counter create hit Hamlet: By William Shakespeare & Illustrated (An Audiobook Free!) - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Hamlet: By William Shakespeare & Illustrated (An Audiobook Free!)

Availability: Ready to download

This "edition" is a part of "The Oxford Shakespeare: the Complete Works of William Shakespeare" (ISBN: 1-58734-055-0). The complete theatrical works of the immortal Bard, uniquely supplemented with annotations and critical analysis by a host of eminent scholars, including Samuel Coleridge and Samuel Johnson, plus a biography of Shakespeare himself. For the collection of the This "edition" is a part of "The Oxford Shakespeare: the Complete Works of William Shakespeare" (ISBN: 1-58734-055-0). The complete theatrical works of the immortal Bard, uniquely supplemented with annotations and critical analysis by a host of eminent scholars, including Samuel Coleridge and Samuel Johnson, plus a biography of Shakespeare himself. For the collection of the Shakespeare enthusiast, and the edification of the Shakespeare novice. * This "edition" is added for the purpose for those readers who only get their hands on this one story of "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" among all of the other stories that are included in the original book.


Compare
Ads Banner

This "edition" is a part of "The Oxford Shakespeare: the Complete Works of William Shakespeare" (ISBN: 1-58734-055-0). The complete theatrical works of the immortal Bard, uniquely supplemented with annotations and critical analysis by a host of eminent scholars, including Samuel Coleridge and Samuel Johnson, plus a biography of Shakespeare himself. For the collection of the This "edition" is a part of "The Oxford Shakespeare: the Complete Works of William Shakespeare" (ISBN: 1-58734-055-0). The complete theatrical works of the immortal Bard, uniquely supplemented with annotations and critical analysis by a host of eminent scholars, including Samuel Coleridge and Samuel Johnson, plus a biography of Shakespeare himself. For the collection of the Shakespeare enthusiast, and the edification of the Shakespeare novice. * This "edition" is added for the purpose for those readers who only get their hands on this one story of "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" among all of the other stories that are included in the original book.

30 review for Hamlet: By William Shakespeare & Illustrated (An Audiobook Free!)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

    Hamlet, abridged: GHOST/DAD: Hamlet, your uncle killed me and married your mom. I want vengeance, so best get to murdering, plzthnx. HAMLET: EEK! OPHELIA: Hamlet, are you okay? HAMLET: Get away from me, skankwhore! OPHELIA: WTF? *goes from zero to crazy like that* GERTRUDE: Kid, you need therapy. HAMLET: And you need to be less of AN ADULTEROUS WHORE! POLONIUS: OMG so rude! HAMLET: Eavesdropping? I KEEL YOU! *play goes on hold while Hamlet talks to skeletons* LAERTES: You killed my dad and drove my sis Hamlet, abridged: GHOST/DAD: Hamlet, your uncle killed me and married your mom. I want vengeance, so best get to murdering, plzthnx. HAMLET: EEK! OPHELIA: Hamlet, are you okay? HAMLET: Get away from me, skankwhore! OPHELIA: WTF? *goes from zero to crazy like that* GERTRUDE: Kid, you need therapy. HAMLET: And you need to be less of AN ADULTEROUS WHORE! POLONIUS: OMG so rude! HAMLET: Eavesdropping? I KEEL YOU! *play goes on hold while Hamlet talks to skeletons* LAERTES: You killed my dad and drove my sister to suicide, you jerk! I challenge you to a duel! HAMLET: I KEEL YOU! CLAUDIUS: MWAHAHAHA! I put poison in your goblet, Hamlet! GERTRUDE: Yum, poisoned wine. *dies* CLAUDIUS: Whoops, my bad. HAMLET: I KEEL YOU! GHOST/DAD: Wow, nice job son. Except for the part where you're bleeding all over my castle. HAMLET: Ah, dammit. *dies* And then the even more abridged version: ROCKS FALL, EVERYONE DIES. The end. Really, what's not to love? Read for: 12th grade AP English BONUS (courtesy of Married to the Sea, a webcomic you should probably read on a regular basis): http://www.marriedtothesea.com/021306... BONUS BONUS: Speaking of Ophelia...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    I don't have any earth-shattering insights to share from this most recent of god-knows-how-many readings, but this time through I was struck by: 1) what a damn fine piece of stagecraft this is, from the suspenseful, moody opening on the castle battlements to the solemn dead march carrying the prince offstage, and 2) how Shakespeare seems to want Hamlet's personality--particularly the wellspring of his actions (and lack of action)--to remain an enigma, and that he achieves this by infusing the ch I don't have any earth-shattering insights to share from this most recent of god-knows-how-many readings, but this time through I was struck by: 1) what a damn fine piece of stagecraft this is, from the suspenseful, moody opening on the castle battlements to the solemn dead march carrying the prince offstage, and 2) how Shakespeare seems to want Hamlet's personality--particularly the wellspring of his actions (and lack of action)--to remain an enigma, and that he achieves this by infusing the character with so much of himself--so much wit and poetry, so much despondency and savagery--that the result is that the audience simply bows before the great mystery of human personality, and that this reverence for the unknown lurking in the heart of an extraordinary man intensifies the sense of pity, horror and waste that fills us at the end of the play.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    The Skinhead Hamlet - Shakespeare's play translated into modern English. By Richard Curtis. Yes, that Richard Curtis! Note : those offended by the F word - LOOK AWAY NOW! And Georgia, if you've stumbled on this review by your funny old dad - this is ANOTHER Paul Bryant. Not me! ********* ACT I SCENE I The Battlements of Elsinore Castle. [Enter HAMLET, followed by GHOST:] GHOST: Oi! Mush! HAMLET: Yer? GHOST: I was fucked! [Exit GHOST:] HAMLET: O Fuck. [Exit HAMLET:] SCENE II The Throneroom. [Enter KING The Skinhead Hamlet - Shakespeare's play translated into modern English. By Richard Curtis. Yes, that Richard Curtis! Note : those offended by the F word - LOOK AWAY NOW! And Georgia, if you've stumbled on this review by your funny old dad - this is ANOTHER Paul Bryant. Not me! ********* ACT I SCENE I The Battlements of Elsinore Castle. [Enter HAMLET, followed by GHOST:] GHOST: Oi! Mush! HAMLET: Yer? GHOST: I was fucked! [Exit GHOST:] HAMLET: O Fuck. [Exit HAMLET:] SCENE II The Throneroom. [Enter KING CLAUDIUS, GERTRUDE, HAMLET and COURT:] CLAUDIUS: Oi! You, Hamlet, give over! HAMLET: Fuck off, won't you? [Exit CLAUDIUS, GERTRUDE, COURT:] HAMLET: (Alone) They could have fucking waited. [Enter HORATIO:] HORATIO: Oi! Watcha cock! HAMLET: Weeeeey! [Exeunt:] SCENE III Ophelia's Bedroom. [Enter OPHELIA and LAERTES:] LAERTES: I'm fucking off now. Watch Hamlet doesn't slip you one while I'm gone. OPHELIA: I'll be fucked if he does. [Exeunt:] SCENE IV The Battlements. [Enter HORATIO, HAMLET and GHOST.:] GHOST: Oi! Mush, get on with it! HAMLET: Who did it then? GHOST: That wanker Claudius. He poured fucking poison in my fucking ear! HAMLET: Fuck me! [Exeunt.:] ACT II SCENE I A corridor in the castle. [Enter HAMLET reading. Enter POLONIUS.:] POLONIUS: Oi! You! HAMLET: Fuck off, grandad! [Exit POLONIUS. Enter ROSENCRANZ and GUILDENSTERN.:] ROS & GUILD: Oi! Oi! Mucca! HAMLET: Fuck off, the pair of you! [Exit ROS & GUILD.:] HAMLET: (Alone) To fuck or be fucked. [Enter OPHELIA.:] OPHELIA: My Lord! HAMLET: Fuck off to a nunnery! [They exit in different directions.:] ACT III SCENE I The Throne Room. [Enter PLAYERS and all COURT.:] FIRST PLAYER: Full thirty times hath Phoebus cart... CLAUDIUS: I'll be fucked if I watch any more of this crap. [Exeunt.:] SCENE II Gertrude's Bedchamber. [Enter GERTRUDE and POLONIUS, who hides behind an arras.:] [Enter HAMLET.:] HAMLET: Oi! Slag! GERTRUDE: Watch your fucking mouth, kid! POLONIUS: (From behind the curtain) Too right. HAMLET: Who the fuck was that? [He stabs POLONIUS through the arras.:] POLONIUS: Fuck! [POLONIUS dies.:] HAMLET: Fuck! I thought it was that other wanker. [Exeunt.:] ACT IV SCENE I A Court Room. [Enter HAMLET, CLAUDIUS.:] CLAUDIUS: Fuck off to England then! HAMLET: Delighted, mush. SCENE II The Throne Room. [Enter OPHELIA, GERTRUDE and CLAUDIUS.:] OPHELIA: Here, cop a whack of this. [She hands GERTRUDE some rosemary and exits.:] CLAUDIUS: She's fucking round the twist, isn't she? GERTRUDE: (Looking out the window.) There is a willow grows aslant the brook. CLAUDIUS: Get on with it, slag. GERTRUDE: Ophelia's gone and fucking drowned! CLAUDIUS: Fuck! Laertes isn't half going to be browned off. [Exeunt.:] SCENE III A Corridor. [Enter LAERTES.:] LAERTES: (Alone) I'm going to fucking do this lot. [Enter CLAUDIUS.:] CLAUDIUS: I didn't fucking do it, mate. It was that wanker Hamlet. LAERTES: Well, fuck him. [Exeunt.:] ACT V SCENE I Hamlet's Bedchamber. [Enter HAMLET and HORATIO.:] HAMLET: I got this feeling I'm going to cop it, Horatio, and you know, I couldn't give a flying fuck. [Exeunt.:] SCENE II Large Hall. [Enter HAMLET, LAERTES, COURT, GERTRUDE, CLAUDIUS.:] LAERTES: Oi, wanker: let's get on with it. HAMLET: Delighted, fuckface. [They fight and both are poisoned by the poisoned sword.:] LAERTES: Fuck! HAMLET: Fuck! [The QUEEN drinks.:] GERTRUDE: Fucking odd wine! CLAUDIUS: You drunk the wrong fucking cup, you stupid cow! [GERTRUDE dies.:] HAMLET: (Pouring the poison down CLAUDIUS'S throat) Well, fuck you! CLAUDIUS: I'm fair and squarely fucked. [CLAUDIUS dies.:] LAERTES: Oi, mush: no hard feelings, eh? HAMLET: Yer. [LAERTES dies.:] HAMLET: Oi! Horatio! HORATIO: Yer? HAMLET: I'm fucked. The rest is fucking silence. [HAMLET dies.:] HORATIO: Fuck: that was no ordinary wanker, you know. [Enter FORTINBRAS.:] FORTINBRAS: What the fuck's going on here? HORATIO: A fucking mess, that's for sure. FORTINBRAS: No kidding. I see Hamlet's fucked. HORATIO: Yer. FORTINBRAS: Fucking shame: fucking good bloke. HORATIO: Too fucking right. FORTINBRAS: Fuck this for a lark then. Let's piss off. [Exeunt with alarums.:]

  4. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    shakespeare when pitching this play, probably: this is my OC hamlet. hes a prince. hes bisexual. hes moody, brooding, and is anywhere between the ages of 16 to 30 years old. and no, i am not taking constructive criticism. well, let me tell you what. im sold! i love hamlet. i love his angsty monologues. i love his sassy remarks. i love that he cant seem to shut up. i love his relationship with horatio. i love everything about him avoiding osric and his hat. i love that hes OTT and i seriously cant shakespeare when pitching this play, probably: this is my OC hamlet. hes a prince. hes bisexual. hes moody, brooding, and is anywhere between the ages of 16 to 30 years old. and no, i am not taking constructive criticism. well, let me tell you what. im sold! i love hamlet. i love his angsty monologues. i love his sassy remarks. i love that he cant seem to shut up. i love his relationship with horatio. i love everything about him avoiding osric and his hat. i love that hes OTT and i seriously cant get enough. also, for those of you who have read this, watch this. its great. ↠ 4.5 stars

  5. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    Updated review February 2017: This is my third time reading Hamlet and, like a fine wine... you know the rest. I read the same copy I've had lying around for years with one page of notes on the left and the play on the right. This time I was able to read most of the play without notes which was pretty awesome. Just had to glance over to figure out what some of the words meant, but I actually got the story this time. It's taken me three tries with a book that helps me cheat, but boy oh boy I final Updated review February 2017: This is my third time reading Hamlet and, like a fine wine... you know the rest. I read the same copy I've had lying around for years with one page of notes on the left and the play on the right. This time I was able to read most of the play without notes which was pretty awesome. Just had to glance over to figure out what some of the words meant, but I actually got the story this time. It's taken me three tries with a book that helps me cheat, but boy oh boy I finally got this down. It's beautiful! I loved it! It really hits a variety of genres and kept me turning the pages. It was weird... I read it pretty slowly to breathe in the language and take my time with it, even reading it out loud at times until my wife made me shut up. I tried to get her to play the female parts, but she wasn't feeling it. I guess she really just had the Queen of Ophelia so her options were limited. But yeah, I read it slowly but it also seemed to fly by at the same time. Hamlet is a very complex guy who goes through a range of emotions as the story unfolds. His monologues are just really great poetry that I wish I could memorize and just belt out randomly on a street corner or while I'm in the grocery store contemplating another unhealthy snack. To be or not to be... I loved the monologues. I loved when things just went nuts at times. The ending was just crazy and awesome. It's just a daggum fantastic story, and you should give it a shot if you haven't already. Find a copy that helps you and breaks down the language and all that. It's good. I've got Macbeth on the shelf, too. Might be time to revisit it and then tackle more Shakespeare. I've gotta be in the right mindset though. Can't just be reading all this nonsense all the time. I have real books waiting to be read, too. Books with real words and stuff. Previous review: I once asked a friend of mine if he liked Shakespeare to which he responded, "I don't dislike Shakespeare". That's exactly how I feel about him, too. In high school I was forced to read Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar. My thoughts on Shakespeare haven't really changed much in the past 15 years. His stories are great, but they were written so long ago that it's not always fun to read. I appreciate the hell out of the guy, but he will never be my first choice (or second or third) when I'm looking for something new to read. That being said, this was my favorite play to read through. Maybe I'm older now and find it easier and more enjoyable to read this stuff for pleasure rather than because I may have a pop quiz over the third act. I thought the story was fantastic and was surprised by how many lines I recognized from just being a human and dabbling in a little bit of culture every now and then. Would I have ever read this if it wasn't being read in a group to prepare for Infinite Jest? Nope. But, I did and I'm glad I took the time to do it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    Is it possible that I had only read the first 4 scenes and Hamlet already became one of my favorite male characters ever? YES! Why? He’s constantly wearing black and monologuing about how literally everything is hard and making everything more dramatic then it is, is so ME!? And this is considered a tragedy (which in some ways it is) but I found it so funny (probably because I have a dark soul) and I will definitely reread this at any given moment of peace. I absolutely loved this play, and I’m s Is it possible that I had only read the first 4 scenes and Hamlet already became one of my favorite male characters ever? YES! Why? He’s constantly wearing black and monologuing about how literally everything is hard and making everything more dramatic then it is, is so ME!? And this is considered a tragedy (which in some ways it is) but I found it so funny (probably because I have a dark soul) and I will definitely reread this at any given moment of peace. I absolutely loved this play, and I’m so happy that now I can say that I have read Shakespeare! I’m a cultured woman now y’all. 🙌😂

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elle (ellexamines)

    Here's the thing about Hamlet: if you see it and you hate it, you saw a terrible Hamlet. I don't care if it's given critical acclaim - fuck off, Kenneth Branagh - Hamlet is supposed to be compelling, and if you didn't find the character compelling, that actor didn't do their job. You need a Hamlet who knows the character, not a Hamlet who wants to do grace to the character or some shit. Here's the thing: I used to hate this play. Not lowkey hate, I fucking despised it. I thought it was boring an Here's the thing about Hamlet: if you see it and you hate it, you saw a terrible Hamlet. I don't care if it's given critical acclaim - fuck off, Kenneth Branagh - Hamlet is supposed to be compelling, and if you didn't find the character compelling, that actor didn't do their job. You need a Hamlet who knows the character, not a Hamlet who wants to do grace to the character or some shit. Here's the thing: I used to hate this play. Not lowkey hate, I fucking despised it. I thought it was boring and overrated and most of all, I thought Hamlet was a dick and a boring character. And then everything changed when the fire nation attacked when I saw Santa Cruz Shakespeare's 2016 production of Hamlet, starring actress Kate Eastwood Norris as Hamlet. (CHECK OUT HER AND OPHELIA ON THE RIGHT!! THE BLACK COAT AND PURPLE DRESS!! IF ANY OF Y'ALL HAVE A DUBIOUSLY LEGAL RECORDING OF THIS SHIT PLEASE LINK ME) I loved it. Not only did I love it; I loved it so much that my entire interpretation of the character changed. I keep using she/her pronouns to describe Hamlet because that actress has literally replaced the character in my head. And that is what Hamlet should be about. That is how you should feel after you watch a truly great production. You should feel like you've been inwardly changed as a person. You should also probably have cried at least once. // HI GUYS. HERE ARE MY CHARACTER PERFORMANCE OPINIONS. HAVE FUN ➽ In general, every character's pain should matter. Every character needs to matter, every character needs to make you feel. ➽ Hamlet shouldn't be an asshole. Hamlet is a very complex character, and yeah, he does a lot of screwing around with people. But his interactions with Horatio, all his interactions excluding Claudius in 1.2, his love letter to Ophelia, and other's descriptions of his newfound madness as being out of character paint a very different picture. It is not compelling to watch an asshole be an asshole for four hours. You know what's far more compelling? A kind young man struggling with grief and anger, informed suddenly that he must become cruel and unkind. Let's put emphasis on the “young” part. If you accept the first folio as real, the only line referring to his age establishes him as 20 at most. It is the second folio where the same line is changed to referring to a 23-year period since Yoric's death, rather than a 12-year period. As a result, the idea that he's thirty probably comes from dialogue changes as the Hamlet actor aged. I know no one read this, but Hamlet should be a teenager. ➽ A lot of people think of Ophelia's character as this very innocent virgin and I'm going to utterly disagree. Ophelia's character is about agency. Her character is doubted by all the other characters, yet keeps to her guns and continuously sticks up for herself. So many adaptations of this show will take away her agency and give it to the other characters, making her final mad scene seem silly and out of place. Do not let the narrative take her agency away. Emphasize her inner turmoil! Build up her ending madness! On a related note: if scene 3.1 between Hamlet and Ophelia didn't make you cry, I'm vetoing it. You are supposed to care about these two characters, both separately and together. You are supposed to feel both of their pains. You are not, not, not supposed to only care for Hamlet because of his blinding angst over his girlfriend. Give this moment to Ophelia. Give her the agency she deserves. ➽ Give the villains characterization too. It is so, so important to get Gertrude right. One of the best scenes in this entire show, to me, is the closet scene between Gertrude and Hamlet. But you have to make Gertrude's character interesting. Her pain has to matter as much as anyone else's. In general, y'all suck at portraying Claudius. He's obviously a bit of a smart villain in contrast to his heroic older brother, but that's not the extent of his characterization. Claudius is, in actuality, somewhat of a clever political player. You shouldn't love him, but if you hate him, this will not be as interesting a play. VERDICT: I fucking love this show. Please watch it before you read it because it's not as good unless you've seen a really good production. Save yourself and skip Branagh - Tennant's a little better, actually. Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube

  8. 5 out of 5

    daph pink 君は

    if you don't ship Hamratio did you even read the play???

  9. 5 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    Shakespeare is an adept poet and master of the language. He layers on jokes, puns, and references everywhere. He has a massive output of work, and a number of different plots. When we compare him to other authors, it is difficult to find anyone who stacks up--but then, we're often comparing him to the wrong people. Shakespeare didn't write books or pamphlets or epics, he wrote plays: short pieces of drama that were meant to be fast-paced and exciting. That they are mainly experienced today as bou Shakespeare is an adept poet and master of the language. He layers on jokes, puns, and references everywhere. He has a massive output of work, and a number of different plots. When we compare him to other authors, it is difficult to find anyone who stacks up--but then, we're often comparing him to the wrong people. Shakespeare didn't write books or pamphlets or epics, he wrote plays: short pieces of drama that were meant to be fast-paced and exciting. That they are mainly experienced today as bound books and not theatrical productions does not change their origins. If one wants to look at the achievements of Shakespeare, he should be compared to someone of a similar bent. He should be compared with prolific writers known for catchy jokes and phrases. Writers who reuse old plots, making fun of their traditions. Writers of work meant to be performed. Writers who aim for the lowest common denominator, while still including the occasional high-minded political commentary. He should be compared to the writers of South Park; or the Simpsons; or MAD Magazine. Shakespeare was meant to be lowbrow and political, but now it only reads that way to those who are well-educated enough to understand his language, reference, and the political scene of the time. If you do know the period lingo, then his plays are just as filthy as any episode of South Park. For example, the word 'wit' refers to a fellow's manhood (this one comes up a lot), here's an example from Much Ado About Nothing: Don Pedro: I said that thou hadst a great wit. Yay, said she, a great gross one. Nay, say I, a fine wit. Yay, said she, a fine little one. Nay, said I, a good wit. Just, said she, it hurts nobody. Plus there's the title of that play, which references the fact that 'nothing' was slang for a woman's maidenhead, which occurs also in Hamlet: Hamlet: That's a fair thought to lie between a maid's legs. Ophelia: What is, my lord? Hamlet: Nothing. He was also not one to pass up a good cunt joke. Shakespeare often refers to mythology because that was the standard pool of reference for authors at the time. Family Guy references 1980's pop culture. Is that any less esoteric? How esoteric will Mr. T be after 400 years (assuming he doesn't find his way into the latest testament of the bible anytime soon)? Additionally, all of Shakespeare's magnificent plots were lifted, sometimes whole cloth, from other books and histories, just like how sit coms reuse 'episode types' or borrow plots from popular movies. Shakespeare was not quite as visionary or deep as he is often given credit for. Rather, he was always so indistinct with the motives and thoughts of his characters that two critics could assign two completely different and conflicting motives, but find both equally well-supported. Is Shylock evil because he's a Jew, evil despite the fact, or evil because of the effects of racism on him? You can make a case for all three. Marlowe (the more practised and precise writer) never left interpretation to chance, and where has it gotten him? Shakespeare was an inspired and prolific author, and his effect on writing and talent for aphorism cannot be overstated. I think he probably wrote the King James version because it is so pretty. However, he is not the be-all and end-all of writing. His popularity and central position in the canon comes mainly from the fact that you can write anything you like about his plays. Critics and professors don't have to scramble, or even leave their comfort zone. Shakespeare's work is opaque enough that it rejects no particular interpretation. No matter your opinions, you can find them reflected in Shakespeare; or at least, not outright refuted. His is a grey world, and his lack of agenda leaves us pondering what he could possibly have been like as a person. His indirect approach makes his writing the perfect representation of an unsure, unjust world. No one is really right or wrong, and even if they were, there would be no way to prove it. I don't know whether this makes him the most or least poignant of writers. Is the author's absence from the stories the most rarefied example of the craft, or is it just lighthearted pandering? Either way, he's still a clever, amusing, insightful, and helplessly dirty fellow.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I bought a skull as my only prop for Halloween dress-up, and I hope someone will recognise that I will be Hamlet. As spontaneous actions always need to be followed by bookish contemplation for full satisfaction, I am preparing for the event by rereading the whole play. Somewhere in the middle I started laughing at Hamlet's advice to Ophelia: "To the nunnery!" For who wants to end up a breeder of sinners? I rejoiced at the fact that fake news are as old as the rotten state of states in general, an I bought a skull as my only prop for Halloween dress-up, and I hope someone will recognise that I will be Hamlet. As spontaneous actions always need to be followed by bookish contemplation for full satisfaction, I am preparing for the event by rereading the whole play. Somewhere in the middle I started laughing at Hamlet's advice to Ophelia: "To the nunnery!" For who wants to end up a breeder of sinners? I rejoiced at the fact that fake news are as old as the rotten state of states in general, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern made my day, several times. I loved the play inside the play, and what it tells us of Shakespeare's idea regarding the power of literature to move and affect people on the deepest level. I quite coldly skim the overquoted "to be or not to be", and stop cold at "Faith! Her privates we." Her privates we? Meaning the middle parts of fortune? I have Manning's book at home, and I have been meaning to read it forever, and I didn't have a clue that the title was a quote from Hamlet, and that it referred to female genitals. I am not even at the point yet in the play where my skull makes an appearance, alas Yorick!, but I have already started a new book based on my rereading of Hamlet. That is what happens to readers, - stories affect them, they react, and that reaction generates new action, followed by new stories, in eternity - a precious circle. That's Hamlet. Hamlet is human in a rotten state. Who knows whether he is insane or not? I guess it depends on who you ask. I am still feeling kind towards him. Ophelia's fate is still in the future, as is the cathartic show effect of taking up the bodies to the stage. When going to bed later, after finishing the last acts, Maestro Shakespeare may be out of my favour again. But that is another story...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    “Madness in great ones must not unwatch’d go.” I don’t know what to say about Hamlet. I could go on about how it is a story of madness and revenge. I could talk about the bonds of family loyalty, the sacrifices of love, the breaches of trust and their deleterious effects on the psyche. But this is old news—Hamlet has been around for over four hundred years. What could I possibly say that hasn’t already been said? When my wife saw I was reading Shakespeare, her snippy comment went something like, “ “Madness in great ones must not unwatch’d go.” I don’t know what to say about Hamlet. I could go on about how it is a story of madness and revenge. I could talk about the bonds of family loyalty, the sacrifices of love, the breaches of trust and their deleterious effects on the psyche. But this is old news—Hamlet has been around for over four hundred years. What could I possibly say that hasn’t already been said? When my wife saw I was reading Shakespeare, her snippy comment went something like, “What are you reading that for? Don’t you you have enough drama in your life?” Which, thanks Cristina, and yes I suppose I do, but what of it? Drama can be so much freaking fun. There is a reason it sells, a reason there are countless dramatic television shows on the air, countless box office films released each year rehashing the same old dramatic plotlines (some to great effect; others, not so much). And there is a reason people are still reading Shakespeare centuries upon centuries after his death: they are fun, they are witty, they are ever so dramatic. Hamlet is no exception. With plot elements involving fratricide, lethal potions, mistaken identity, forgery of correspondence, espionage and treachery, along with a solid dose of hanging out with the ghosts of dead relatives, one could imagine I’m reviewing an episode of General Hospital. But what is Hamlet if not a soap opera for the Elizabethans? It is an epically tragic train wreck crammed into five tiny acts. What makes this piece of drama so timeless, though, is that its action is served in such perfect complement by its depiction of character. We all know what Prince Hamlet is going to do before he does it. Hamlet himself, even while doubting his abilities and struggling with his resolve, knows how it’s going to all play out. Why else would he be so cruel to Ophelia? And yet it is this internal turmoil that fuels our interest in the action. It might seem like an ordinary train wreck at its surface, but upon deeper inspection it is a train wreck in whose conductors and engineers we have a vested interest. So, witty discourse meets fast-paced drama meets penetrating character introspection? It almost makes me wonder what would have become of Luke and Laura had William Shakespeare been in charge of the script.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    According to reports, Gillian Flynn is set to release a retelling of Hamlet as part of the Hogarth Shakespeare project in 2021, so this felt like the right time to reread this delightful Shakespeare play. Enjoyed all over again!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jibran

    It is only when I read and compare across languages that I realise what a hard and thankless job translation is, especially older texts and more so when there's a significant cultural distance between languages. Shakespeare's diction is so profoundly poetic and idiomatic that it might be thought untranslatable, even when it is rendered into modern English idiom, it loses its antique beauty when tampered with, like those monuments reconstructed from history that look like originals but actually a It is only when I read and compare across languages that I realise what a hard and thankless job translation is, especially older texts and more so when there's a significant cultural distance between languages. Shakespeare's diction is so profoundly poetic and idiomatic that it might be thought untranslatable, even when it is rendered into modern English idiom, it loses its antique beauty when tampered with, like those monuments reconstructed from history that look like originals but actually are not. And so reading Shakespeare in Urdu was always going to be a fascinating experience. I commend Firaq Gorakhpuri's consummate skill in recreating Hamlet in an idiom that recalls the dying days of the classical dialect mixed in with sufficient modernist invention to keep it coherent, but without employing too many calques and direct borrowings which would have grated on my nerves. I also like that the translator did not depart from the prose-poetry form of the original. All in all, this translation of Hamlet may go down as one of the finest examples of how to translate classical English literature, and not just Shakespeare, in a language that is fast losing translations from other cultures. December '16

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dolors

    “All that is amiable and excellent in nature is combined in Hamlet, with the exception of one quality. He is a man living in meditation, called upon to act by every motive human and divine, but the great object of his life is defeated by continually resolving to do, yet doing nothing but resolve.” Lecture XII, STC. As much as I admire Coleridge and with the boldness of having read Hamlet only once and therefore being aware I haven’t even managed to scratch the surface of the Paragon of Tragedies “All that is amiable and excellent in nature is combined in Hamlet, with the exception of one quality. He is a man living in meditation, called upon to act by every motive human and divine, but the great object of his life is defeated by continually resolving to do, yet doing nothing but resolve.” Lecture XII, STC. As much as I admire Coleridge and with the boldness of having read Hamlet only once and therefore being aware I haven’t even managed to scratch the surface of the Paragon of Tragedies, I dare to antagonize the poet and proclaim that I resist the idea of linking Hamlet’s moral idealism to reprehensible inaction. The Prince of Denmark’s obsession is to think, not to act, and in spite of having been dethroned by his duplicitous uncle, he seems to count with the favor of the common people. But Hamlet can’t help being haunted by the sickness of life and he retreats into the abyss of his inwardness. He is plagued by endless questions that paralyze him in meditation: “What a piece of work is a man!... And yet to me what is this quintessence of dust?”. In the opening scene of Act I, a melancholic dejection has already taken hold of The Prince and, whether in self-preservation or in fear of foul reality, he engages in deluded gibberish easily attributable to a man whose reason has abandoned him. And yet his inquisitive soliloquies are infused with the elucidating sharpness of a genius, someone with great intellectual capacity who taunts with puns and riddles that contain receding depths and layers and layers of meaning in them. “The widow being oppressed, the orphan wronged, The taste of hunger, or a tyrant’s reign, And thousand more calamities besides, To grunt and sweat under this weary life, When that he may his full quietus make, With a bare bodkin, who would this endure, But for a hope of something after death?” Spontaneous philosopher or irredeemably insane? The world of Hamlet is phantasmagorical, in constant disruption with the burdens of the past, the betrayals of the present and the falsehood of the future. Everybody around him seems to have hidden agendas. He observes, he ponders, he pretends not to see the King’s debasing lust and murderous greed, Polonius’ machiavellian maneuvers, the Queen’s disgusting shallowness, Ophelia’s gullible innocence. Yet his keen eyes discern it all…but at what cost? “Great wit to madness nearly is allied" The afflictions of life require greatness of spirit and Hamlet meets his fate fully aware that logic, reason and justice are not enough to disentangle the quandaries of existence. In the course of the action though, a transformation has taken place in him, the doubtful Prince has grown in wisdom and is ready to submit to providence without repudiating the world. The welfare of the Kingdom, the sense of honor, the corroding lust or ambition, all dissolve in the spectacle of beholding the spirit of man blossoming and most triumphant… in defeat.

  15. 5 out of 5

    J.L. Sutton

    “Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.” Not sure how many times I've read or watched William Shakespeare's Hamlet. The writing is fantastic! It's amazing to me how much of this play now exists in the realm of well-known quotes (more so than in any other Shakespeare play I'm aware of). Still, and I'm sure this is owing to Shakespeare's great talent, it feels fresh and I'm engaged in the story. And it is a story that works on so many levels. One of my favorite Shakespeare plays! “Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.” Not sure how many times I've read or watched William Shakespeare's Hamlet. The writing is fantastic! It's amazing to me how much of this play now exists in the realm of well-known quotes (more so than in any other Shakespeare play I'm aware of). Still, and I'm sure this is owing to Shakespeare's great talent, it feels fresh and I'm engaged in the story. And it is a story that works on so many levels. One of my favorite Shakespeare plays!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Jesus Christ what a year no way could this get worse now they're hacking away at each other with their swords and I'm supposed to look interested oh well done Hamlet despite everything he's still my son that was a lovely feint pretty worried about Laertes though he looks so crazy first his dad and then his sister wish I could do something to help oh come on who am I kidding it's Hamlet I'm worried about of course God what am I going to do that poor kid is totally fucked and he thinks it's all my Jesus Christ what a year no way could this get worse now they're hacking away at each other with their swords and I'm supposed to look interested oh well done Hamlet despite everything he's still my son that was a lovely feint pretty worried about Laertes though he looks so crazy first his dad and then his sister wish I could do something to help oh come on who am I kidding it's Hamlet I'm worried about of course God what am I going to do that poor kid is totally fucked and he thinks it's all my fault I told Claudius it wasn't smart to hush up what happened to Kingy they'd only believe he'd done it was I right or was I right of course with the two of us carrying on it did look suspicious don't blame people for jumping to conclusions I wish he hadn't broken up with Ophelia she seemed like such a nice girl everything just got worse after that he was so mean to her takes after his father that way know how she felt there were moments I could have jumped in the river myself and then lecturing me on my sex life I couldn't believe it honestly teenagers all think they've invented sex they can't imagine anyone over twenty still does it I'm only thirty-six for crying out loud I'm in my sexual prime not that I was getting much before Claudius noticed me poor old Kingy completely hopeless in bed have to hand it to Claudius even if he is a bastard he's the first man who's ever given me an orgasm can't imagine what Hamlet would say if I told him that bad enough as it is oh for Christ's sake Laertes what do you think you're doing that's not a real sword you know sweet Mary mother of God I need a drink but if Claudius sees me he'll start going on again about my alcohol consumption I'll wait until his back is turned and grab a quick one before he notices right here's my chance one glass won't k---

  17. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

    I’ve always meant to talk to my mate George about Hamlet and I guess this is as good an opportunity to do so as any. There are different things I would say to different people about Hamlet – and as this is the near perfect play I guess there ought to be many and various things one could say about it. The oddest thing about Hamlet is that people always tend to say the same thing – they always say, “Oh yes, Hamlet, the man who hesitates”. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t believe i I’ve always meant to talk to my mate George about Hamlet and I guess this is as good an opportunity to do so as any. There are different things I would say to different people about Hamlet – and as this is the near perfect play I guess there ought to be many and various things one could say about it. The oddest thing about Hamlet is that people always tend to say the same thing – they always say, “Oh yes, Hamlet, the man who hesitates”. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t believe in capital punishment, but I do think that corporal punishment is much maligned and if one does not deserve a slap for saying Hamlet hesitates, it is hard to see what one should be slapped for at all. Aristotle was a top bloke, one of my favourites. In his poetics he says what he thinks makes a good tragedy. The first thing is that you needed a fall from grace. It is hardly a tragedy if the tragic figure is already at the bottom of the heap. There has got to be a fall or there really is no tragedy. So, tragedies are about kings and such – not (excuse my French, but I’ve just finished reading Simenon) ‘shit kickers’. Miller’s Death of a Salesman is famous as a modern tragedy, not least as it breaks this Aristotelian requirement for the tragic figure to be from the upper classes. Aristotle then thought that if the play was going to work as a tragedy the person about to undergo a tragic fall should have some flaw that was pretty ‘human’ and therefore something that would make sense to the audience. The feeling the writer of a tragic play wants to convey to his audience is pretty much, ‘there but for the grace of god go I’. The flaw needs to be fairly easy to identify – pride, for example, or lust – something easy to spot and it needs to be the reason for the downfall. Well, Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark, so he has a long way to fall. But just what is his tragic flaw? And this is where so many rush in and say, “He hesitates.” But I beg to differ. I think Hamlet is an enlightenment figure in an age only just (and even then, not quite) casting off the last remnants of the dark ages – and Shakespeare is an enlightenment figure doing much the same. It is important to remember that Shakespeare is writing at a time when King James is king. James was a very interesting King – not simply because he was homosexual and spent a lot of time chasing young men around the castle. But for me the most illuminating story of him – and he is mostly remembered for the Bible that bears his name – is to do with his new bride’s little trip over from Norway. On her way to England a storm blow up and made her crossing incredibly dangerous and frightening. James was not impressed. He decided that the storm was caused by the ill-will of local witches (as one does) – so a goodly number of old women were gathered together and killed for daring to cause such an irritation for his new bride. Like I said, the Enlightenment hasn’t quite taken hold, but we are getting there. In my view the people who say that Hamlet hesitates are dark age types. What happens in the story? Hamlet is called by his best friend to see his father’s ghost wandering around at night – his father’s ghost tells him that he has been killed by Hamlet’s uncle and that Hamlet should kill his uncle in revenge. In the dark ages this would have been enough. However, Hamlet decides to test what the ghost has told him by putting on a play in which the circumstances of the murder are acted out in front of his uncle to see if he gives himself away – he does and Hamlet almost immediately tries to kill him (deciding against it on religious grounds the first opportunity that arises – interestingly) and then mistakenly kills the Prime Minister about five minutes later. So, does he hesitate? Well, yes. But only in the sense that trying to confirm the advice presented by a ghost before killing your uncle is a bad idea. The fact that pausing is anything but reasonable after the enlightenment should give us pause to think (which is about all that Hamlet does – hardly a ‘tragic flaw’). I love this play – I think it is one of the greatest things ever written in our language. I love the way Shakespeare plays with Hamlet’s madness and compares and contrasts with Ophelia’s true (and horrific) madness. Imagine your lover killing your father – what a complete nightmare. I’ve never understood why there is no such thing as an Ophelia complex. Not least as it would seem to me that many women must feel that being with their husband / lover must feel like killing off their family. There is so much in this play to talk about – it is truly endless. That people go on and on about it being about hesitation really is saying just about the dullest thing about it. Hamlet is playing with forces greater than himself – he is trying to understand those forces, as he is a thoughtful, rational person, but sometimes we are too close to what is going on in our lives to really get to see – even if we are incredibly clever. Sometimes only those outside can see and understand. There are some interesting Oedipal themes going on here too. The only thing that bothers me about this play is that at the end everyone ends up dead – I mean, if it wasn’t for Hamlet, even Horatio would have snuffed it. I’m not sure that really is the most satisfying end to a play – where the only way things can go on is for everyone affected to be dead. Lear is much the same, but worse in so many ways. Death always seems the easy way out in these things – the real tragedy of human existence isn’t death, but being forced to live on. As Oedipus must go on, even after plucking his own eyes out. Ah, but you know what those bloody Greeks are like, George. ‘Unrelenting’ is the word I’m struggling for.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sean Barrs

    Well, I’m an English literature student and I absolutely love Shakespeare’s plays. This is nothing unusual or exciting. Most English student’s live for Shakespeare. So far I’ve enjoyed reading, and studying, everything of his that’s popped up on the reading list until this came along. My reaction surprised me most of all, I never expected to find something of Shakespeare’s that I not only dislike, but also detest. This is also one of his most revered plays, and it’s also considered one of his gr Well, I’m an English literature student and I absolutely love Shakespeare’s plays. This is nothing unusual or exciting. Most English student’s live for Shakespeare. So far I’ve enjoyed reading, and studying, everything of his that’s popped up on the reading list until this came along. My reaction surprised me most of all, I never expected to find something of Shakespeare’s that I not only dislike, but also detest. This is also one of his most revered plays, and it’s also considered one of his greatest tragedies. So I’m somewhat dumfounded at my reaction. This play was frustrating, annoying and damn right revolting. Now, I know what you’re thinking: ‘who has the right to actually criticise this masterpiece?’ Well no one does. Objectively speaking it is, of course, a work of sheer brilliance. But, that doesn’t mean I have to like it or enjoy reading it. Today I sat through three hours of my lecturer praising this and calling it one of Shakespeare’s most important plays because it marked an important change within his career as dramatist and development as a writer. That’s all well and good, I can see that; and I appreciate that. However, Hamlet is one of the most idiotic and self-obsessed characters in creation. His inaction defines him as a tragic character, but to my mind that’s just silly. He caused his own death and the death of everyone in the play; yes, again, this makes his inaction tragic but it was also completely self-defeating; it boarded upon the absurd. The man needed a slap and a reality check, I just find him so unbearably frustrating. I’m not arguing against the play’s literary merit, so please don’t get defensive with me in the comments section. It is an iconic piece of literature; it can’t be denied. However, I am going to lay down three points of reasoning as to why I disliked it so. 1. A crap idea for revenge Hamlet’s revenge makes no sense; it is completely illogical. His uncle has killed his farther; he has personally murdered his own brother by pouring poison into his ear. This man, Claudius, has no empathy; he has no conscience. If a man can so callously kill his own brother, then, surely, logically speaking, trying to appeal to his sense of regret is almost pointless. He’s murdered his brother and has taken his place. He’s filled that role; he doesn’t care who he’s killed in the process. But, yet, somehow, this cold hearted man is deeply affected by his deed that is manifested in Hamlet's mock play. The idea for revenge shouldn’t have worked, but it did. Claudius admits his guild, in prayer, and sets Hamlet into a more crazed state. How is this revenge? 2. Hamlet is a fool Hamlet needed to step and truly consider his situation; yes, he does this in five soliloquies, but he never considered one angle; he never considers that his inaction could lead to a worse result that acting directly. He stages a play for the King to get revenge after much indecisiveness. The most direct action of revenge would have been to simply run the King through with a sword in the throne room or to poison him in kind. This would have made him a murderer, so it was off the table. He could have clenched his fists, and grinded his teeth, and just got on with the situation. But, to do so would be to ignore his father’s spirits’ request for revenge. So he could not really go down either route, but to do neither is worse than simply ignoring one. It leads to the bloodbath that is the final scene, which forced his hand. On a character level, I think of Hamlet as a coward who, ultimately, causes his own fate. This isn’t why I dislike him; he makes the play a tragedy, but it’s the illogical nature of his actions that condemns him in my estimation. He has two roads before him, and instead of taking either he forces a third road that is more detrimental than either. 3. He is too self-obsessed Hamlet barely considers anyone else. To his mind, his uncle marrying his mother is incest. In renaissance England this was as bad as full blown incest. Claudius and Gertrude were only in-laws: siblings by marriage. So by today’s standards it’s not that immoral. Regardless, though Hamlet doesn’t consider how his mother feels about this. He is repulsed by the notion, but she could be in love or she could be in the more likely eventuality of a forced marriage. Hamlet doesn’t consider her feelings; he is just repulsed by the idea of their marriage rather than the emotions and bond that may or may not be involved. This doesn’t make him a bad person, but, when considered with my other two points, I think it make him somewhat idiotic, selfish and frustrating. I simply dislike this play because I’m practically repulsed by its “tragic hero.” I recognise that this is an unpopular opinion, and I cannot help but think that I should have liked the play. But, Hamlet just infuriates me far too much for me to overlook my dissatisfaction with him and admire the play's formal features. I just cannot personally like it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amit Mishra

    Because the figure of Hamlet has so fascinated successive generations, the play has provoked more discussion, more performances and more scholarship than any other in the whole history of world drama.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    Update: I've been messaging with an academic who wants to quote this review in a scholarly research article! They liked that this review was so "pithy," LOL. I'm kind of tickled. My favorite Shakespeare play! Murdering throne-usurping uncle, Hamlet's ghost father demanding revenge, pretend insanity, death, real insanity, everyone plotting against each other, death, play within a play, more death, all wrapped up with insanely good poetry. And death. But the revenge comes first, so it's all good.

  21. 5 out of 5

    James

    Book Review 4 out of 5 stars to Hamlet, a tragedy published in 1600 by William Shakespeare. Buckle your seat belts, as I have a 38 page review to share... Just Kidding! Well, I do have a lengthy review I could include from a previous course on Shakespeare, but I will not do so here... chance are you've already read the play or seen some film adaption, perhaps even a staged version. I've seen a bunch of them and read the place 4 times (once in high school, twice in college and once jus Book Review 4 out of 5 stars to Hamlet, a tragedy published in 1600 by William Shakespeare. Buckle your seat belts, as I have a 38 page review to share... Just Kidding! Well, I do have a lengthy review I could include from a previous course on Shakespeare, but I will not do so here... chance are you've already read the play or seen some film adaption, perhaps even a staged version. I've seen a bunch of them and read the place 4 times (once in high school, twice in college and once just for pleasure). Here's the thing about this play: There is WAY too much to absorb in just one or two reads. Each time you read the play, you pick up on new interpretations, new meanings and new thought patterns. Each time you watch a new performance, the actors and directors choose a different angle or approach. Hamlet is all of us. And we will always take from it something we want to believe... likely based on what's going on in our life at that time. If you are having relationship issues, you'll probably focus on that aspect of Hamlet's life. If you feel depressed, you'll questions "to be or not to be." If you are happy, you'll root for him to do the right things. I'm not sure if that's how Shakespeare intended it to happen, but he certainly left it open on purpose. Maybe not to allow us to have completely widespread views and interpretations, but enough to choose the key things we want to focus on. I think maybe I need to read it again this summer! About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Fabian {Councillor}

    Isn't it always a delight to delve into one of Shakespeare's world-famous plays? Like many others, I had been forced to read Shakespeare in school (Romeo & Juliet, as in my case), and unfamiliar with all the important literary classics as I was back then, I had a lot of troubles with the rather outmoded language. After finally finishing that play, not only was I relieved to have conquered it successfully, no, it had also raised my interest for other Shakespearian plays. Macbeth, Julius Caesar, A Isn't it always a delight to delve into one of Shakespeare's world-famous plays? Like many others, I had been forced to read Shakespeare in school (Romeo & Juliet, as in my case), and unfamiliar with all the important literary classics as I was back then, I had a lot of troubles with the rather outmoded language. After finally finishing that play, not only was I relieved to have conquered it successfully, no, it had also raised my interest for other Shakespearian plays. Macbeth, Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night's Dream - all of them are fantastic plays and an intriguing choice to spend some hours with. But none of them left me as enthralled, shocked and intrigued as Hamlet did. Everyone is probably familiar with the basic storyline of Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, and his story of revenge. You may call into question Hamlet's intelligence in the performance of his revenge, but this does not erase the way Shakespeare has so beautifully written one of his most well-known plays to engage readers of the original text as well as viewers of the stage performances alike. The play has been discussed and analyzed so many times already that it probably does not need yet another review, especially since I don't consider myself to be in the position to elaborately judge or even criticize the sophisticated language or the engaging storyline. I'd recommend this tale to everyone, even (or especially) if you don't know Shakespeare yet or don't want to read anything else by him due to negative experiences with his other plays. Hamlet may be called a classic thriller in its essence, but it is also an exploration on themes like humanity or the worth of whether revenge as a reaction to certain deeds is truly appropriate. Read and judge it for yourself, but read it. Until now, I have been reading Shakespeare's plays mostly because I thought everyone has to at some point, but Hamlet turned out to be a compelling reading journey, even if you are already familiar with the basic concept of the story.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    "To be or not to be...," that is not my favorite line. My favorite is: "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times." It's that recollection of innocent days that gets me every time, because you know Hamlet is being swept up in a vortex of innocence lost. STUPID ADULTS! They screw up everything! I grew up in a truly idyllic setting. As childhoods go, mine was a joy. But then you grow up and you wake up t "To be or not to be...," that is not my favorite line. My favorite is: "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times." It's that recollection of innocent days that gets me every time, because you know Hamlet is being swept up in a vortex of innocence lost. STUPID ADULTS! They screw up everything! I grew up in a truly idyllic setting. As childhoods go, mine was a joy. But then you grow up and you wake up to reality. My introduction to Hamlet came during high school in my early teen years. Its murderous plot of family deceit and infidelity struck home, my family being likewise stricken with such maladies. The parallels were all too similar and I love/hated the play for driving it all home. Mel Gibson's movie version came out at this time, and its over-simplification and emotional heightening was a perfect fit for a simple-minded, emotionally-blinded teen. Less than stellar, the movie nonetheless had its effect upon me, furthering the torment. Luckily my family drama was not as murdery as Hamlet's, although if the personalities of some of the principle players were slightly more volatile, there could easily have been a bloodbath of Hamlet-esque proportions. In my reality, we all got over it, sorted it out, and moved on with our lives wherever they led. The beauty of fiction is to see the deepest of fantasies played out. It gives us - I hesitate to use the melodramatic "victims" here, but that is essentially what we amount to - it gives us release from the pent up anger when we see the wrong-doers get their comeuppance. For that reason, I doubt I'll ever be able to view this work through a truly unbiased, critical lens. Just because it's a "classic" doesn't mean you have to adorn it with a 5-star laurel wreath, but - for what it means to me - I do.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carlos

    The first time I read this book I was in highschool. It was an 80-page book. The story was so short and simple, so I wondered "Why so many people say this is such a complex play/book?". A couple of years later, I bought a special edition of 592 pages: Too much? No! Why not? Because the play was written in Shakespearean English, and every single word that was not in standard English was explained at the bottom of the page, it explained the context, the uses you can have from that word. Ok, so I re The first time I read this book I was in highschool. It was an 80-page book. The story was so short and simple, so I wondered "Why so many people say this is such a complex play/book?". A couple of years later, I bought a special edition of 592 pages: Too much? No! Why not? Because the play was written in Shakespearean English, and every single word that was not in standard English was explained at the bottom of the page, it explained the context, the uses you can have from that word. Ok, so I read that version and it was a pain in the ass. Not because it was a bad story at all, but now I truly understand people who say that Shakespeare was such a special writer, and I agree! Well, about the story... Fascinating! I loved how Shakespeare made of Hamlet such a special character. It was very difficult for Hamlet to take action, it was like "almost, almost!" I feel Shakespeare wanted to express himself on Hamlet. His multiple personalities during the play reminded me of Shakespeare's life a bit. On the other hand, I really LOVED how this play ends... What a bloody and violent ending, Terrific! Recommended? Absolutely, but a simple version, because the original might be too difficult and slow to read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mark André

    To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them? ... and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to ... To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub ... what dreams may come ... Must give us pause: To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscover’d country f To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them? ... and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to ... To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub ... what dreams may come ... Must give us pause: To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscover’d country from whose bourn No traveler returns, puzzles the will And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought And enterprises of great pitch and moment With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action. Act III, Scene I

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    The genius in Shakespeare is that the text is so full of poetry and ambiguity that it can be interpreted (and often with reason) is diametrically opposed ways. TS Elliott thought it was a hack job whereas Coleridge saw it as a play about melancholy and inaction, Freud says Oedipus and AC Bradley sees a hero awakening to his fate. Somewhere in there, one must read the text for oneself and revel in its beauty and violence. I watched both the 1948 film version by Laurence Olivier (2h46) and the 199 The genius in Shakespeare is that the text is so full of poetry and ambiguity that it can be interpreted (and often with reason) is diametrically opposed ways. TS Elliott thought it was a hack job whereas Coleridge saw it as a play about melancholy and inaction, Freud says Oedipus and AC Bradley sees a hero awakening to his fate. Somewhere in there, one must read the text for oneself and revel in its beauty and violence. I watched both the 1948 film version by Laurence Olivier (2h46) and the 1996 version by Kenneth Branagh (4h) and found that they were both fascinating. Olivier brings out the more Freudian interpretation and Branagh the more Bradley-influenced one. I preferred the Branagh version for its relative adherence to the text with a few minor exceptions: he moved the "Angels and ministers of grace defend us" soliloquy from the middle of Act I sc IV to the beginning of Act I sc V, and also the "Tis now the witching time of night" speech at the end of Act III sc ii to near the end of III.iii when Hamlet is contemplating the murder of the praying Claudius and he removed Claudius' speech in IV.v after "O Gertrude, Gertrude!" entirely. I am in agreement that the first two changes keep the action moving and also the poetic narrative in place. I am more puzzled by the removal of Claudius' speech though because he speaks of Ophélia's madness and the arrival of Laertes. Given the hasty scene that follows, the final lines of that speech, "Like to a murd'ring piece in many places Gives me a superfluous death." IV.v. 95-95 This is an interesting forebodoing. But then the film was already 4h hours long... Hamlet is a sort of porte-manteau: he carries in him all of our own insecurities: should I believe the Ghost? Is my mother who I think she is? Should this new reality push me to suicide? How can it be just for 20000 men to die for an eggshell? He hesitates during Claudius' prayer not wanting to send him to heaven and yet as he exits, the king admits that he wasn't really praying: "My words fly up, my thoughts remain below. "Words without thoughts never to heaven go." III.iii 97-98 so it is all pointless. It takes him, as Bradley points out, four acts to move into action, but it is now too late to arrest the inexorable forward march of fate. Hamlet is also a mise-en-abime, a picture within a picture within a picture as Branagh beautifully portrays Hamlet before a mirror (behind which hide Polonius and Claudius) for the "to be or not to be" speech. And this is truly what makes it such powerful literature, such unforgettable theatre. I feel that sometimes Hamlet is trying to resist the pull of fate and in this passage, he reminds me of Michael Corleone in Godfather II (was Coppola inspired by Shakespeare in his screenwriting? Was Puzo?): The time is out of joint. O cursèd spite, That ever I was born to set it right!" I.v 188-189 I am having a hard time writing this review because, as over four centuries have passed since it was penned, most likely in 1600-01, so much has been written about Shakespeare and Hamlet that I feel that what I am writing must sound contrived or rebaked. One thing that did strike me in any case was the sardonic sense of humor that Hamlet has, right up until the end. He displays such a range of emotions and emotional states that it makes him feel so very real. What makes this so incredibly real is the staging. Having Hamlet expounding on existence (yeah, the one you know by heart) walking into the room with Ophelia (oh, but why did you let Claudius and your idiot father Polonius talk you into this), Hamlet exploding into a rage, “To a nunnery, go!” and then storming off. I think Branagh’s filming of this with mirrors was exquisite. It is theater right on the precipice of reality. Reading Hamlet is something most only do because they have to in high school. I would say that it speaks only superficially to teenagers because of the Elizabethan language and culture. It is, however, an extraordinary read as an adult full of intrigue and, for the modern reader, déjà vus of a sort because so many phrases we take for granted are found in it. Enjoy!

  27. 5 out of 5

    ☆ Mira ✷

    1 like = 1 cookie for Lila Bard 1 like = 1 cookie for Lila Bard

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amalia Gkavea

      ‘’Not a whit. We defy augury. There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all. Since no man of aught he leaves knows, what is ’t to leave betimes? Let be.’’ The definition of masterpiece. The exposure of the depth of human nature. The uncertainty that gnaws our souls and weakens our will. The despair. The injustice. The madness, real or not. The struggle. The r   ‘’Not a whit. We defy augury. There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all. Since no man of aught he leaves knows, what is ’t to leave betimes? Let be.’’ The definition of masterpiece. The exposure of the depth of human nature. The uncertainty that gnaws our souls and weakens our will. The despair. The injustice. The madness, real or not. The struggle. The regrets and the retribution. The readiness. Hamlet. The greatest written work produced by humankind.

  29. 5 out of 5

    ✨ jamieson ✨

    Hamlet teaches us all an important lesson. If you keep your head down, stay doing gay shit with your friends at college and never come home you'll be okay in all seriousness, Hamlet insisting on wearing black all the time and frequently monologuing about how every decision is too hard and he's a mess is Relatable TM so I love him

  30. 5 out of 5

    Manuel Antão

    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Shakespeare is Hard, but so is Life: "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare, Burton Raffel, Harold Bloom   “Shakespeare is Hard, but so is Life” (title of a 2002 book by Fintan O’Toole).   The 23rd of April is almost upon us (*). Those of you who have been following my diatribes on this blog, know that I've been thinking about doing this for a while. Last year I put my Shakespeare project (“re-read everything from beginning to end”) on hold. I'v If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Shakespeare is Hard, but so is Life: "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare, Burton Raffel, Harold Bloom   “Shakespeare is Hard, but so is Life” (title of a 2002 book by Fintan O’Toole).   The 23rd of April is almost upon us (*). Those of you who have been following my diatribes on this blog, know that I've been thinking about doing this for a while. Last year I put my Shakespeare project (“re-read everything from beginning to end”) on hold. I've decided that now is the time to jump-start this project. I want to read everything, starting with the plays I haven't read in a while, or at all, and moving to the ones I'm more familiar with. I'll post individual reviews as I go through. “Hamlet” had to be the first.   Why?   Read on.   The rest of this review is available elsewhere.   (*) This review was written before this date.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.