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The Definitive Scholar's Hamlet
on August 4, 2010
The Oxford Shakespeare editions are in my opinion the best for scholarly work. They all include introductory matter intended to catch the reader up with current Shakespearian research. This Hamlet edition is edited by G. R. Hibbard. It includes a general introduction that outlines the great tragedy's sources and history, including a lot of material concerning its early and contemporary production history. The text is taken from the Folio edition, but the volume also contains a textual introduction that explains the differences between the various Quarto editions and the Folio. In the text itself there are even notes to point out these differences. The footnotes do a great job of translating Shakespeare's English into more contemporary renderings. Even those new to Shakespearean English should have little trouble making their way through the text. The appendices outline even more distinctions between the various historical sources, sheet music for the songs in the play, and even material concerning the alterations made to the play's lineation. Once again, this edition was clearly designed with the serious scholar in mind. But even the casual Shakespeare reader will gain much from this edition.