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This is by far my favorite Shakespeare play (and probably my favorite play of all time). I think why I enjoy this play so much is how mentally ambiguous Hamlet is throughout the play. Is he only faking his crazy to find out who murdered his father, or is he slowly losing his mind in the process? I also enjoy how you interpret the play can be totally in the hands of how it is acted out through its various stage, TV and film interpretations. The first time I dealt with Hamlet was in a high school classroom setting and at first I didn’t understand the themes behind the story, but grew to love this play after analyzing it further in my Shakespeare college course and watching Kenneth Branagh’s 1996 film version.
I am a big fan of any version of Hamlet that takes care for Orphelia’s character and fleshes out her madness as much as it does for Hamlet’s. My favorite scene is his exchange with his beloved Orphelia in Act III Scene I where he goes completely bonkers on her (go thee to a NUNNERY!) simply because of the many ways you can interpret the scene in regards to how much of the exchange and the emotions behind it is fabricated and how much is real. If this scene didn’t make you cry, you need to re-read the scene until you DO CRY!
Anyways, read this and love it as much as I do.
— Kirstin Swartz
This Oxford Shakespeare
edition of Hamlet
represents a radically new text of the best known and most widely discussed of all Shakespearean tragedies. Arguing that the text currently accepted is not, in fact, the most authoritative version of the play, this new edition turns to the First Folio of 1623--Shakespeare's "fair copy"--that has been preserved for us in the Second Quarto. Introducing fresh theatrical momentum, this revision provides, as Shakespeare intended, a better, more practical acting script.
Professor Hibbard's illuminating and original introduction explains the process by which variant texts were fused in the eighteenth century to create the most commonly used text of today. Drawing on both critical and theatrical history, he shows how this fusion makes Hamlet seem a much more 'problematic' play than it was when it originally appeared in the First Folio of 1623. About the Series:
For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics
has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.