Customer Reviews: Hamlet ( Folger Library Shakespeare)
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on March 9, 2005
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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on July 29, 2007
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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on January 3, 2007
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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on January 15, 2006
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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on December 5, 2006
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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on April 19, 2008
If you ever thought about reading Shakespeare but was turned off or intimidated by the old english, not so with the new folger editions. Your basically reading the play on all the right sided pages , with the left pages reserved for all the definitions and explanations of the sayings and words that might be dificult to understand. This makes it very easy and enjoyable to read.
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on April 11, 2006
It's a good edition in terms of footnotes that help to describe what is happening throught the course of the play. Hamlet is Shakespeare's longest play and in my opinion his best. The speaches are beautiful and everything comes together so nicely. Hamlet is such a great character brcause he is so colpletely loveable and yet ridiculously frustrating. I definitley reccomend this if you are starting out with Shakespeare because it is likely to leave you wanting to read more of his works!
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on March 10, 2015
The notes in the back of the Folger copy are especially useful with some of the longer passages of the book, and when paired with the annotation system of the Kindle app, it make the book a much nicer experience.
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on January 14, 2016
I'm a fan of the layout of Folger Shakespeare Library. The covers are also beautiful, but the play on the right, explanation of archaic terms on the left style is very helpful to the reader and makes getting into Shakespeare much easier.

As for Hamlet, it is one of my favourite reads of all time. This was the one that made me fall in love with Shakespeare's writing. The best tragedy, in my, and may scholars', opinion.
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on June 27, 2014
I had to purchase this (and three other titles from this collection) for my class this term devoted to Shakespeare.
I honestly have never had any interest in reading Shakespeare. I enjoy Romeo and Juliet (movie version) but could never get into the reading the plays.
I like how the play is broken down with definitions and explanations. It definitely is aimed for a student trying to understand Shakespeare. I'm older now and I figured I would just learn to love Shakespeare like all writers and literary lovers, I just never have. But this book is helping me shift slowly. I am finally able to read it and think about it and really get a feeling about it, rather than rushing through them like I did in high school. I am glad the school had us purchase these versions for the class as I am pleased with them. And for the cost, it can't be beat at all!
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