9781904271338 / 1904271332



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 play's 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 Shakespeare's 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 Shakespeare's play?

Can we date Hamlet in relation to other contemporary plays?

Hamlet's 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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