeth, Ceasar, Juliet, Helena or Hermia. That is one of the reasons that I enjoyed Hamlet so very much. I wish that everyone could love Hamlet as much as I did, but I know, especially being a high-school student, that it is a little much for general reading. For high school students, like me, I very strongly recommend this book, if you really like Shakespeare, and aren't looking for a quick read. Otherwise, it might be a little to much to tackle, if you don't really enjoy Shakespearian tragedies. For anyone who has time required to comprehend such a complex work, and is looking for a masterpiece of literature that will keep them thinking, Hamlet is the book for you.
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Hamlet
Hamlet by William Shakespeare (Paperback - Sept. 24 1992)
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