Hamlet ( Folger Library Shakespeare)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Hamlet is Shakespeare’s most popular, and most puzzling, play. It follows the form of a “revenge tragedy,” in which the hero, Hamlet, seeks vengeance against his father’s murderer, his uncle Claudius, now the king of Denmark. Much of its fascination, however, lies in its uncertainties.
Among them: What is the Ghost—Hamlet’s father demanding justice, a tempting demon, an angelic messenger? Does Hamlet go mad, or merely pretend to? Once he is sure that Claudius is a murderer, why does he not act? Was his mother, Gertrude, unfaithful to her husband or complicit in his murder?
The authoritative edition of Hamlet from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:
-Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play
-Newly revised explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play
-Scene-by-scene plot summaries
-A key to the play’s famous lines and phrases
-An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language
-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books
-An up-to-date annotated guide to further reading
Essay by Michael Neill
The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, 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 Folger.edu.
VIoLENCE 113 because of, after 114 fire, water, earth, air: then considered the four basic elements 115 straggling, fantastically absurd/excessive and wandering ghost 116 hurries to his place of confinement (usually the grave) 117 proof 12 act 1 • scene 1 Marcellus It faded on the crowing of the cock. Some say that ever ’gainst118 that season comes Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated, The bird of dawning singeth all night long, 160 And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad,
at Greeks. His ántique sword, Rebellious259 to his arm, lies where it falls, 244 lying in ambush 245 of ill omen, indicative of disaster-to-come Trojan horse 246 appearance 247 armorial signs/symbols more prophetic of disastrous, calamitous 248 stained red 249 adorned, decked 250 and encrusted with the hot, dry, scorching 251 oppressive, severe 252 Priam, king of Troy: the murder is just about to occur 253 covered over with clotted/congealed blood 254 sapphires and other reddish precious
Methought I lay 5 Worse than the mutines in the bilboes.2 Rashly – And praised be rashness for it. Let us know Our indiscretion3 sometimes serves us well, When our deep plots do pall.4 And that should teach us There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, 10 Rough-hew5 them how we will – Horatio That is most certain. Hamlet Up from my cabin, My sea-gown scarfed6 about me, in the dark Groped I to find out them, had my desire,7 Fingered their packet, and in fine8 withdrew 15 To mine own
room again, making so bold, 1 learn, consider 2 the mutineers in long shackles (attached, on shipboard, to fixed iron bars) 3 let us keep in mind that our imprudence 4 when our weighty/dangerous plans weaken/fail 5 which should teach us there’s a divinity that directs/orders our purposes/ destinies, rough-cut them 6 loose garment of coarse cloth wrapped around me like a scarf 7 to locate Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, did as I wished (found them sleeping) 8 pilfered/stole their package of
and Hamlet, grappling with Laertes in the graveyard, accurately warns Laertes (being to that extent his father’s son) that as the prince he has something dangerous in him. But is Hamlet psychically ever armed for war? Claudius, popping in between the election and Hamlet’s hopes, could have shrewdly pled more than his nephew’s youth and inexperience while properly arguing that his own nature was better qualified for the throne. Hamlet, in the graveyard, shocked back from beyond affect, accurately