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"Hamlet" (Arden Shakespeare: Second Series) [Paperback]

William Shakespeare , Harold Jenkins
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Hamlet (The Arden Shakespeare, Third Series) Hamlet (The Arden Shakespeare, Third Series) 4.3 out of 5 stars (34)
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Book Description

Aug 2001 1903436672 978-1903436677 2nd Revised edition
The Arden Shakespeare is the established edition of Shakespeare's work. Justly celebrated for its authoritative scholarship and invaluable commentary, Arden guides you a richer understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare's plays.This edition of Hamlet provides, a clear and authoritative text, detailed notes and commentary on the same page as the text, a full introduction discussing the critical and historical background to the play and appendices presenting sources and relevant extracts.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Arden Shakespeare; 2nd Revised edition edition (Aug 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903436672
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903436677
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.6 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 697,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


An extraordinary achievement and milestone in the recent history
of version-based editing... Indeed, this is version-based editing at its
best. -- Eric Rasmussen, Shakespeare Survey

Hamlet's latest editors have undertaken a heroic task with great
skill and thoroughnesss -- Stanley Wells, The Observer

Stunning! There is absolutely no doubt about this being the text
to buy if you are studying the play at A Level. And the same stands for
those students who will be studying the play at university. This critical
edition gives the reader the Second Quarto Text (1604-1605), annotated with
intelligence and care, a wealth of historical and cultural references and a
survey of different critical approaches to the play. -- The Use of English, The English Association

The new Arden Hamlet is a pathbreaking edition, one that promises
to change irrevocably our understanding of Shakespeare's greatest play -- Professor James Shapiro, author of 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover


With a wealth of helpful and incisive commentary, this edition of Hamlet

* The Second Quarto Text (1604-1605), edited to the highest standards of

* Additional passages found only in the 1623 Folio text

* Detailed notes and commentary on the same page as the text

* A full, illustrated introduction to the play's historical, cultural and
performance contexts

* An in-depth survey of critical approaches to the play

* A full index to the introduction and notes

* A select bibliography of references and further reading

This is a fully self-contained free-standing volume which includes in its
Introduction and Appendices all the supporting materials that a reader
would expect to find in an Arden edition.
It forms the core of a ground-breaking edition of three Hamlet texts. A
companion volume contains the fully annotated texts of the 1603 First
Quarto and the 1623 Folio.

Readers of both editions have, for the first time, a unique opportunity to
study the three surviving texts of Hamlet experienced by Shakespeare's
contemporaries, fully modernized and edited by leading scholars. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
Lastly, let me entreat, and beseech, and adjure, and implore you not to write an essay on Hamlet. Read the first page
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Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive Hamlet 22 Jan 2002
The play itself should need no further introduction or comment.
The Arden Shakespeare is well-known in academic circles for their auhtoritative and comprehensive annotated editions of Shakespeare's works, and for the academic reader, this edition of Hamlet offers a lot of useful information.
There is a long section covering the different printed source editions of the play, and arguments of what source is chosen to be represented in the text of the play itself and why, Shakespeare's topical allusions, and lots more.
A large portion of the preface is also dedicated to discussing Shakespeare's own source for his play, the Ur-Hamlet, and of possible other plays, before or after Hamlet, using the same story.
The text pages are covered more with notes than with the play text itself, which can be a bit impractical when trying to read only the play, but for closer readings, most of the information is practically gathered on the page, with additional references to longer notes after the play text.
Notes include source disparities, word interpretations and also all of the traditionally debated items in the play.
All in all, an excellent edition for close readings and academic work on what is one of the most fascinating, poetic and humorous plays of all time.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arden Shakespeare 3 Nov 2007
In some respects I think it'd be rather presumptuous of me to attempt to review Shakespeare. Someone so well known and influential wouldn't benefit from my opinions on their work, plus there are more scholarly and concise reviews out there. But I can comment on these Arden versions. Of all the Shakespeare I've read I've always found the Arden copies to be well laid out and to have excellent commentary and notes on the text. They really add to your understanding of Shakespeares outstanding plays and introduce you to the depth in his work. They have superb paper quality and are bound well, withstanding repeated readings and intensive study. For your collection of Shakespeare you can't do much better than Arden publications, some are quite hard to get hold of but it's worth the effort.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Where are the promised notes? 11 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I selected this kindle version because the product description claims it is 'annotated with
intelligence and care, a wealth of historical and cultural references and a
survey of different critical approaches to the play'.
This is probably true of paperback but the kindle edition comes with no notes at all. We need to be told this before we buy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Views on Hamlet 23 Feb 2012
In these two Arden Hamlet books, Thompson and Taylor feast the reader on the authentic meat of the texts, in a format fully accessible to the modern reader; this second, companion edition provides the second course and the dessert, a delicious feast that duly celebrates this tragic masterpiece.
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.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Competent update 1 Sep 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Depending on your point of view, Arden3's Hamlet is either a neat solution or a cop-out. Either way, their two-volume edition of the play represents a departure from the single-volume norm that has characterised The Arden Shakespeare since 1899. As with King Lear, the existence of substantially different original sources for the play means that the Hamlet editor is faced with a choice: to conflate, or not to conflate. Unlike King Lear's editor, RA Foakes, Thompson and Taylor opt against pick and mixing in favour of a multi-volume edition. This one bases its text on the 'good' quarto of 1604-5, while the other volume (essentially a supplement) presents both the 'bad' quarto and the folio alternatives, of 1601 and 1623 respectively.

Choosing the text is not the only problem confronting an editor of Hamlet. As Thompson and Taylor observe, over 400 Hamlet-related works appear every year. Simply keeping track of new publications is a virtually impossible task and wisely the editors attempt no more than to give us a brief overview of them in an Introduction that is more up-to-date and informed than groundbreaking.

The editors sound a note of frustration in observing that much modern Hamlet criticism seems focused on previous critical comment rather than on the play! However, a selection of the more rewarding new thought is presented, including Steven Goldblatt's attempt to tackle the problem of a Wittenburg-educated, Protestant prince swallowing the Ghost's claim to have come from an obviously Catholic purgatory - the existence of which place was expressly denied by the Tudor Church of England. Greenblatt identifies a longing for the certainties of the old faith, lost fifty years previously.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamlet - THE text
There are at least three versions of 'Hamlet'. The best is Q2 and this is the one Arden have chosen in the first volume of their two-volume 'Hamlet' edition. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Claudia Saatchi
5.0 out of 5 stars Oedipus complex or not?
Brilliant play with plenty of challenging questions to answer. This edition features all the quartos and is a great study aid for Hamleteers!
Published 2 months ago by Mr. D. McKenna
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent
Does any one really need a review of Hamlet ? Undeniably one of the greatest plays ever written - worth ten stars !!
Published 2 months ago by A. E. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars The Play's the Thing
This William Shakespeare can certainly write and he should continue to be popular! Seriously, this is an excellent edition of the play with copious notes and background material... Read more
Published 2 months ago by C. Bulman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great play
One of the best plays I wish I had read when I was younger.
Hamlets father returns as a ghost warning him about staking revenge on the king who married his mother. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Miss J. Powis
5.0 out of 5 stars Very happy
The book is great and it arrived very quickly in perfect condition Also great value for money. I am very pleased with my purchase
Published 6 months ago by Stacey Clay
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamlet (The Arden Shakespeare, Third Series)
This book was recommended to my son's class for their English Literature studies. It is easy to use/understand and gives clear explanation of the text.
Published 6 months ago by lady G
4.0 out of 5 stars Hamlet
I enjoyed reading this before going to Stratford to watch the play. Having first read this I found it easier to follow the play.
Published 7 months ago by Cat Woman
5.0 out of 5 stars You will be absorbed into the story
Most any is worth the price but to know every thing and more about Hamlet try "The Arden Shakespeare" copy. Read more
Published 9 months ago by bernie
1.0 out of 5 stars Be careful what you buy!
I specifically wanted the Arden edition of Hamlet because of the notes. That is what it seemed I was buying. Beware! This is the text only, no notes. You can get the text for free. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Idlewild Dusk
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