Hamlet (Dover Thrift Editions)by William Shakespeare, Shakespeare
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
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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By William Shakespeare
Washington Square PressCopyright © 1992 William Shakespeare
All right reserved.
Chapter OneAct 3
* * *
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.
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.
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.
Chapter TwoSCENE 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.
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.
Will you two help to hasten them?
Rosencrantz Ay, my lord.
exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
Hamlet What ho! 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.
Excerpted from Hamlet by William Shakespeare Copyright © 1992 by William Shakespeare. Excerpted by permission.
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Meet the Author
"He was not of an age, but for all time," declared Ben Jonson of his contemporary William Shakespeare (1564–1616). Jonson's praise is especially prescient, since at the turn of the 17th century Shakespeare was but one of many popular London playwrights and none of his dramas were printed in his lifetime. The reason so many of his works survive is because two of his actor friends, with the assistance of Jonson, assembled and published the First Folio edition of 1623.
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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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Riddled with madness, backstabbing, and bitter love, Hamlet has been unwillingly exposed to the worst side of humanity. Everyone around him tries to hide their blemishes but it is Hamlet's gruesome job to bring light upon their dark. He is constantly harassed by inner and outer demons, and seems to be the only one noticing the fall of people around him. There are times in life when it seems that 'you are the only one' and that 'noone understands you', and so was the case with poor Hamlet.
I have usually mildly enjoyed those plays I've read of Shakespeare (I have read and viewed about 5) So when I read 'Hamlet' I was expecting the same, however, I was pleasantly surprised that I found myself intensely enjoying the play, its theological and moral questions, as well as the interesting characters and their complex relationships. This is truly a masterpiece.
Love Hamlet. Dislike this version. "Footnotes" are interspersed within the text, breaking the flow of reading. They should have been moved to end notes or removed altogether. Makes it very annoying to read. That's the kind of thing I'd expect from a free eBook, not one I paid $5 for. Preview was all front matter, so I didn't see the footnote problem until after I bought it. :-/
Do NOT get this book if you want to see the notes and will be reading it on a nook. The notes are in black text on a black background.
Paid additional to have both express mailed. Every time I spoke to CS got a different story as to what "Express" means. Supervisor equally confused and misleading. Was promised refund on shipping - never happened. Book came directly from B&N and not third party. Will avoid using B&N at all costs in the future.
"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.
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.
This is truly one of the BEST books i have ever read. This was my first time reading a book by Shakespeare and i was certainty not disappointed. This is a very dramatic and eventful tragedy about the prince of Denmark. Although the language is sort of difficult to understand this version provides excellent notes that made me understand completely what it was about. I loved this book so much i read it in one day.
YES, YES, YES! Read it! It's a great story and the Barnes and Noble edition makes understanding the sixteenth century language easy.
The name Shakespeare pretty much says it all for this piece really. The story that has been critically analyzed thousands of times somehow never seems to diminish in value. Of the old classics, this is one of the few I adore.
A great way to really get into Shakespeare's world. Clean, clear print, excellent notes and articles, awesome story, and, of course, the one of the world's greatest playwrights.
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.
I don't know if I would like this play any better if it didn't have the supernatural quality to its overall meaning. We can assume that had his father's ghost not appeared to him, Hamlet would have lived a normal life as Prince and heir to the throne. But the ghost of his dead father appears to set the tragedy in motion. Realism is violated with the device of a ghost. Hamlet's goal is to avenge his father's murder. When he starts meditating about that request, he is labelled 'mad' by the family and friends that surround him. Their initial concern is to alleviate the disquiet of his mind. Hamlet expresses the play's theme in his speeches. Something unnnatural has entered his environment, upsetting the sense of personal, social, and political normality, making the play thus apocalyptic, as tragedy can be, and because of which his rational position in life is nullified. What is natural is the principle of the Good. Or, has that problem preceded Hamlet's life and times, so that Hamlet can be called another sorry example of a diseased society? 'To be or not to be': in other words, why continue living if people will not think and behave sanely and rightly? Hamlet turns to philosophizing because of what has happened. After expressing his dissatisfaction, the friends and family who previously had wanted to help him have resolved to kill him. For they are content with the ways of the world and they do not need Hamlet inducing guilt in them. On the other hand, Hamlet still has to get around to the business of killing Claudius, the King, as he was bidden to do. The tragedy lies in the fact that Hamlet stops living as a man integrated within the Denmark society he was born into. And, in terms of fulfilling the theme's requirements, he does kill Claudius in the last scene. The King sends Hamlet to England to let someone kill him there. But because of a mishap on the ship, Hamlet sends for Horatio to come to bail him out. He will return to Denmark. As a fitting correlate to this tragic plot, Ophelia, who is Hamlet's woman, eventually goes mad and commits suicide. If the environment were functioning well, Hamlet and Ophelia could be married and live happily together. Instead Hamlet shuns her. It is a fascinating irony that Hamlet declares in the abstract that he does love Ophelia. However, there is no reason to love Hamlet because the natural course of human existence has been overturned by the present king's foul murder. A sick world is useless, and so is Hamlet's love for a woman, or for anything else, for that matter. Hamlet, moreover, is fully aware of his divine purpose. Conversely, he cannot handle his life as a prince anymore. Laertes, Polonius' son, after returning from France, wants to kill Hamlet because he murdered his father. The king and Laertes devise a specific plan, with a contingency plan, to kill Hamlet when they see him upon return. Osric, a courtier, delivers the news of the suggested duel to Hamlet. Hamlet is game and accepts the challenge, which is couched as a wager. At the end, Horatio, like a true friend, is by Hamlet's side to offer moral support and to tell the tale of noble Hamlet's 'woe and wonder.' The duel takes place rather quickly. Hamlet apologizes to Laertes that his madness was a force external to him, incited by unforeseen circumstances, and, therefore, being a good man, he was not truly responsible for Ophelia's and Polonius' deaths. Laertes responds that he is not listening to his self-proclaimed judgments. They fight with swords, one of which was dipped in poison, and both wind up killing each other. The Queen drinks a cup of wine that contains poison, meant for Hamlet's throat, and she dies. Hamlet also kills the king. In this elaborate death scene, the apocalyptic theme comes to fruition. A reader of 'Hamlet' has to understand from the get-go that any metaphysical framework, as the Elizabethan 'theory of corr
When I first discovered Hamlet, my only experience with Shakespeare was 'Romeo and Juliet' early in my english studies at high school. At that time, I despised it!!! But then I found first the movie, staring Kenneth Branagh and I was swept away with the passion, anger, love, hatred, and hopelessness of the script. Since then I've read the book numerous times, knowing many lines by heart. It is fantastic. Take your time when reading it and absorb as much as you can!! My opinion on Shakespeare now?? 'He was a man, take his for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again'.