Hamlet

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Barron's Educational Series, 2002 - Drama - 350 pages
3 Reviews
This tale of the immortal Prince of Denmark delves deeply into the complexities of the human soul as it recounts Hamlet's tragic struggle to avenge his father's death. Books in this new, illustrated series present complete texts of Shakespeare's plays. However, the lines are set up so students can see the bard's original poetic phrases printed side-by-side and line-by-line with a modern "translation" on the facing page. Starting in the late 1580s and for several decades that followed, Shakespeare's plays were popular entertainment for London's theatergoers. His Globe Theatre was the equivalent of a Broadway theater in today's New York. The plays have endured, but over the course of 400+ years, the English language has changed in many ways—which is why today's students often find Shakespeare's idiom difficult to comprehend. Simply Shakespeare offers an excellent solution to their problem. Introducing each play is a general essay covering Shakespeare's life and times. At the beginning of each of the five acts in every play, a two-page spread describes what is about to take place. The story's background is explained, followed by brief descriptions of key people who will appear in the act, details students should watch for as the story unfolds, discussion of the play's historical context, how the play was staged in Shakespeare's day, and explanation of puns and plays on words that occur in characters' dialogues. Identifying icons preceding each of these study points are printed in a second color, then are located again as cross-references in the play's original text. For instance, where words spoken by a person in the play offer insights into his or another character's personality, the "Characters" icon will appear as a cross-reference in both the introductory spread and the play proper. Following each act, a closing spread presents questions and discussion points for use as teachers' aids. Guided by the inspiring format of this fine new series, both teachers and students will come to understand and appreciate the genius of Shakespeare as never before.
 

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Contents

Introduction
6
Shakespeares Theater
8
The Sound of Shakespeare
10
Publishing Shakespeare
12
Hamlet
15
Hamlets Sources
16
The Text of Hamlet
17
The Play
19
Text of Act II and Modern Version
96
PostAct Activities
148
Act III
150
Text of Act III and Modern Version
152
PostAct Activities
220
Act IV
222
Text of Act IV and Modern Version
224
PostAct Activities
280

The Characters
21
Act I
22
Text of Act I and Modern Version
24
PostAct Activities
92
Act II
94
Act V
282
Text of Act V and Modern Version
284
PostAct Activities
338
Additional Resources
341
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School. At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry. By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true. Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

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