Hamlet ( Folger Library Shakespeare)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Hamlet is Shakespeare’s most popular, and most puzzling, play. It follows the form of a “revenge tragedy,” in which the hero, Hamlet, seeks vengeance against his father’s murderer, his uncle Claudius, now the king of Denmark. Much of its fascination, however, lies in its uncertainties.
Among them: What is the Ghost—Hamlet’s father demanding justice, a tempting demon, an angelic messenger? Does Hamlet go mad, or merely pretend to? Once he is sure that Claudius is a murderer, why does he not act? Was his mother, Gertrude, unfaithful to her husband or complicit in his murder?
The authoritative edition of Hamlet from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:
-Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play
-Newly revised explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play
-Scene-by-scene plot summaries
-A key to the play’s famous lines and phrases
-An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language
-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books
-An up-to-date annotated guide to further reading
Essay by Michael Neill
The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit Folger.edu.
Reynaldo I shall, my lord. Polonius And let him ply his music.50 Reynaldo And let him ply his music.50 Well, my lord. Polonius Farewell. exit Reynaldo enter Ophelia How now, Ophelia! What’s the matter? Ophelia O, my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted! 75 Polonius With what, i’ the name of God? Ophelia My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,51 Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced,52 44 roundabout paths taken, in hunting, to surprise game animals 45 deliberately off-center
affections do not that way tend, Nor what he spake, though it lacked form a little, Was not like madness.There’s something in his soul, O’er which his melancholy sits on brood, 165 And I do doubt the hatch and the disclose105 Will be some danger, which for to prevent I have in quick determination Thus set it down.106 He shall with speed to England,107 97 the source of hope and the peerless/matchless person of an unblemished nation 98 mirror of behavior/demeanor 99 pattern/model of rank,
all-important link in the Hamlet story, alas, is lost, apparently beyond recall. It is an earlier Elizabethan play, approximately datable because it was sharply criticized in 1589 by Thomas Nash (1567–1601).The title of this play was Hamlet. We do not know how long it had at that point been on the Elizabethan stage;we do not know for certain who was its author, though circumstantial evidence favors the melodramatist, Thomas Kyd (1558–94), a friend to both Christopher Marlowe and the young
earthenware, 120 her wreaths/garlands, her maiden flowers, and so on, scattered on the grave 121 bringing her home to heaven, with the ringing of church bells and church-sanctioned burial 122 desecrate, violate 123 solemn requiem and the same kind of repose/tranquillity to her 124 those who peacefully departed/were separated from earthly existence 125 rude, low-bred 200 act 5 • scene 1 A minist’ring angel shall my sister be 225 When thou liest howling.126 Hamlet What, the fair Ophelia!
To outface145 me with leaping in her grave? Be buried quick with her, and so will I. And if thou prate146 of mountains, let them throw 265 Millions of acres on us, till our ground,147 Singeing his pate against the burning zone,148 Make Ossa like a wart! Nay, an thou’lt mouth,149 I’ll rant as well as thou. Gertrude This is mere150 madness, And thus awhile the fit will work on him. 270 Anon, as patient as the female dove When that her golden couplets are disclosed,151 His silence will