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Hamlet ( Folger Library Shakespeare) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 350 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England’s Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children—an older daughter Susanna and twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare’s working life was spent in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright and poet, but also as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Although some think that sometime between 1610 and 1613 Shakespeare retired from the theater and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616, others believe that he may have continued to work in London until close to his death.

Barbara A. Mowat is Director of Research emerita at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Consulting Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, and author of The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare’s Romances and of essays on Shakespeare’s plays and their editing.

Paul Werstine is Professor of English at the Graduate School and at King’s University College at Western University. He is a general editor of the New Variorum Shakespeare and author of Early Modern Playhouse Manuscripts and the Editing of Shakespeare and of many papers and articles on the printing and editing of Shakespeare’s plays.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1 edition (July 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074347712X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743477123
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (350 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Cannot tell which play I am reading once I pass the title page. Difficult to navigate to table of contents to find out; must keep paper notation to keep track.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book has an interesting layout, with definitions of words on the left, with the text of the story on the right. The book layout is the best layout I've seen of any Shakespeare book, and the size is right (you can take it with you!).

The story is legend - even speaking literally - apparently the story of Hamlet hearkens back to even older legends that predate Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Shakespeare is so quotable, and Hamlet is no different - you often find yourself saying "Oh, that's where that comes from!" and its like finding an old friend in a new story. "To be or not to be, that is the question" is one; so is "Neither a borrower nor a lender be" and so is "To thine own self be true". The book even comes with an appendix listing commonly quoted portions of the story and their source.

However, my favorite quote (but not well-known) from the play comes from Hamlet himself, and sums the character up well:

"O, from this time forth,

My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!"

Get this book, and have a good read! Then get more Shakespeare from the same series: you won't be sorry.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Despite its antiquated setting, Hamlet speaks to the average individual in ways that Julius Caesar or Macbeth do not, although they are obviously very worthy in different ways. Further, if you are a teacher of students disenfranchised in some way, this can be a very liberating text--not because of the literal plot, but due to the rich discussions that it provokes around how *not* to end up like either a modern Ophelia or Hamlet. Frankly, I am mystified why Macbeth is the traditional choice in Senior-level textbooks, since Hamlet has proven to be so much more interesting to young adults in my six years of HS teaching.

Free or extremely inexpensive texts are available on-line; however, I have found the Folger edition particularly useful in helping my students (and me) appreciate the finer points. For example, it's fun to see the meanings behind the flowers that crazy Ophelia hands out, which Folger explains while others don't. Too, do *you* know what a petard is, even though you've likely been hoisted on your own? Folgers does!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Amazon's Kindle edition of the Complete Works of Shakespeare is certainly worth the download because--'zounds!--it's SHAKESPEARE! It's kind of cool and very convenient to have all of the Bard's works fit into a large jacket pocket and not have to lug around a heavy tome. The plays are organized according to genre (comedies, tragedies, and histories) and listed alphabetically, and the table of contents makes for easy navigation within the canon. Woe to thee, however, if thou seekest any commentary, background material, or glossary for the works as no such creatures do inhabit this edition. And, if bare-faced truth may bespeak itself without offence, the odd typographical error doth, upon occasion, present itself. But thou gettest what thou payest for, and at ninety-nine cents it's well worth the price.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The Folger Libray edition is very useful for students who are unfamiliar with Elizabethan language, customs, and other oddities. The opposite page of the script acts as prompter, dictionary, and general explainer. My students found the edition easy to use and helpful.
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By Jason on January 15, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If anybody out there is willing to give Shakespeare's Hamlet a try, please select not just any text but this one from the Folger Shakespeare Library! Not only do they give you in-depth information on Shakespeare's life, his language, his theater, and a summary of Hamlet but the text also integrates assistance for the average every day reader to understand the story's vocabulary. Anybody who needs help by understanding Hamlet need look no further than the left page, which displays any confusing words or phrases and translates them into modern day terms. This way, anybody of ANY AGE can read Shakespeare! The key to this text is to not let Shakespeare's style frustrate you and give his books a chance-and the Folger Shakespeare Library is here for a simple study on not just the text itself but the era in which Shakespeare produces such memorable works.

The Folger Shakespeare Library is an excellent resource one should utilize in researching Shakespeare for a school assignment or to simply enjoy one of his many excellent plays.

I wish I could rate this text as six stars since Hamlet is, by far, my favorite Shakespeare story!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is one of the worlds greatest plays. There are many "quotes" from this play; one of my all-time favorites is written as Laertes gives advice to his son who is departing for France: Laertes continues his advice: "And this above all else, to thine own self be true. Then it must follow as the night the day, thou cans't not then be false to any man." But, for me, the idea that you can read this play with the original words by Shakespeare in Elizabethan English on the right page and the definitions and explanations of words and phrases conveniently on the left page is VERY needful and useful. This saves the reader much time in looking up words---or, as most people do, just skipping over passages that can't be understood due to words that are currently out of common usage. I think teachers who teach this stuff should be thrilled by this editon---finally most of their students can understand "Hamlet"! What a "boon" to teacher and student alike! See, I'm already starting to write like Shakespeare---well, not quite...yet! :o) If you have any comments: boland7214@aol.
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