McDougal Littell Nextext: Hamlet Grades 6-12

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Overview

The text is taken from the Norton Critical Edition and includes a preface and footnotes by Byrus Hoy, professor emeritus at the University of Rochester. The preface speaks to the choice of text—primarily the second quarto with reliance on the folio as necessary—and places it in the context of its times and of the evolving criticism of the play.

Presents the original text of Shakespeare's play side by side with a modern version, with discussion questions, role-playing scenarios, and other study activities.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Many consider the tragedy of "Hamlet" to be Shakespeare's masterpiece and one of the greatest plays of all time. It has entertained audiences for centuries and the role of Hamlet is one of the most sought after by actors. It is the story of Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark who learns of the death of his father at the hands of his uncle, Claudius. Claudius murders Hamlet's father, his own brother, to take the throne of Denmark and to marry Hamlet's widowed mother. Hamlet is sunk into a state of great despair as a result of discovering the murder of his father and the infidelity of his mother. Hamlet is torn between his great sadness and his desire for the revenge of his father's murder. "Hamlet" is a work of great complexity and as such has drawn many different critical interpretations. Hamlet has been seen as a victim of circumstance, as an impractical idealist, as the sufferer of an Oedipus complex, as an opportunist wishing to kill his Uncle not for revenge but to ascend to the throne, as the sufferer of a great melancholy, and as a man blinded by his desire for revenge. The true motivations of Hamlet are complex and enigmatic and have been debated for centuries. Read this classic tragedy and decide for yourself where Hamlet's true motivations lie and how they influence his ultimate demise.
Dallas Morning News
It serves up all the tragedy, pathos, intrigue, humor and emotional impact of the original in a contemporary, but not gimmicky package.
Christian Science Monitor
HAMLET ESP is not a distortion of Hamlet, but an echo that reverberates in the audience long after the curtain has fallen.
San Antonio News
It's boldness, logic of interpretation, consummate theatricality and insightfulness will surely qualify the staging as unforgettable in the years to come.
VOYA - Jane Van Wiemokly
If your library's clientele is like mine, decent books of literary criticism on Shakespeare's works are always welcome. These three collections of essays written by leading authors and literary critics are designed to aid readers in forging their own evaluations of the literary works discussed. Essays in these Literary Companion Series titles date from as early as 1806 in "The Story of the Star-Crossed Lovers" (Romeo and Juliet) to the latest essay from 1997, "An Uncut Film Version of Hamlet."

Each essay is preceded by a succinct summary of what will be presented, and falls into broader sections that discuss themes, plot and structure, historical context, characters, and staging and film interpretation. The same foreword appears in each title, followed by an introduction geared to the specific play, then a biographical overview of Shakespeare. The books listed in "For Further Reading" include general critical Shakespeare studies, books on Elizabethan theater, and sources about the specific play. Readings on Macbeth even lists and describes several Shakespeare societies that have information or publications that may be of interest to the reader. These titles will be welcome additions for students doing research on Shakespeare and these plays in particular. Index. Map. Source Notes. Further Reading. Chronology.

Note: this review was written and published to address three titles-Readings on Hamlet, Readings on MacBeth, and Readings on Romeo and Juliet. VOYA Codes: 3Q 1P J S (Readable without serious defects, No YA will read unless forced to for assignments, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).

Library Journal

This Hamlet struts and frets his role through moody, watercolor paintings that effectively convey both action and emotion using the classic period setting and dress. Panel boundaries and narrative flow vary on each page, manga style, which allows a striking depiction of the entire "To be or not to be" soliloquy with Hamlet striding through a vaulted, shadowed gallery. Much has been cut in the adaptation, and the continuity sometimes suffers, but what's left is all muscular and artful Shakespeare. No character cameos precede, but a brief profile of Shakespeare ends the work. This fine adaptation is suitable for teens and up and first appeared in 1990 from First Publishing/Berkley Publishing. Consider also Neil Babra's more complete Hamlet in the "No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novels" series (Spark Notes), with evocative, modern black-and-white art suggesting Craig Thompson's Blankets.
—Martha Cornog

Library Journal
It is a tragedy that all actors seem to crave to perform, and the Renaissance Theatre Company clearly relishes the chance to present Hamlet for the ear. It is a contemporary cast from which one has come to expect superior Shakespearean acting on stage and screen: Kenneth Branagh as Hamlet; Sir John Gielgud as the Ghost; Derek Jacobi as Claudius; and Emma Thompson as the Player Queen. Unlike the Recorded Books version (Audio Reviews, LJ 8/90), this BBC edition may be a little hard to follow by those unfamiliar with the play's text, particularly since stage directions are not provided and speakers are not clearly identified. But the program does give the complete version, a rare treat, and the accompanying booklet offers insights into both the acting and the production. Highly recommended.-- Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo, N.Y.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-In this clearly written, easy-to-understand book, Nardo explains the timeless nature of the classic play. He includes a wonderful section about the life and times of William Shakespeare and discusses the influences of earlier stories and plays on the structuring of the plot, the characters, and the theme of revenge. The author also explains how the textual and visual interpretations of the play have changed and evolved from the 1500s to the late 20th century. A copious notes section, a section for further exploration, questions and ideas for themes and essays, and an appendix of literary criticism make this an invaluable teaching aid or library resource. Many black-and-white sketches, drawings, and photos create further interest in this play and its literary history.-Susan Shaver, Hemingford Public Schools, NE Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Lest there be misunderstanding, the title's "New" refers to the freshness of 1877, though the Dover variations are collated from some 30 editions together with the notes and numerous comments of the editors of those editions. The second volume contains commentaries from the French, German, and English, with preference given to verbal over aesthetic criticism. On the topic of whether the Dane was insane, for example, Boswell (1821) writes that Hamlet's utterances "evince not only a sound, but an acute and vigourous understanding...and though his mind is enfeebled, it is by no means deranged." This is an important reprint for those hungry to re-parse the words and (in)action of perhaps the most famous of fatherless children. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618120512
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Series: McDougal Littell Nextext Series
  • Edition description: Student
  • Pages: 240
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born in Stratford-upon-Avon where his father was a prosperous glover. His early life is obscure, but he married Anne Hathaway in 1682 with whom he had two children. By 1592 he was establishing himself in London, and over the next twenty years he wrote thirty-seven plays-and contributed to many more-was a prolific poet, and was taken up by several influential patrons. His Sonnets were first printed in 1609 by George Eld for Thomas Thorpe. The identity of Mr. W.H. to whom the Sonnets are dedicated remains a mystery, as does the identity of the aristocratic youth in the Sonnets and the enigmatic Dark Lady.

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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2008

    awsome

    awsomeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

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