Hamlet: The Oxford Shakespeare, Paperback

Hamlet: The Oxford Shakespeare Paperback

Part of the Oxford World's Classics series

5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Hamlet's combination of violence and introspection is unusual among Shakespeare's tragedies. It is also full of curious riddles and fascinating paradoxes, making it one of his most widely discussed plays. Professor Hibbard's illuminating and original introduction explains the process by which variant texts were fused in the eighteenth century to create the most commonly used text of today. Drawing on both critical and theatrical history, he shows how this gusion makes Hamlet seem a much more 'problematic' play than it was when it originally appeared in the First Folio of 1623. The Oxford Shakespeare edition presents a radically new text, based on that First Folio, which printed Shakespeare's own revision of an earlier version. The result is a 'theatrical' and highly practical edition for students and actors alike. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416 pages, halftones
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Shakespeare plays
  • ISBN: 9780199535811



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Imagine my surprise when browsing through Kernaghan Books in the Wayfarers Shopping Arcade in Southport for these editions when I stumbled across Hamlet somewhat working against the purpose of me utilising these Oxfords to discover literature. Edition editor G.R. Hibbard chooses the First Folio as the basis for his text on the assumption that it was produced from a clean, revised manuscript of the play by Shakespeare himself, a final revision of the material that increases the pace but also clarifies the story in other places. His argument is sound, but I do much prefer the much later Arden 3’s approach of suggesting that all the close textual analysis in the world won’t definitively confirm which of the versions is definitive, so it’s best just to present all three (unless like the RSC edition, the mission is to reproduce an edition of the folio in particular). More inevitably posted here.

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