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The Klingon Hamlet 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0671035785
ISBN-10: 0671035789
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Prepared by the Klingon Language Institute, The Klingon Hamlet presents full English and Klingon versions of Shakespeare's play side by side. Only experienced Klingon speakers will be able to fully appreciate the nuances of the Klingon-language version, but for anyone who has dabbled in the language, this is an excellent opportunity to acquire large chunks of authentic text to practice on. Most of the vocabulary used can be found in either The Klingon Dictionary or Klingon for the Galactic Traveler.

For non-Klingon speakers, there is Shakespeare's original text, an English-language introduction, and detailed endnotes, very wittily presented. These put forward the case that Shakespeare himself was a Klingon, and underline the essentially Klingon nature of this famous play, with its themes of honor and revenge. In creating the tragic figure of Hamlet, with his very un-Klingon propensity for brooding and procrastination, Shakespeare is believed to have been commenting on a culture becoming alienated from its traditional warlike virtues, and we are told that most Klingons find it a deeply disturbing play.

All in all, this is a very clever, well-presented interpretation of one of the world's most famous plays. The Klingon translation, in all the glory of its iambic pentameter, has been lovingly constructed, and is well worth the effort of reading at least a few favorite passages aloud. --Elizabeth Sourbut, Amazon.co.uk

Language Notes

Text: English
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Product Details

  • Series: Star Trek
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books/Star Trek; 1st edition (February 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671035789
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671035785
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #754,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By F. P. Barbieri on October 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
What a mad, hilarious enterprise this is. If anyone thinks this is merely a discharge of nerdishness, let them try and translate a whole Shakespeare play in ANY language - let alone one in which expressions and ways of thought have to be invented along with metre and rhyme. And as a matter of fact, this is not merely a well-made piece of whimsy: the emphasis of its "critical" parts on the warrior identity of "Khamlet" and the meaning of his sense of disgrace provide a useful, thought-provoking contrast to much of the "terran" critical tradition, which tends to neglect that Hamlet is a prince, a swordsman, a potential military leader, and that the warrior Fortinbras thought that "He was likely, had he been put on/ To have proved most royal".
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By A Customer on March 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
Finally, the general public can read Shakespeare as he should be read--in the warrior's tongue. This book, formerly only available to humans in a small run in hardback, is now out in paperback, far more accessible to students of Klingon culture. Hamlet is an insightful tale of an earlier time and a royal house fallen into such indecision and intrigue that even revenge is hesitant--a truly disturbing work.
To step back from the conceit of Wil'yam Shax'pir as Klingon dramatist and keen observer of the Klingon culture, the study and development of tlhInganHol is an amazing work, at least equaling Tolkien's linguistic inventions, and the translation of Hamlet is a true labor of lo--er, honor. I would buy a video/DVD of a performance of Hamlet in Klingon (with English subtitles) in a heartbeat, and I hope that otther works of Shakespeare are "restored."
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When we were told we could bring any old copy of Hamlet in for our dramaturgy class, I took the assignment literally. Needless to say, bringing Khamlet to class made for plenty of textual analysis to go 'round, not just about Hamlet, but about how Hamlet has been produced, performed and interpreted throughout the ages. You'll definately want to work on your pronounciation before showing it off, however, as you'll be asked to read Khamlet's soliloquy aloud in the original tlhIngan Hol. Also, Khamlet brings out the best in people: I discovered that two of my classmates and the professor were Trek-fans! The only thing preventing this from being five stars is that the book doesn't annotate either copy of the play as student copies do. That might not be a big deal for most people, but when I'm reading classic literature, I like having notes to explain some of the more esoteric references and changed meanings.
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As a long-time Star Trek fan, I had to buy this. It sits on my bookshelf in my classroom as a "conversation starter" I suppose. I only wish I could find a full performance on DVD somewhere - as I have only seen two scenes as bonus material on Star Trek Movie DVD collections. I would purchase other "translated" Shakespeare if it existed...Richard the Third and MacBeth would be obvious choices for this treatment.
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je' maH je chIS elephant nob qorDu' christmas ghom. 'oH lutmeyvam nob maH 'ach 'ach tlhaw' 'e' vIHar. 'ay' lugh 'ej vo' jIH, SeQpIr nIvbogh qaStaHvIS original tlhIngan reference vIyaj qorDu' qar.

(We purchased this as a white elephant gift for our family Christmas party. We haven't given it yet, but I think it will be a hit. The price was right and I come from a family that will understand the reference of Shakespeare being best in the original Klingon.)
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An excellent Shakespeare play AND an exercise in Klingon linguistics. This play, with its background about the original Klingon work, is a fun book for both Trekkies and those interested in the Bard's stories.
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I'm a big-time Trekkie and I love to read anything and everything I can about Star Trek. It's hard to find a lot of reading material of the local bookstores and the prices are very high. this is a great book a must-have for a Trekkie and you save on the price
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For all those wondering whether this is worth the read, let me say the Kang was right when he said you can't appreciate hamlet unless you've read it in Klingon. Ejoy!
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