978-1-904271-33-8 / 9781904271338



Publisher:Oxford University Press, USA



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About the book:

This self-contained, free-standing volume gives readers the Second Quarto text.  In his illustrated introduction to the plays historical, cultural, and performance contexts, Neil Taylor presents a thorough survey of critical approaches to the play.  He addresses the challenges faced in reading, editing, or acting a play with the depth of content and tradition that Hamlet possesses.  He also establishes the historical and cultural context in which the play was written and explains the arguments about the merits and deficiencies of the First and Second Quarto and the First Folio.  Taylor points to the many novelists, both men and women, whose work refers to or bears commonalities with Hamlet, to suggest an ongoing to need to resolve "the continuing mystery of Hamlet" in print and on stage.  An appendix contains the additional passages found only in the 1623 text, and other appendices on the editorial process, the traditions regarding the act division at 3.4/4.1, casting, and music are also included. 

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
General editors preface

The challenges of Hamlet
    The challenge of acting Hamlet
    The challenge of editing Hamlet
    The challenge to the greatness of Hamlet: Hamlet versus Lear
Hamlet in our time
    The soliloquies and the modernity of Hamlet
    Hamlet and Freud
    Reading against the Hamlet tradition
Hamlet in Shakespeares time
    Hamlet at the turn of the century
    The challenge of dating Hamlet
        Was there an earlier Hamlet play?
        Are there any early references to Shakespeares play?
        Can we date Hamlet in relation to other contemporary plays?
        Hamlets first performances
The story of Hamlet
    Murder most foul
    An antic disposition
    Sentences, speeches and thoughts
The composition of Hamlet
    The quartos and the Folio
        The quartos
        The First Folio
        The relationship of Q2 to Q1
        The relationship of F to Q2
        What, then, of Q1?
        Editorial practice
        Why a three-text edition?
Hamlet on stage and screen
    Hamlet and his points
    Enter the director
    Hamlet and politics
Novel Hamlets
    Hamlet meets Fielding, Goethe, Dickens and others
    Hamlet and women novelists
    Prequels and sequels
The continuing mystery of Hamlet


Appendix 1: Folio-only passages
Appendix 2: Textual discussion
Appendix 3: Editorial conventions, sample edited passages and a comparison of scenes across the three texts
Appendix 4: The act division at 3.4/4.1
Appendix 5: Casting
Appendix 6: Music

Abbreviations and references
    Abbreviations used in notes
    Works by and partly by Shakespeare
    Editions of Shakespeare collated
    Other works cited


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