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Hamlet Book Summary : '?what is this quintessence of dust?In Shakespeare's most famous play, a young prince, alienated and betrayed, struggles to make a decision; in a court where every friend is a spy, and every loving act somehow leads to murder, the sanest person is he who pretends to be mad. A brilliantly controlled plot, complex and convincing characters, and, above all, wonderful poetry have won Hamlet a deserved place as Shakespeare's most popular and frequently-performed play. Any young person who has been deceived or disappointed by an adult has been the young prince; anyone who has ever felt alone in the modern world has wandered the castle at Elsinore. Thus Hamlet, who asks, ?Why am I here? is a hero for our times, as well as his own. To make Hamlet more accessible for the modern reader, our Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Edition includes a glossary of the more difficult words, as well as convenient sidebar notes to enlighten the reader on aspects that may be confusing or overlooked. In doing this, it is our intention that the reader may more fully enjoy the beauty of the verse, the wisdom of the insights, and the impact of the play.
William Shakespeare Book Summary : Aims to introduce students (including those with little or no prior experience of the field) to the worlds of Shakespeare and his theatre revealed in Hamlet. It begins by ‘Approaching Shakespeare’ as utterly a man of the theatre, a professional actor before he was a playwright and a resident dramatist who knew intimately the actors for whom he wrote. It continues by ‘Approaching Hamlet’ in that light, and as a revenge tragedy deliberately overloaded with complications. The middle chapters look in detail at the ‘Actors and Players’ of the drama, starting with the Ghost and ending with ‘the best actors in the world’, and at Shakespeare’s favourite ‘Acts and Devices’ as deployed within it. A final chapter considers Hamlet and Twelfth Night, written and premiered in close succession, as an unexpectedly resonant pair, a surprisingly funny revenge tragedy and a surprisingly bleak revenge comedy that for the first audiences would have complemented one another. The annotated Bibliography includes the current major editions of Hamlet, the major film-adaptations, and a selection of both the best criticism and the most useful websites.
Hamlet Prince of Denmark Book Summary : Philip Edwards aims to bring the reader, playgoer and director of Hamlet into the closest possible contact with Shakespeare's most famous and most perplexing play. In his Introduction Edwards considers the possibility that Shakespeare made important alterations to Hamlet as it neared production, creating differences between the two early texts, quarto and folio. Edwards concentrates on essentials, dealing succinctly with the huge volume of commentary and controversy which the play has provoked and offering a way forward which enables us once again to recognise its full tragic energy. For this updated edition, Robert Hapgood has added a section on prevailing critical and performance approaches to the play. He discusses film and stage performances, actors of the Hamlet role as well as directors of the play; his account of scholarship stresses the role of remembering and forgetting in the play, and the impact of feminist and performance studies.
Hamlet Book Summary : Hamlet is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601. The play, set in Denmark, recounts how Prince Hamlet exacts revenge on his uncle Claudius, who has murdered Hamlet's father, the King, and then taken the throne and married Hamlet's mother. The play vividly charts the course of real and feigned madness--from overwhelming grief to seething rage--and explores themes of treachery, revenge, incest, and moral corruption.
The Masks of Hamlet Book Summary : Hamlet's challenge: "You would pluck out the heart of my mystery - " Yes, we would. If we could. We can but try; and the best way to begin, this book suggests, is to share what distinguished actors, scholars, and critics have gleaned; and thus enriched by their experience forage in the text and come to know the play personally, intimately. Again and again Mr. Rosenberg will insist that only the individual reader or actor can determine Shakespeare's design of Hamlet's character - and of the play. More, the reader, to interpret Hamlet's words and actions at the many crises, needs to double in the role of actor, imagining the character from the inside as well as observing it from the outside. So every reader is deputed by the author to be an actor-reader, invited to participate within Hamlet's mystery. The critical moments are examined, the options and ambiguities discussed, and the decisions left to individual judgment and intuition. The mysteries of other major characters are similarly approached. What terrible sin haunts Gertrude, that she never confesses? What agonies hide behind Claudius' smile? Does Ophelia truly love Hamlet? Does she choose madness? What are Polonius' masked motives, as in using his daughter for bait for Hamlet? With how much effort must Laertes repress the conscience that finally torments him? Only the actor-reader can know. And the mystery of the play itself: by what magic did Shakespeare interweave poetic language, character, and stage action to create a drama that for centuries has absorbed the attention and admiration of readers and theatre audiences on every continent in the world? The reader-actor will find out. To prepare the actor-reader for insights, Mr. Rosenberg draws on major interpretations of the play worldwide, in theatre and in criticism, wherever possible from the first known performances to the present day. He discusses evidences of Hamlet's experience in Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, South America, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Yugoslavia. Theatres from a number of these countries provided the author with videotapes of their Hamlet performances; his study of these, and of films and recordings, and of a number of modern stagings in America and abroad, deepened his sense of the play, as did interviews with actors and directors, and insights sent to him by colleagues and friends from throughout the world. Mr. Rosenberg followed one Hamlet production through rehearsals to performance, for personal experience of the staging of the play he discusses, as he did in his earlier books, The Masks of Othello, The Masks of King Lear, and The Masks of Macbeth . And as with the latter two studies, he came upon further illuminations of Shakespeare's art by exposing Hamlet to "naive" spectators who had never read or seen the play.
A Synoptic Hamlet a Critical Synoptic Edition of the Second Quarto and First Folio Texts of Hamlet Book Summary : A Synoptic Hamlet is an alternative response to the editorial problems of this multiple-text play. Like most critical editions, it presents the early texts in a manner helpful to the general reader by modernizing spelling and punctuation, and emending non-sensical readings. However, it does not hide the text’s diversity by exclusively selecting readings from either the Second Quarto or the First Folio in order to reconstruct a single-reading version corresponding to the authentic Hamlet. Rather, it makes their significant variants immediately available in the line itself (offering alternative editorial interpretations of identical or similar readings at certain points). Thus the reader can have a direct appreciation of the divergence and similarity between these early texts from which the Hamlet of today is known.