- Series: Cambridge School Shakespeare
- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press; New edition edition (March 25, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521434947
- ISBN-13: 978-0521434942
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,608 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,862,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hamlet (Cambridge School Shakespeare) New edition Edition
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From Library Journal
The big H comes to Penguin's great revamped "Pelican Shakespeare" line. What else do you need to know? Buy it!
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
With text taken from the No Fear Shakespeare series, which modernized Shakespeare’s original language, this entry in the No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novels line makes the Bard even more accessible. The language has been further simplified, but not dumbed down, and the story stays true to the arc of the play, with the monologues and interiors nearly intact. Babra’s artwork, though far from flashy, is no mere window dressing, its clear, black-and-white scenes often shifting into a stark, expressionistic mode that heightens the drama. Along with a nicely digestible version of the play, this will give readers a feel for Shakespeare’s language and wordplay (many of the famous lines and naughty double entendres have been preserved). With all that going for it, this admirable effort is likely to succeed in the classroom, as well as appeal to those already drawn to Shakespeare. As far as graphic novel readers are concerned, however, sticking so close to the original may present a harder pill to swallow. Grades 9-12. --Ian Chipman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
"Doomed for a certain term to walk the night,
And for the day confined to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
Are burnt and purged away, But that I am forbid
to tell the secrets of my prison house,"
Rather than imagining this were some sort of counter reformation ploy, I think it's more productive and reflecting great Shakespearean subtlety here that he tacitly acknowledges, despite the dawning reformation and despite decrees of kings, that from history hundreds of years past, Christians have lived in the shadow of this Christian idea of Hell, of this purge-atorial belief.
Any reading of Shakespeare deserves generous amounts of annotation and commentary to help the reader through a lot of vocabulary which isn't often used in our day. So as to narrow my scope to a review rather than a book report, I would recommend that this edition fulfills that assignment, devoting more than half the book to historical review of religious and philosophical published material about the cultural beliefs regarding ghosts, spirits, demon kind, angels, death, the occult, and the medical humors, preceding Shakespeare's writings. And, great philosopher that the Bard is, he parodies the extraordinary political trouble in religion.
This didn't immediately sink in, when first I read the ghost's remark about marriage to his "most seeming virtuous queen." It is a ghost, only a shadow of who he used to be, who complains about his wife's 'new' filial relations with his murderous, but living brother. The metaphor is yet hanging in the air while Hamlet is confronting his mother the queen.
Another truly evil piece of work is the courtier Polonius, who Hamlet slays, spying on this same confrontation between the queen and Hamlet. Polonius really is the quintessence of Grimer Wormtongue. Not only does he achieve over-kill, poisoning the well between Ophelia and Hamlet, but from our first introduction to this family, when Ophelia's brother Laertes is traveling to a foreign city to study, even in one breath Polonius extends seeming wise counsel to his departing son, then, the minute Laertes back is turned, Polonius is spitting firebrands and madness; he employs ruffians to follow after his son, seem to befriend him, tempt him into any unseemly or un virtuous behavior they may and noise about vicious slander besides, ruining any chance of his establishing social contacts or successes of his own, which might otherwise lead him to forsake returning home.
So his daughter kills herself, pressured not only by Hamlet's feigned psychosis, but further fueled by her father's treachery. When Laertes returns home all unhinged with grief for his sister, no further allusions are given to the fruit of his father's villainy, where he had gone to study. But the evil king offers us a narrative foot note, summarizing well, I think, the emotional timbre of the author, whose son also had died,
"When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions..."
This has a nice setup with plenty of introductory material, but not so much that it was overwhelming. There are copious footnotes throughout the text that help translate how Shakespeare was using certain words. My daughter found this helpful since she in not familiar with Shakespeare's language. The font was easy to read (not too big, not too small) and, as with any play, there was plenty of room to make notes in the margins. I've used other versions of Shakespeare in the past such as the version Norton put out for college students and spark notes's No Fear Shakespeare, and I could this version to be a happy medium. I like that it had plenty of helpful notes, but unlike No Fear Shakespear it was not merely translating the entire play.
I really liked this version.