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"Hamlet" (Arden Shakespeare) Paperback – 1 Dec 1996

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Dec 1996
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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Thomson Learning; 2nd Revised edition edition (Dec. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0174434693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0174434696
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 111,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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


The text of the classic tragedy about the struggle of Prince Hamlet to avenge his father's murder is accompanied by extensive critical notes and historical commentary.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Harold Jenkins provides a truly comprehensive and interesting commentary on Hamlet, one of Shakespeare's more ambiguous plays. The introduction offers a fine insight into all aspects of the play from character studies to themes and language. The work on the often misinterpreted character of Ophelia and Hamlet's dual role is particularly impressive and refreshing, managing to be eclectic yet critical at the same time. The text is neatly presented with ample stage settings and explanatory notes to aid the uninformed reader. The research on the text and source history is truly unprecedented making Jenkins'work an invaluable one for both serious literature students and keen thespians
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By Hakon Soreide TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 Aug. 2015
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
Having used this edition of 'Hamlet' in my study of the play at A Level, I would recommend it highly to anyone, whether studying the book or simply reading it for pleasure. The layout of the book makes for easy reading, especially important when studying texts such as this where the thread of some of the playwrite's more elaborate images may easily be lost, and something which is not aways true of all editions of all Shakespearian plays. In addition to this the notes which accompany the text at the bottom of each page are useful and pertinent, giving meanings of words, historical information relevant to the text and explainations of imagery, whilst more comprehensive notes are present at the back of the book. The books introduction provides information which, in addition to giving an interesting background to the book, is also very useful when for instance, writing essays. Ultimately Harold Jenkins' subtle and appropriate editing of one of Shakespeare's most intriguing and interesting plays enhances its study.
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