|Folger's Shakespeare Library presents these definitive editions of Shakespeare's classic tragedies, featuring scene-by-scene plot summaries, full explanatory notes, and much more. Original. (Plays/Drama)|
From the Publisher:
Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play
Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play
Scene-by-scene plot summaries
A key to famous lines and phrases
An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language
An essay by an outstanding scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books
Essay by Michael Neill
The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit www.folger.edu.
Since its first production in London in 1602, the tragedy of HAMLET has become Shakespeare's most famous play, staged thousands of times, and considered a masterpiece of English literature and culture. On the ramparts of the Danish castle, young Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, receives a visitation from the ghost of his dead father who reveals a betrayal "most foul strange and unnatural": the old king claims to have been murdered by his own brother, Claudius, who then assumed the throne and married his widow. Hamlet swears to seek vengeance against his uncle, but soon finds himself plagued by doubts, indecision, and moral and religious quandaries. As he struggles with his task, Hamlet feigns madness, speaks in riddles, and contemplates suicide. After he accidentally stabs Polonius, Claudius's counselor, Hamlet is sent into exile--and Polonius's daughter, Ophelia, who had been in love with Hamlet, goes mad from grief and drowns herself. In the tragedy's climax, Hamlet returns to Denmark and stages a play in the hopes of exposing his uncle's guilt, while unbeknownst to him, Claudius has set about plans to have Hamlet poisoned. HAMLET is part of the well-established tradition of "revenge tragedies" that were popular at the end of the Elizabethan era, but the play transcends all its influences in its examination of justice and duty, and as a subtle portrait of a sensitive young man torn between righteous revenge and his duty as a moral man. For many critics Hamlet's psychological and philosophical dilemmas represent the greatest depiction of the complexities of the modern man.