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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting to the Heart of Hamlet?
This is one of the most thorough study guides on the market, not likely to confuse anyone and particularly well informed on the latest developments in critical approaches to the play though never too dense for the average school student to digest. The scene summaries and commentaries are models of clarity and precision whilst the textual analyses are searching,...
Published on 23 Feb 2004

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I did not help at all!!!
This book it is quite heavy reading and it did not help my son for his assessment at all!I will not recommend it.
Published 7 months ago by Penelope


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting to the Heart of Hamlet?, 23 Feb 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Hamlet: York Notes Advanced (Paperback)
This is one of the most thorough study guides on the market, not likely to confuse anyone and particularly well informed on the latest developments in critical approaches to the play though never too dense for the average school student to digest. The scene summaries and commentaries are models of clarity and precision whilst the textual analyses are searching, provocative and incisive. There is an excellent bibliography and useful pointers to websites, films and theatrical tradition. An invaluable introduction to advanced studies and a handy revision tool for teachers pressurised to work on the play at short notice!
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This would be a good investment, 23 Mar 2004
By 
ambitiousgreeneggs@hotmail.com (Wokingham, Berkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hamlet: York Notes Advanced (Paperback)
I'm studying Hamlet at the moment and due to the nature of Shakespeare's over descriptive and complicated yet beautiful language, it's quite hard to follow and concentrate upon the plot. Though when I got this guide, I easily grasped what was happening and was able to concentrate more on the themes and language etc which you have to comment on in exams. It is helpful and gives lots of hints and info into what you're supposed to be focusing on in the scenes. It gives you ideas and pushes you in the right direction if you are struggling. It even has a glossary to simplify meanings and words. A more thorough understanding can be made from Hamlet and in the end you'll wonder why you didn't get this sooner. For five pounds, it's worth it, if you get an 'a' in your exams.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice clear summary of the action, 15 April 2002
By A Customer
The best aspect of this guide to Hamlet is the careful scene-by-scene summary of the action. The plot seems not so tricky to follow, after all. It's also good to be reminded of the significant differences between the quarto and folio versions of the play. Perhaps the authors should have devoted a bit more space to the really big issue raised by the play: the intermingling of good and evil in human existence. The assessment of Ophelia's character is strangely thin, as well. But it's very helpful, all in all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The madness of Prince Hamlet, 8 April 2010
By 
Peter Buckley "peter15115" (Dyfed, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hamlet: York Notes Advanced (Paperback)
"Whether Hamlet is ever mad, or considered mad, is argued over by critics long and hard. No two performances will convey the same impression of the state of Hamlet's mind after his interview with the Ghost" (p86). Every critic, of course, has a different opinion. The majority appear to concur he was mad, with most favouring the position he intended to feign madness in order to exact revenge for his father's death, perhaps without foresight as to the precise means, but rapidly succumbed to genuine madness as events unfolded. It is unclear what level of insight he had at each stage of the tragic process.
Did Shakespeare intend us to conclude madness became the inevitable result of a pretence on a susceptible disposition? It was always to be a dangerous game, as inevitably a mad Hamlet was at least as dangerous to Claudius as a sane one, and Shakespeare indubitably endowed Hamlet an intense emotional sensibility and keen sense of justice.
"Attempting a mere trifling with personal identity, assuming a little of a character other than one's own, within the bounds of normality, if this has its risks, how much more hazardous must be any sustained effort to counterfeit madness?" (Sir James Crichton-Browne).
As for Hamlets decision to feign madness, there can be little doubt. The skill displayed by Shakespeare may be illustrated in the scene with Ophelia where Hamlet clearly overdid it, this is considered very true to life for those given to malingering (a term still used for those feigning mental illness), as they tend to imitate the extreme. Later, in the scene with his mother Gertrude, we are led to believe he is genuinely mad, or is it that she is going along with the ruse?
If we remain personally convinced Hamlet feigns madness throughout the play however, we come up against a grave difficulty. If he is not responsible for his actions by reason of insanity, how can we possibly reconcile how a man of his moral sensibility should have seemingly no remorse for the deaths of Polonius, Rosencrantz and Gildenstern, his unkindness to Ophelia and behaviour after her death?
Ophelia herself, impressionable, without familial support, dependent upon a Hamlet now apparently mad, succumbed to that form of mental illness so recognizable today in so many youth suicides. Shakespeare does not moralise, or even interpret (he leaves that to his audience), but what he is doing is using Ophelia to both contrast and clarify Hamlet's madness. Whether we feel her madness follows shock and bereavement, what we might liken to Post Traumatic Shock Syndrome, in any case has a ring of truth about it, Hamlet, being well capable of satire, contempt and irony in turn, whilst mad, puts that element of doubt in our minds. Deliberately, it seems.
"Madness may be defined as being in a minority of one. Hamlet is not afraid of this position." He himself expresses confidence `in the one judicious person who may overweigh a whole theatre of others' (Act 3, Sn 2). The discrepancy between his words and his behaviour becomes increasingly apparent. Since Hamlet, the fine intellect, castigates himself a number of times of failing to live up to what is expected of him, Prince of Denmark, son of a wronged father, could it be, in the final analysis, that he took the easy option?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, 4 Sep 2008
By 
Sister G (Nottingham, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hamlet: York Notes Advanced (Paperback)
Really great book that can be used throughout A level study or as a last minute revision guide.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great aid for A-Levels!, 25 Oct 2009
By 
Mr. D. J. Hewitt (Lincolnshire, UNITED KINGDOM) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hamlet: York Notes Advanced (Paperback)
I purchased this book on the back of my A-Level English teacher recommeding it to my class. When i found this on here for the price, i thought that it was a bargin!
This book has helped me with what i have needed to know in the plot of Hamlet. This books gives you a glossary of all of the terms that we (the reader) might not understand (language etc...). It also tells you, scene by scene what is happening and why.

This book has so far enhanced my learning for my course so far, and i hope to achieve great grades in my coursework, with the aid of this book! A must if you are studying Hamlet in your English Literature A-Levels!

A great buy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamlet unveiled, 22 Nov 2009
By 
Jackie Domingo (Swansea, South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hamlet: York Notes Advanced (Paperback)
York Notes for "Hamlet" are an invaluable guide to the insight of the play, the period in history and the character backgrounds. If, for example the study or essay is comparing film adpatations, Olivier's 1948 black and white film version, the BBC studio production with Derek Jacobi, and the film with Mel Gibson, these notes will provide the interpretation of the text,the psychological profile and the unwritten codes and symbols that are incorporated by the directors in the productions, and why some were ommitted prior to public screenings. Why is it easier to re-create a ghost in "Macbeth" than in "Hamlet"? is revealed in York Notes
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant but!!, 4 April 2014
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This review is from: Hamlet: York Notes Advanced (Paperback)
This book is great. I'm currently studying for my higher English as an adult learner. This book has been a great help as I work ridiculous hours and struggle to find time to study. I would recommend schools to use York notes for whatever literature their class is studying. Brilliant purchase.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very good book, 29 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Hamlet: York Notes Advanced (Paperback)
The book has many explanations, showing themes, characters, setting Analysis everything is inside this book. Thank you for the quick delivery. very helpful for literaure students
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 6 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Hamlet: York Notes Advanced (Paperback)
I bought this for my English Literature A Level studies and it was fantastic and really useful, well worth the purchase and would recommend to anyone who wished to use it to enhance their understanding of the text.
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Hamlet: York Notes Advanced
Hamlet: York Notes Advanced by Lynn Wood (Paperback - 29 Aug 2003)
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