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Hamlet (Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism) [Paperback]

William Shakespeare , Susanne L. Wofford
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Nov 1993 0333594924 978-0333594926 New Ed
The authoritative Riverside text is used in this case study of Hamlet - probably the most frequently studied of all Shakespeare plays. The five critical essays that follow the text take diverse contemporary critical approaches. Janet Adelamn and Elaine Showalter are among the critics included.


Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; New Ed edition (30 Nov 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0333594924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333594926
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 20.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 531,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Undoubtedly the most famous of all of Shakespeare's plays, Hamlet remains one of the most enduring but also enigmatic pieces of western literature. The story of Hamlet, the young Prince of Denmark, his tortured relationship with his mother, and his quest to avenge his father's murder at the hand of his brother Claudius has fascinated writers and audiences ever since it was written around 1600.

For many years interest focused on both Hamlet's inability to avenge his father's death, claiming that "the native hue of resolution / Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought", and, according to none other than Freud, his oedipal fixation with his mother. However, more recently critics have turned their attention to Hamlet's bold theatrical self-reflexivity (most famously reflected in the performance of "The Mousetrap"), its fascination with issues of theology and Renaissance humanism, and its dense, complex poetic language. What is so remarkable about the play is the way in which it tends to uncannily reflect the concerns of different epochs. As a result, Hamlet has been at different moments defined as a romantic rebel, an angst-ridden existentialist, a paralysed intellectual and an ambivalent New Man. Whatever subsequent generations make of Hamlet, they are unlikely to exhaust the possibilities of this most extraordinary play. --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

- The Annotated Shakespeare General Editor: Burton Raffel --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant.... but would never be published today! 23 July 2014
Format:Paperback
Brilliant.... but would never be published today!

Shakespeare's skill is to make his reader face up to awful situations, violence, macabre politics death and tragedy in a way that a modern publisher would never allow into print.

Despite the difficulty of the archaic prose, and the surreal world of medieval fiefdoms, the reader is compelled to face these situations with the principal character and forced to confront uncomfortable and disturbing issues that do not always have a "happy ending". The nearest modern equivalent might be something like Bob Berridge's "Mandy" (which only saw publication thanks to Kindle, and is similarly disturbing), but whereas the reader can more easily associate with Berridge's post war Yorkshire, Shakespeare has the task to port you into a world of petty kingdoms, royal power struggles and indeed issues of sanity itself and suicide. A task which, as the recognised master of his field he achieves with all the craft for which he is well and justifiably famed.

Don't read this book to pass an exam. Read this book because it is compelling and will make you think and challenge your comfortable beliefs. Despite its ending, a highly satisfying read!
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51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Obviously, Shakespeare's Hamlet is a masterpiece, so my review is aimed solely at the Penguin Popular Classics edition edited by GB Harrison (ISBN 0140620583). If you're looking for a cheap, pocket-sized edition of Hamlet, this is the one to go for. If you're looking for good notes, this edition is to be avoided. The notes are sometimes interesting, but often they either explain things that are very obvious, or are actually plain wrong.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best footnotes I've ever seen. 5 Dec 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Very easy to follow and wonderfully simply explained textual footnotes make this a very user friendly Hamlet.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easy does it 19 July 2005
By bernie TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Hamlet (Shakespeare Made Easy) places English beside English for those that need a translation from English to English. If this is read or acted out loud the translation would be superfluous. There is nothing wrong with a starting place but reading is not the way.
-------------------------------------------------------
This really is "The Tragical History of Hamlet Prince of Denmark" and not only the Prince but his family. Not only his family but his friends. Not only his friends but all though that came before him and is told to those that came after him.
You can slow down and pick apart many underlying themes and may of the phrases that now challenge Bible sayings in today's sound bites. But the real fun is in just reading the story and you will find that it is not as foreign as you may have thought.
A quick synopsis is that Old Hamlet conquered Old Fortinbras seizing his land. Now that Old Hamlet is dead, Young Fortinbras wants his land back and is willing to take it by force. Meanwhile back in Dänemark Young Hamlet who is excessively grieving for the loss of his father, gets a now insight from his fathers ghost. Looks like he was a victim of a "murder most foul"; it looks like his mother and uncle were in cahoots on the murder.
The story is about what each person felt and acted or did not act upon the situation.
You will find many movies and perverted imitations of the story but nothing will replace the original that was intended to be watched but reads well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You will be absorbed into the story 28 Jun 2005
By bernie TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This really is "The Tragical History of Hamlet Prince of Denmark" and not only the Prince but his family. Not only his family but his friends. Not only his friends but all though that came before him and is told to those that came after him.
You can slow down and pick apart many underlying themes and may of the phrases that now challenge Bible sayings in today's sound bites. But the real fun is in just reading the story and you will find that it is not as foreign as you may have thought.
A quick synopsis is that Old Hamlet conquered Old Fortinbras seizing his land. Now that Old Hamlet is dead, Young Fortinbras wants his land back and is willing to take it by force. Meanwhile back in Dänemark Young Hamlet who is excessively grieving for the loss of his father, gets a now insight from his fathers ghost. Looks like he was a victim of a "murder most foul"; it looks like his mother and uncle were in cahoots on the murder.
The story is about what each person felt and acted or did not act upon the situation.
You will find many movies and perverted imitations of the story but nothing will replace the original that was intended to be watched but reads well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone Should Read It 10 April 2009
Format:Paperback
I'm not going to delve into the plot, the characters, the themes, the philosophy and the atmosphere as I am no professor. It is enough to say that this is the best play, written by the greatest playwright of all time. Anyone who can read should have a go at this. More importantly go and watch a performance; it is a play after all, not a novel.
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Format:Paperback
I have read Hamlet, however it was not this edition. I have seen these editions in store and they are rather tatty looking, the paper is recycled so that's to be expected. These types of books suit people who are limited in cash perhaps about to board a plane and need something to read. If your a student, your teacher will have already have bought specific books prescribed by the examining board - if this is the case do so and purchase that copy because this does not have notes to explain language or anything.

The play itself is a wonderful piece of literature concerned by deception, political power, and action vs. inaction, perceived madness and religion. Before reading it (if you studying) you should get context about Denmark (where the play is set) but also England (where Shakespeare wrote it) as the two interlink, many of the themes present in Hamlet did actually happen during the time it was written, so do not completely ignore context.
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