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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2009
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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on 6 June 2008
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2009
Arkangel have produced a highly listenable edition of 'Richard II', which (along with the Roman plays like 'Coriolanus') contains some of Shakespeare's most powerful political insights.

Arkangel's production never allows the listener to forget the subtle complexities at work. The actors do a marvellous job wringing meaning out of lines which might never have been gleaned from the written text, and the unspoken nuances, for instance, when Mowbray is told of his banishment, are palpable. The opening scene is intensely acted, with Bolingbroke and Norfolk spitting venom at each other before a king whose decadent boredom is obvious. Rupert Graves is excellent as Richard II, with highly expressive delivery (amused condescension, anger etc.) changing as his character's situation changes.

Also worth mentioning (in a play that completely lacks humour) is John Nettleton as the Duke of York, coming across as such a pompous old duffer that I almost laughed out loud each time he opened his mouth. The play's music is highly memorable, too, and was stuck in my head for days.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 6 July 2009
Having the commentary beside the text is the only way I can fully enjoy reading Shakespeare. The commentary is useful and adds a lot to the text. Some of the commentary seems to be explaining the obvious but since the book is used by schools studying Shakespeare, I can't complain. It's better than them missing out things which I'd like to have explained.
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VINE VOICEon 19 December 2007
"Hamlet" is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays , telling the tragic tale of the fall from grace of a young Danish prince who succumbs to madness after receiving a visitation from the Ghost of his late father. The Ghost reveals to Hamlet that he was in fact murdered by his brother,Hamlet's uncle, the new King of Denmark. Hamlet rapidly becomes deranged and murderous and the whole sorry tale concludes with a string of untimely deaths. "Hamlet" is packed full of well known characters and quotes and is rightly regarded as a classic of English Literature. This edition of "Hamlet" is quite basic with regards to notes and explanations of some of the medieval language used by the Bard however and this made parts of the play difficult to follow at times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2011
I needed this book for my A-level English course. I reccomend it to anyone who needs 'Hamlet' for the same reason, as its a simple and cheap book, so it doesn't matter if you scribble all your notes in it. Very pleased with it!
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on 13 March 2013
...However personally I didn't much like the layout and found it difficult to read with the translators notes at the back of the book.
It would definitely have been worth paying a little extra for a copy where the relevant notes were on the corresponding pages; so there wouldn't be a need to flip back and forth. The different speakers weren't as clearly separated as I would have liked either. I bought the book to study and ended up reading the play on SparkNotes' 'No Fear Shakespeare' section.
Overall, I can't fault the writing or the play itself, but if you're going to get a copy of Hamlet, I'd recommend getting a better version.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 1999
Great version of the classic with incredibly detailed footnotes and a clear and well presented text. Hamlet is not only the greatest of Shakespeare's plays but one of the greatest books in the English language; beautifully written, flawlessly structured, with a dozen deftly woven subplots all open to countless interpretation. At times you can almost taste the words in your mouth like honey. What more could any literate human being want from fiction? And remember, Shakespeare was written to be spoken, so lock all the doors, sit down and read it out aloud.
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on 23 January 2009
Why has it taken me so long to get into Shakepseare? It must be the way it was taught in my school days. This is my first taste of Shakespeare since then and I'll be going back for more. Although, as expected, some passges of dialogue totally passed me by (I agree with some other reviews that the notes with this edition could be more helpful), I understood enough of the text to thoroughly enjoy reading this book. There are also frequent sayings and quotes still in use today which enrich the reading. If you're reluctant to try Shakespeare then give this edition a whirl, great value for money.
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on 23 April 2011
Obviously for criticism of the text, Amazon reviews is hardly the place so I am reviewing the Penguin Popular Classic edition. For £2 this edition is fairly good quality, although the paper is extremely thin and the cover creases easily. The book contains no notes so for learning isn't the best but for revision or performance it suffices, although making notes in the margin can only really be achieved with a pencil or a biro; the paper is as absorbent as tissue paper. You can download this for free but if you'd rather have a basic physical copy then this is exactly what you're looking for.
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