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Hamlet Paperback – Sep 24 1992
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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 an alternate Paperback 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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This eEdition is relatively well done. It preserves the line breaks (which not all eEditions do) so that you can actually tell that the play is written in poetry. So far as I can tell, this has been accomplished by putting double returns at the ends of lines. So the text is double spaced, which is kind of odd, but not disqualifying.
At the price, a good choice.
The richness of great works is their layering and their openness to multiple interpretations. And yet, misreading and misunderstanding the language is more often the source of missing the point of the passage rather than adding to a richer understanding. There are certainly creative misreadings, but those are made from deep understanding rather than superficial mistaken interpretation.
This edition has extensive notes with the text and when a topic requires longer treatment the notation LN is used for Longer Note. You turn to the back and find the Longer Note by Act - Scene - Line Number and get a great deal of useful discussion about that aspect of the play.
There is also a 159 page introduction with context setting essays on the issues around the date of the play, its publication, the various texts and the debates over the merits and deficiencies of the First and Second Quarto and the First Folio, plus editorial problems, and a critical introduction.
All in all, this great play deserves to be read closely and returns riches for all the effort you can afford to put into reading it. This edition is very fine and assists you in mining treasures from this magnificent work.
The second text in the Arden Shakespeare series gives us a direct look at the two other texts of Hamlet, the so-called bad quarto of 1603 and the version of the play from the First Folio of 1623. This complements the first book in this series and together these two Arden Hamlet books provide the general reader with the three extant texts of Shakespeare's masterpiece, a wonderful opportunity to see first-hand, in modernized and scholarly versions the sources for the play.
Thompson and Taylor, in this text, provide a 37 page introduction that puts these texts in their relational context to the Second Quarto text of 1604-5, showcased in the companion volume. This introduction does a great service by documenting the history of productions of the 1603 (bad) Quarto. As Thompson and Taylor inform us, this 1603 text may give us a view (however imperfect) of a version of the play as it was set on stage by Shakespeare in his day. This 1603 Hamlet uses different spellings for the names of several characters or gives them different names entirely, adds new scenes, changes the order of events (most famously by moving the "To be or not to be" soliloquy), and sheds many of the poetic flourishes of the more complete versions. In doing so, it does give a very stage-worthy version of the play, often referred to a more muscular, direct and demotic Hamlet.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This Master Shakeshafts wordes are too harde. I would as lief see the aery of children play agayne, for they were passynge stravnge in wondrovs shovve. This Dane tires me. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Sean