Hamlet

ISBN-10: 074347712X
ISBN-13: 9780743477123
Edition: 2003
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Description: As attested to by countless stage and screen productions, Hamlet forever retains its fascination for audiences. It's an absorbing intellectual drama of the contemplative prince who reluctantly ventures in pursuit of revenge. Hamlet's musings on the  More...

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Book details

List price: $5.99
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 7/1/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 432
Size: 4.25" wide x 6.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.704
Language: English

As attested to by countless stage and screen productions, Hamlet forever retains its fascination for audiences. It's an absorbing intellectual drama of the contemplative prince who reluctantly ventures in pursuit of revenge. Hamlet's musings on the nature and consequences of human activity have accorded him the reputation as literature's "first modern man."

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School. At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry. By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true. Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

List of illustrations
General editors' preface
Preface
Introduction
The challenges of Hamlet
The challenge of acting Hamlet
The challenge of editing Hamlet
The challenge to the greatness of Hamlet: Hamlet versus Lear
Hamlet in our time
The soliloquies and the modernity of Hamlet
Hamlet and Freud
Reading against the Hamlet tradition
Hamlet in Shakespeare's time
Hamlet at the turn of the century
The challenge of dating Hamlet
Was there an earlier Hamlet play?
Are there any early references to Shakespeare's play?
Can me date Hamlet in relation to other contemporary plays?
Hamlet's first performances
The story of Hamlet
Murder most foul
An antic disposition
'Sentences', speeches and thoughts
The composition of Hamlet
The quartos and the Folio
The quartos
The First Folio
The relationship of Q2 to Q1
The relationship of F to Q2
What, then, of Q1?
Editorial practice
Why a three-text edition?
Hamlet on stage and screen
Hamlet and his points
Enter the director
Hamlet and politics
Novel Hamlets
Hamlet meets Fielding, Goethe, Dickens and others
Hamlet and women novelists
Prequels and sequels
The continuing mystery of Hamlet
The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark The Second Quarto (1604-5)
Appendices
Folio-only passages
The nature of the texts
The early printed texts
The early quartos
The First Folio
The quartos and folios after 1623
Modern editors at work
The written text
The performed text
The printed text
The multiple text
A common position?
Our procedure as editors of Hamlet
Determining transmission
Editorial principles
Lineation and punctuation
Textual tables
Editorial conventions and sample passages
Conventions
Proper names
Act and scene numbers
Commentary
Textual notes
Sample passages
The act division at 3.4/4.1
The editorial tradition
The theatrical tradition
Our decisions for the new Arden Hamlet
Casting
Music
Abbreviations and references
Abbreviations used in notes
Works by and partly by Shakespeare
Editions of Shakespeare collated
Other works cited
Index

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