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Title:Hamlet: (Annotated with short biography)
Format Type:Ebook
Author:William Shakespeare
ISBN 13:
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Category:School, Poetry, High school, Read for school, Tragedy, Theatre, Adult, Historical

Hamlet: (Annotated with short biography) by William Shakespeare

PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC Hamlet: (Annotated with short biography) The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare between and Set in the Kingdom of Denmark the play dramatizes the revenge Prince Hamlet exacts on his uncle Claudius for murdering King Hamlet who is Claudius s brother and Prince Hamlet s father and then succeeding to the throne and taking as his wife Gertrude the old king s widow and Prince Hamlet s mother The play vividly portrays both true and feigned madness from overwhelming grief to seething rage and explores themes of treachery revenge incest and moral corruption .

Hamlet is Shakespeare s longest play and among the most powerful and influential tragedies in English literature with a story capable of seemingly endless retelling and adaptation by others The play was one of Shakespeare s most popular works during his lifetime and still ranks among his most performed topping the Royal Shakespeare Company s performance list since It has inspired writers from Goethe and Dickens to Joyce and Murdoch and has been described as the world s most filmed story after Cinderella .

Shakespeare based Hamlet on the legend of Amleth preserved by th century chronicler Saxo Grammaticus in his Gesta Danorum as subsequently retold by th century scholar Fran ois de Belleforest He may also have drawn on or perhaps written an earlier hypothetical Elizabethan play known today as the Ur Hamlet He almost certainly created the title role for Richard Burbage the leading tragedian of Shakespeare s time In the years since the role has been performed by highly acclaimed actors from each successive age .

Three different early versions of the play are extant the First Quarto Q the Second Quarto Q and the First Folio F Each version includes lines and even entire scenes missing from the others The play s structure and depth of characterisation have inspired much critical scrutiny One such example is the centuries old debate about Hamlet s hesitation to kill his uncle which some see as a mere plot device to prolong the action but which others argue is a dramatization of the complex philosophical and ethical issues that surround cold blooded murder calculated revenge and thwarted desire More recently psychoanalytic critics have examined Hamlet s unconscious desires and feminist critics have re evaluated and rehabilitated the often maligned characters of Ophelia and Gertrude

Romeo and Juliet

In i Romeo and Juliet i Shakespeare creates a world of violence and generational conflict in which two young people fall in love and die because of that love The story is rather extraordinary in that the normal problems faced by young lovers are here so very large It is not simply that the families of Romeo and Juliet disapprove of the lover s affection for each other rather the Montagues and the Capulets are on opposite sides in a blood feud and are trying to kill each other on the streets of Verona Every time a member of one of the two families dies in the fight his relatives demand the blood of his killer Because of the feud if Romeo is discovered with Juliet by her family he will be killed Once Romeo is banished the only way that Juliet can avoid being married to someone else is to take a potion that apparently kills her so that she is burried with the bodies of her slain relatives In this violent death filled world the movement of the story from love at first sight to the union of the lovers in death seems almost inevitable br p What is so striking about this play is that despite its extraordinary setting one perhaps reflecting Elizabethan attitudes about hot blooded Italians it has become the quintessential story of young love Because most young lovers feel that they have to overcome giant obstacles in order to be together because they feel that they would rather die than be kept apart and especially because the language Shakespeare gives his young lovers is so exquisite allowing them to say to each other just what we would all say to a lover if we only knew how it is easy to respond to this play as if it were about all young lovers rather than about a particular couple in a very unusual world When the play was rewritten in the eighteen century as i The History and Fall of Caius Marius i the violent setting became that of a particularly discordant period in classical Rome when Leonard Berstein rewrote the play as i West Side Story i he chose the violent world of New York street gangs p


One of the greatest plays of all time the compelling tragedy of the tormented young prince of Denmark continues to capture the imaginations of modern audiences worldwide Confronted with evidence that his uncle murdered his father and with his mother s infidelity Hamlet must find a means of reconciling his longing for oblivion with his duty as avenger The ghost Hamlet s feigned madness Ophelia s death and burial the play within a play the closet scene in which Hamlet accuses his mother of complicity in murder and breathtaking swordplay are just some of the elements that make Hamlet an enduring masterpiece of the theater


Folger Shakespeare Library the world s leading center for Shakespeare studies br Each edition includes Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play Scene by scene plot summaries A key to famous lines and phrases An introduction to reading Shakespeare s language An essay by an outstanding scholar providing a modern perspective on the play Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library s vast holdings of rare books Essay by Susan Snyder The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D C 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

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Shakespeare s intertwined love polygons begin to get complicated from the start Demetrius and Lysander both want Hermia but she only has eyes for Lysander Bad news is Hermia s father wants Demetrius for a son in law On the outside is Helena whose unreturned love burns hot for Demetrius Hermia and Lysander plan to flee from the city under cover of darkness but are pursued by an enraged Demetrius who is himself pursued by an enraptured Helena In the forest unbeknownst to the mortals Oberon and Titania King and Queen of the faeries are having a spat over a servant boy The plot twists up when Oberon s head mischief maker Puck runs loose with a flower which causes people to fall in love with the first thing they see upon waking Throw in a group of labourers preparing a play for the Duke s wedding one of whom is given a donkey s head and Titania for a lover by Puck and the complications become fantastically funny br br b Each Folger Shakespeare Library edition includes b br Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play br Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play br Scene by scene plot summaries br A key to famous lines and phrases br An introduction to reading Shakespeare s language br An essay by an outstanding scholar providing a modern perspective on the play br Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library s vast holdings of rare books br Essay by Catherine Belsey br The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D C 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


In Othello Shakespeare creates a powerful drama of a marriage that begins with fascination between the exotic Moor Othello and the Venetian lady Desdemona with elopement and with intense mutual devotion and that ends precipitately with jealous rage and violent deaths He sets this story in the romantic world of the Mediterranean moving the action from Venice to the island of Cyprus and giving it an even more exotic coloring with stories of Othello s African past Shakespeare builds so many differences into his hero and heroine differences of race of age of cultural background that one should not perhaps be surprised that the marriage ends disastrously But most people who see or read the play feel that the love that the play presents between Othello and Desdemona is so strong that it would have overcome all these differences were it not for the words and actions of Othello s standard bearer Iago who hates Othello and sets out to destroy him by destroying his love for Desdemona As Othello succumbs to Iago s insinuations that Desdemona is unfaithful fascination which dominates the early acts of the play turns to horror especially for the audience We are confronted by spectacles of a generous and trusting Othello in the grip of Iago s schemes of an innocent Desdemona who has given herself up entirely to her love for Othello only to be subjected to his horrifying verbal and physical assaults the outcome of Othello s mistaken convictions about her faithlessness

Much Ado About Nothing

The action is set in Sicily where Don Pedro Prince of Aragon has recently defeated his half brother the bastard Don John in a military engagement Apparently reconciled they return to the capital Messina as guests of the Governor Leonato There Count Claudio a young nobleman serving in Don Pedro s army falls in love with Hero Leonato s daughter whom Don Pedro woos on his behalf The play s central plot shows how Don John maliciously deceives Claudio into believing that Hero has taken a lover on the eve of her marriage causing Claudio to repudiate her publicly at the altar

King Lear

King Lear growing old and too tired to reign decides to divide his realm amongst his three daughters leaving the largest share to the one who loves him the most His two eldest daughters Goneril and Regan foolish and deceitful children are rewarded for their insincere flattery His youngest daughter Cordelia however speaks honestly and truthfully which enrages the old king He disinherits Cordelia and then drives himself to madness left to wander the heath with only his Fool his servant Caius and the madman Tom O Bedlam for company Once reunited with Cordelia Lear is too late repents his rashness and must face the tragic consequences of his choices

The Taming of the Shrew

Renowned as Shakespeare s most boisterous comedy The Taming of the Shrew is the tale of two young men the hopeful Lucentio and the worldly Petruchio and the two sisters they meet in Padua br br Lucentio falls in love with Bianca the apparently ideal younger daughter of the wealthy Baptista Minola But before they can marry Bianca s formidable elder sister Katherine must be wed Petruchio interested only in the huge dowry arranges to marry Katherine against her will and enters into a battle of the sexes that has endured as one of Shakespeare s most enjoyable works

The Tempest

In i The Tempest i long considered one of Shakespeare s most lyrical plays Prospero a magician on an enchanted island punishes his enemies brings happiness to his daughter and comes to terms with human use of supernatural power i The Tempest i embodies both seemingly timeless romance and the historically specific moment in which Europe begins to explore and conquer the New World br br Its complexity of thought its range of characters from the spirit Ariel and the monster Caliban to the beautiful Miranda and her prince Ferdinand its poetic beauty and its exploration of difficult questions that still haunt us today make this play wonderfully compelling br br i The Tempest i is a play by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in It is set on a remote island where Prospero the exiled Duke of Milan plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and skilful manipulation The eponymous tempest brings to the island Prospero s usurping brother Antonio and the complicit Alonso King of Naples There his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio s low nature the redemption of Alonso and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso s son Ferdinand

Twelfth Night

Set in a topsy turvy world like a holiday revel this comedy devises a romantic plot around separated twins misplaced passions and mistaken identity Juxtaposed to it is the satirical story of a self deluded steward who dreams of becoming Count Malvolio only to receive his comeuppance at the hands of the merrymakers he wishes to suppress The two plots combine to create a farce touched with melancholy mixed throughout with seductively beautiful explorations on the themes of love and time and the play ends not with laughter but with a clown s sad song

Twelfth Night, King Lear, Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello, Macbeth, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing