This Norton Critical Edition of Hamlet features a newly edited text based on the Second Quarto (1604–05). It is accompanied by detailed explanatory annotations and appendices providing important passages from both the First Quarto Hamlet (1603) and the Folio Hamlet (1623). Robert S. Miola’s thought-provoking introduction, “Imagining Hamlet,” considers this tragedy as it has taken shape in the theater, in criticism, and in various cultures.
“The Actors’ Gallery” presents famous actors and actresses―among them Sarah Bernhardt, Ellen Terry, John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, Richard Burton, Kenneth Branagh, and Jude Law―reflecting on their roles in major productions of Hamlet for stage and screen. “Contexts” includes generous selections from the Bible, Greek (Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides) and Roman (Seneca) tragedies, Saxo Grammaticus, Dante, Thomas More, and Thomas Kyd.
“Criticism” reprints a wide range of historical and scholarly commentary including English critics (John Dryden, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Samuel Johnson), European and Russian writers (Voltaire, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Leo Tolstoy), and Americans (John Quincy Adams, Edgar Allan Poe, Abraham Lincoln). Recent scholarly writing takes various approaches to Hamlet―mythic (Gilbert Murray), psychoanalytic (Ernest Jones), comparativist (Harry Levin), feminist (Elaine Showalter), and New Historicist (Stephen Greenblatt), among others.
An engaging selection of Hamlet’s “Afterlives” includes the seventeenth-century Der Bestrafte Brudermord; David Garrick’s altered stage version; comic reflections by Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and Tom Stoppard; and selections from Heinrich Muller’s postmodern nightmare (Hamletmachine), Jawad al Assadi’s cynical Arab adaptation (Forget Hamlet), and John Updike’s haunting novel (Gertrude and Claudius).
A Selected Bibliography is also included.
- 2010 W.W. Norton & Company, Inc
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