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This book reads like a cross between a literary detective novel and a personal conversation with a passionate Shakespeare scholar, unpacking the play that Roth calls the seminal text of the humanist religion. It unveils new realities about the playsome of which have have lain hidden since Shakespeares dayuntangles centuries of commentary and criticism, and delivers the punch lines for a whole raft of Shakespeares remarkably involved in-jokes. Roths scholarship tackles old arguments like Hamlets age (hes sixteen), lays out the intricate time structure thats embedded in the play, and unravels several of the plays endless allusions that so puzzle the will. He depicts a dense, ironic, and multivalent web of political and dramatic tension in Elsinore (plus a great deal of humor), and delivers one ahamoment after another for lovers of the Bards greatest tragedy.