Hamlet (Oxford School Shakespeare Series)

( 703 )

Overview


Oxford School Shakespeare is an acclaimed series especially designed for students, with accessible on-page notes that are easy to find and crystal clear.. Each volume also includes decorative and explanatory illustrations, clear background information, rigorous but accessible commentary, up-to-date reading lists, the addresses of relevant websites, and classroom notes--all to help students to better appreciate the great works of Shakespeare.

His father is dead. Has ...

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Hamlet

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Overview


Oxford School Shakespeare is an acclaimed series especially designed for students, with accessible on-page notes that are easy to find and crystal clear.. Each volume also includes decorative and explanatory illustrations, clear background information, rigorous but accessible commentary, up-to-date reading lists, the addresses of relevant websites, and classroom notes--all to help students to better appreciate the great works of Shakespeare.

His father is dead. Has his mother married the killer? A ghost cries out for vengeance, but has the Prince who hears the cry gone mad? A kingdom hangs in the balance, but who can be trusted? Family, politics, blood lust, betrayal, mystery, friendship and love--each plays a role in Shakespeare's great tragedy, Hamlet. (Digest)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198328704
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/23/2009
  • Series: Oxford School Shakespeare Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 239,512
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Roma Gill, the series editor, has taught Shakespeare at all levels. She has acted in and directed Shakespeare's plays, and has lectured on Shakespeare all over the world.

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Read an Excerpt

Hamlet


By William Shakespeare

Washington Square Press

Copyright © 1992 William Shakespeare
All right reserved.

ISBN: 067172262X


Chapter One

Act 3

* * *

SCENE I

The castle

enter Claudius, Gertrude, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern

Claudius And can you, by no drift of conference, Get from him why he puts on this confusion, Grating so harshly all his days of quiet With turbulent and dangerous lunacy?

5 Rosencrantz He does confess he feels himself distracted, But from what cause he will by no means speak.

Guildenstern Nor do we find him forward to be sounded, But with a crafty madness keeps aloof When we would bring him on to some confession Of his true state.

10 Gertrude Did he receive you well?

Rosencrantz Most like a gentleman.

Guildenstern But with much forcing of his disposition.

Rosencrantz Niggard of question, but of our demands Most free in his reply.

Gertrude Did you assay him 15 To any pastime?

Rosencrantz Madam, it so fell out that certain players We o'er-raught on the way. Of these we told him, And there did seem in him a kind of joy To hear of it. They are about the court 20 And, as I think, they have already order This night to play before him.

Polonius 'Tis most true, And he beseeched me to entreat your majesties To hear and see the matter.

Claudius With all my heart, and it doth much content me 25 To hear him so inclined. Good gentlemen, give him a further edge And drive his purpose into these delights.

Rosencrantz We shall, my lord.

exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

Claudius Sweet Gertrude, leave us too, For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither, 30 That he, as 'twere by accident, may here Affront Ophelia. Her father and myself, lawful espials, Will so bestow ourselves that, seeing, unseen, We may of their encounter frankly judge 35 And gather by him, as he is behaved, If 't be th' affliction of his love or no That thus he suffers for.

Gertrude I shall obey you. And for your part, Ophelia, I do wish That your good beauties be the happy cause 40 Of Hamlet's wildness. So shall I hope your virtues Will bring him to his wonted way again, To both your honors.

Ophelia Madam, I wish it may.

exit Gertrude

Polonius Ophelia, walk you here. - Gracious so please you, We will bestow ourselves. (to Ophelia) Read on this book, 45 That show of such an exercise may color Your loneliness. We are oft to blame in this: 'Tis too much proved that with devotion's visage And pious action we do sugar o'er The devil himself.

Claudius (aside) O, 'tis too true! 50 How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience! The harlot's cheek, beautied with plastering art, Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it Than is my deed to my most painted word. O heavy burden!

55 Polonius I hear him coming. Let's withdraw, my lord.

exeunt Claudius and Polonius

enter Hamlet (thinking himself alone)

Hamlet To be, or not to be: that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, 60 And by opposing end them? To die, to sleep No more, and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep - 65 To sleep, perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub, For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil Must give us pause. There's the respect That makes calamity of so long life - 70 For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pangs of despised love, the law's delay, The insolence of office and the spurns That patient merit of th' unworthy takes, 75 When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscovered country from whose bourn 80 No traveller returns, puzzles the will And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards of us all, And thus the native hue of resolution 85 Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pitch and moment With this regard their currents turn awry And lose the name of action. - Soft you now, The fair Ophelia! - Nymph, in thy orisons Be all my sins remembered.

90 Ophelia Good my lord, How does your honor for this many a day?

Hamlet I humbly thank you. Well, well, well.

Ophelia My lord, I have remembrances of yours, That I have longed long to re-deliver. I pray you now receive them.

95 Hamlet No, not I I never gave you aught.

Ophelia My honored lord, you know right well you did, And with them words of so sweet breath composed As made the things more rich. Their perfume lost, 100 Take these again, for to the noble mind Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind. There, my lord.

SHE GIVES HIM BACK HIS GIFTS

Hamlet Ha, ha! Are you honest?

Ophelia My lord?

105 Hamlet Are you fair?

Ophelia What means your lordship?

Hamlet That if you be honest and fair, your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty.

110 Ophelia Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than with honesty?

Hamlet Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is to a bawd than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness. This was sometime a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did love you 115 once.

Ophelia Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so.

Hamlet You should not have believed me, for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it. I loved you not.

120 Ophelia I was the more deceived.

Hamlet Get thee to a nunnery Why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me. I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with 125 more offences at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in. What should such fellows as I do, crawling between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves, all: believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery. Where's your father?

130 Ophelia At home, my lord.

Hamlet Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the fool nowhere but in's own house. Farewell.

Ophelia O, help him, you sweet heavens!

Hamlet If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for thy 135 dowry: be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, go: farewell. Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool, for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go, and quickly too. Farewell.

140 Ophelia O heavenly powers, restore him!

Hamlet I have heard of your paintings too, well enough. God has given you one face, and you make yourselves another. You jig, you amble, and you lisp, and nickname God's creatures, and make your wantonness your ignorance. Go 145 to, I'll no more on't; it hath made me mad. I say, we will have no mo marriage. Those that are married already - all but one - shall live. The rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery, go.

exit Hamlet

Ophelia O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown! 150 The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye - tongue - sword, Th' expectancy and rose of the fair state, The glass of fashion and the mold of form, Th' observed of all observers, quite, quite down! And I, of ladies most deject and wretched, 155 That sucked the honey of his musicked vows, Now see that noble and most sovereign reason, Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh, That unmatched form and feature of blown youth Blasted with ecstasy. O, woe is me, 160 T' have seen what I have seen, see what I see!

enter Claudius and Polonius

Claudius Love? His affections do not that way tend, Nor what he spake, though it lacked form a little, Was not like madness. There's something in his soul, O'er which his melancholy sits on brood, 165 And I do doubt the hatch and the disclose Will be some danger, which for to prevent I have in quick determination Thus set it down. He shall with speed to England, For the demand of our neglected tribute. 170 Haply the seas and countries different, With variable objects, shall expel This something-settled matter in his heart, Whereon his brains still beating puts him thus From fashion of himself. What think you on't?

175 Polonius It shall do well. But yet do I believe The origin and commencement of his grief Sprung from neglected love. (to his daughter) How now, Ophelia! You need not tell us what Lord Hamlet said: We heard it all. (to the King) My lord, do as you please, 180 But, if you hold it fit, after the play Let his queen mother all alone entreat him To show his grief. Let her be round with him; And I'll be placed, so please you, in the ear Of all their conference. If she find him not, 185 To England send him, or confine him where Your wisdom best shall think.

Claudius It shall be so: Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.

EXEUNT

Chapter Two

SCENE 2 The castle

enter Hamlet and Players

Hamlet Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand - thus - but 5 use all gently, for in the very torrent, tempest, and - as I may say - the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of 10 the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumbshows and noise. I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant. It out-herods Herod. Pray you, avoid it.

First Player I warrant your honor.

15 Hamlet Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action-with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature. For anything so o'erdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, 20 was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature, to virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and of the time his form and pressure. Now this overdone, or come off, though it make the unskilful laugh cannot but make the judicious grieve - the censure of the which 25 one must in your allowance o'erweigh a whole theater of others. O, there be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly - not to speak it profanely - that, neither having th' accent of Christians nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed that 30 I have thought some of nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.

First Player I hope we have reformed that indifferently with us, sir.

35 Hamlet O, reform it altogether. And let those that play your clowns speak no more than is set down for them, for there be of them that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too, though, in the meantime, some necessary question of the play be then to be 40 considered. That's villanous, and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. Go, make you ready.

exeunt Players

enter Polonius, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern

(to Polonius) How now, my lord! Will the king hear this piece of work?

Polonius And the queen too, and that presently.

45 Hamlet (to Polonius) Bid the players make haste.

exit Polonius

Will you two help to hasten them?

Rosencrantz Ay, my lord.

exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

Hamlet What ho! Horatio!

enter Horatio

Horatio Here, sweet lord, at your service.

50 Hamlet Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man As e'er my conversation coped withal.

Continues...

Continues...


Excerpted from Hamlet by William Shakespeare Copyright © 1992 by William Shakespeare. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

About the Series
About This Volume
Pt. 1 Hamlet: The Complete Text
Introduction: Biographical and Historical Contexts 3
The Complete Text 27
Note on the Text 154
Textual Notes 156
Pt. 2 Hamlet: A Case Study in Contemporary Criticism
A Critical History of Hamlet 181
Feminist Criticism and Hamlet 208
What Is Feminist Criticism? 208
Feminist Criticism: A Selected Bibliography 215
A Feminist Perspective: Representing Ophelia: Women, Madness, and the Responsibilities of Feminist Criticism 220
Psychoanalytic Criticism and Hamlet 241
What Is Psychoanalytic Criticism? 241
Psychoanalytic Criticism: A Selected Bibliography 251
A Psychoanalytic Perspective: "Man and Wife Is One Flesh": Hamlet and the Confrontation with the Maternal Body 256
Deconstruction and Hamlet 283
What Is Deconstruction? 283
Deconstruction: A Selected Bibliography 293
A Deconstructionist Perspective: Hamlet: Giving Up the Ghost 297
Marxist Criticism and Hamlet 332
What Is Marxist Criticism? 332
Marxist Criticism: A Selected Bibliography 345
A Marxist Perspective: "Funeral-Bak'd Meats": Carnival and the Carnivalesque in Hamlet 348
The New Historicism and Hamlet 368
What Is the New Historicism 368
The New Historicism: A Selected Bibliography 377
A New Historicist Perspective: "Suche Strange Desygns": Madness, Subjectivity, and Treason in Hamlet and Elizabethan Culture 380
Glossary of Critical and Theoretical Terms 403
About the Contributors 416
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 703 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(497)

4 Star

(86)

3 Star

(48)

2 Star

(29)

1 Star

(43)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 703 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2007

    A reviewer

    This review is not of Hamlet itself, but rather on this edition of Hamlet 'ISBN: 9781411400344', which was edited by Jeff Dolven and David Scott Kastan. I read a lot of heavily annotated books, and I have to say this is one of the best book designs I¿ve ever encountered. The various reference materials (footnotes and definitions for archaic words) appear in a manner that makes the text very easy to follow. The scholarship is also top-notch. The annotations give you enough information to make things clear, without insulting your intelligence, or without overburdening you with unnecessary detail. The essays are also interesting and informative. I¿ve been avoiding Shakespeare ever since high school, which was many years ago. Now that I¿m reading him again, I¿m glad I¿m in such good hands. It is making the experience a joy, rather than a chore. My compliments to the editors and the book designer. They have done a superior job of making this difficult text accessible to the modern reader. I wish my editions of Dante and Milton had similar layouts. Highly recommended.

    17 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2007

    Great Edition

    There are many editions of Hamlet available, but I have never encountered one as exemplary as this one. The footnotes and margin notes are not overwhelming, but provide the perfect amount of assistance in understanding the text. In addition, the lines are spaced out nicely, making it easy to read. In purchasing an edition of Hamlet, this is the one to choose!

    13 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2007

    A Fundamental Work of English Literature

    Hamlet is without question one of the greatest literary works of all time, and should be read by anyone with a desire to improve his or her mind and attain a deeper understanding of literature. Philosophical, tragic, and even humorous by turns, Shakespeare's brilliantly crafted lines capture the mental torment of the title character with a skill which most writers struggle to aspire to. Personally, I didn't think much of Shakespeare until I read Hamlet, but the play about the Prince of Danes is truly at the pinnacle of his work, and of English literature as well.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 21, 2011

    Pageperfect font too small/Footnotes on separate page awkward on Nook Color

    The font size is the equivalent of the smallest size possible on a regular Nook Book. Since one can't adjust the font size on a Pageperfect Nook Book, that makes it difficult to read.

    Also, the 2-page format (footnotes on left page, text on right page) is very awkward. Footnotes should have been done with popups initiated by touching the subscript number of the footnote. Much more elegant, and might be programmatically similar to the "Article View" pop-up window function for magazines.

    Difficult words are translated in the left-hand margin of the text page itself, and line numbers are provided in the right-hand margin. Margins are too wide, which helps explain why the font has to be so small to fit everything on the line.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2007

    The Greatest Single Work of All Time

    Hamlet is bar none the single greatest work of all time. One has not lived until he has read Hamlet. It is impossible to due justice to Hamlet in a short blurb, but know that if you have not read Hamlet, you are seriously missing out, and need to reevaluate your priorities in life.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    "Hamlet," in my opinion, is the best written Shakespearean play. The questions it creates about sanity and human nature was pure brilliance. You can almost feel the chaos jump off the page and it keeps you turning the pages till the very end. This play will not disappoint you.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2014

    Firesteel TO ALL

    My mom took my NOOK because of my grades. I'll have it back in a few days. Until then, I won't be on much because my mom doesn't let me use her NOOK all the time. Until then!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 31, 2011

    Great Play and Edition!

    I had read Romeo and Juliet and Othello before going into Hamlet. Though Othello and RJ were my favorites, I really did enjoy Hamlet. It's very interesting and makes you think about common issues in life such as revenge, and right and wrong. The notes make it easy to understand. Shakespeare is once again, brilliant.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2005

    Unimaginable

    The tragedy of Hamlet was a very disturbing play. Just imagine you have just received the news of your fathers death.Then when you arrive home, you find you Mother married to your dead father's brother!That is just part of the trials Hamlet must endure. He is also haunted by his dead father's ghost and his girlfriend Ophelia has stopped all contact with him out of the blue. That's just the beginning of the action packed play. Read it and see how Hamlet deals with his problems.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2004

    Hamlet

    Hamlet is a very good book. William Shakespeare out did himself when he wrote it. Hamlet finding out that his father was murdered by his uncle, made just the right type of storyline. He loved Ophelia, but had to get revenge for his father. I won't give away the ending, but I will say that this book is one of Shakespeare's best Tragedies.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2000

    Prince of Denmark

    I was forced to read this for English, but it didn't feel that way at all, it was great. The revenge, murder, drama, and sneakiness of Hamlet all add this as one of Shakespeare's great plays.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2014

    Metal

    Late at night,<br>
    All systems go!<br>
    You've come to see the show!<p>

    We do our best,<br>
    You're the rest!<br>
    You make it real, you know!<p>

    There's a feeling,<br>
    Deep inside!<br>
    That drives you fu<_>ckin' mad!<p>

    A feeling,<br>
    Of a hammerhead!<br>
    You need it oh so bad!<p>

    Adrenaline starts to flow,<br>
    You're thrashing all around!<br>
    Acting like a maniac!<p>

    Whiplash!<p>

    Bang your head,<br>
    Against the stage!<br>
    Like you never did before!<p>

    Make it ring,<br>
    Make it bleed!<br>
    Make it really sore!<p>

    In a frenzied madness,<br>
    With your leathers!<br>
    And your spikes!<p>

    Heads are bobbing,<br>
    All around!<br>
    It's hot as hell tonight!<p>

    Adrenaline starts to flow,<br>
    You're thrashing all around!<br>
    Acting like a maniac!<p>

    Whiplash!<p>

    Here on stage,<br>
    The Marshall noise!<br>
    Is peircing through your ears!<p>

    It kicks your ass,<br>
    Kicks your face!<br>
    Exploding feeling nears!<p>

    Now's the time,<br>
    To let it rip!<br>
    To let it fu<_>ckin' loose!<p>

    We're gathered here,<br>
    To maim and kill!<br>
    'Cause this is what we choose!<p>

    Adrenaline starts to flow,<br>
    You're thrashing all around!<br>
    Acting like a maniac!<p>

    [Bridge]<p>

    Here we go!<p>

    [Solo]<p>

    Whiplash!<p>

    [Solo]<p>

    The show is through,<br>
    The metal's gone!<br>
    It's time to hit the road!<p>

    Another town,<br>
    Another gig!<br>
    Again we will explode!<p>

    Hotel rooms,<br>
    And mortorways!<br>
    Life out here is raw!<p>

    We'll never stop,<br>
    We'll never quit!<br>
    'Cause we're Metallica!<p>

    Adrenaline starts to flow,<br>
    You're thrashing all around!<br>
    Acting like a maniac!<p>

    Ow! Ow!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2012

    Yuucyhcjurbjvif.i

    Jvfvfxxfcj

    1 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Awsome book!:)

    ?

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2010

    The Most Readable Edition of Shakespeare Yet!

    The Bard after all is the Bard. What is compelling about Burton Raffel's editing is his focus on Shakespeare as heard poetry. As he noted in his Introduction his is a "nonscholarly" edition meant for the student, the actor and the casual reader. The footnotes explain the meanings of words, rather than the nuances and historical contexts that are the domain of literature and specifically, Shakespeare scholars. This is Shakespeare as his actors and his audiences would have heard and understood him. And what a dandy ride it is!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2010

    Not Just for The people who love Plays and The Classics, You'll never know if you'll like if you don't at least try it.

    This is one of my favorates of Shakespire's writings. I originally had to read this for eleventh Grade English and write a paper on it, but I fell in love with the tragedy of it all. The Emotions you get to experience fist hand: Revenge, Dispair, Rage, insest, morral coruption, and lets not forget the all impending Madness! It's an illustrious story!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 28, 2009

    An excellent edition of Hamlet

    This review is not of Hamlet itself, but rather on this edition of Hamlet (ISBN: 9781411400344), which was edited by Jeff Dolven and David Scott Kastan. I read a lot of heavily annotated books, and I have to say this is one of the best book designs I've ever encountered. The various references materials (footnotes and definitions for archaic words) appear in a manner that makes the text very easy to follow.

    The scholarship is also top-notch. The annotations give you enough to make things clear without insulting your intelligence, or without overburdening you with unnecessary detail. The essays are also interesting and informative.

    I've been avoiding Shakespeare ever since high school, which was many years ago. Now that I'm reading him again, I'm glad I'm in such good hands. It is making the experience a joy, rather than a chore.

    My compliments to the editors and the book designer. They have done a superior job of making this difficult text accessible to the modern reader. I wish my editions of Dante and Milton had similar layouts. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2009

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    Logic of interpretation

    This is one of the best annotated books of Hamlet yet produced, in my opinion it is superb!

    All the pathos, intrigue and tragedy are explained in highly readable
    interpretations because of the annotations.

    In this day and age, Elizabethan English must be explained to reach a
    broader understanding.

    The essay in this book by Harold Bloom is excellent and appreciated!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2009

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    To read, or not to read?

    YES, YES, YES! Read it! It's a great story and the Barnes and Noble edition makes understanding the sixteenth century language easy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Bard at His Best

    This is, in my personal opinion, Shakespeare's greatest play of all time. The story has so many levels: madness, death, revenge, love, age, etc. A reader/viewer/director/actor of this play has so much to consider it will keep you forever thinking even after the final curtain or final page is turned.
    I personally find the topic of death in the play particularly stimulating. Hamlet's view of the dead is so drastically different than the views of any other in the play (closely followed by Laertes', however). Without spoiling anything I can say that to Hamlet, the dead are still alive in the attitudes and memories of their survivors. This is one of the great causes of his angst towards Claudius and Gertrude at the beginning of the play, before he even knows that his father was murdered. One of my favorite scenes is in the graveyard at the beginning of Act 5 when Hamlet is considering the skull of Yorick. The contrast of Hamlet and the Clown in this scene is so vast and exemplary of Hamlet's attitude. The Clown does not even consider the dead to be human, but dirt, and to Hamlet this is an abomination.
    But I have said too much. Read it or view it (even better, both) for yourself. I hope you will see what I mean.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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