Item description for Hamlet (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series) by Ann Thompson & Neil Taylor...
The core of the ground-breaking, three text edition, this self-contained, free-standing volume gives readers the Second Quarto text (1604-5) and includes in its Introduction, notes and Appendices all the reader might expect to find in any standard Arden edition. As well as a full, illustrated Introduction to the play?s historical, cultural and performance contexts and a thorough survey of critical approaches to the play, an appendix contains the additional passages found only in the 1623 text. The core of the ground-breaking, three text edition, this self-contained, free-standing volume gives readers the Second Quarto text (1604-5) and includes in its Introduction, notes and Appendices all the reader might expect to find in any standard Arden edition. As well as a full, illustrated Introduction to the play?s historical, cultural and performance contexts and a thorough survey of critical approaches to the play, an appendix contains the additional passages found only in the 1623 text.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 5.5" Height: 8" Weight: 1.75 lbs.
Release Date Mar 21, 2006
ISBN 1904271324 ISBN13 9781904271321
Availability 0 units.
More About Ann Thompson & Neil Taylor
Thompson, a native-born European, spent her early years in northeastern France, where she dreamt of a life in the United States. She eventually graduated from UCLA and went on to serve as an officer in the United States Army in the mid-seventies.
Ann Thompson currently resides in London. Ann Thompson was born in 1947.
Reviews - What do customers think about Hamlet (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series)?
Adam's review Mar 11, 2008
The edition is awesome, Arden is wonderful. The problem is I HAVE NEVER RECEIVED my Hamlet, only other two.. so be aware that this site is not perfect..
An Antti Keisala Comment: Words In Flights Of Angels Apr 3, 2007
I am a Bardolator and an Orthodox Shakespearean; so that you'll know where I'm coming from. I paraphrase Whitman by claiming that Hamlet contains multitudes. And of what other literary figures can we say such things and get away with it sounding normal? Perhaps God (especially the Yahweh of the Tanakh) and Jesus (either Nazarethian or Christ), perhaps Ulysses. Hamlet is so huge a figure greater works than this site User Comments have been written on the mere subject of him being an influence greater than our comprehension. He transcends not only the literary but our cultural "genres", because it's in part his creation.
I don't recommend only one edition of Hamlet but as with Mozart's "Requiem", you get a richer picture by collecting publications that vary sometimes significantly and provide them as if they were pieces of a puzzle. But Arden is known for its impeccable quality and high standards in editing, so this is amongst those editions that you will find useful. I've already given my thoughts on the 1603/1623 edition, a treasure in itself, and about what makes this combination work. It's easier to read without falling under the annotations as happens with this edition, although it's necessary that the extensive web of footnotes exists right there where it's supposed to be: it's useful to have them there, and to have so extensive a bulk of annotations in the end would be a drag. I will say with a blink in the eye that they will make you educated.
This edition doesn't take sides on matters, although what I found positively surprising taking into account my own beliefs is how open-mindedly the editors Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor talk about the Shakespearean Ur-Hamlet instead of the Kydian. Ironic in itself since it was the 1982 Jenkins Arden edition that was quite aggressive about the chance of Shakespeare being the writer. I don't know if it has to do with Bloomian influence, but it's nice to see a widened perspective, considering that I'm always inclined to be fascinated by the thought of the young Shakespeare, having just arrived in London, creating this play of Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark with whatever company Shakespeare was then, be it Pembroke's Men or those of Lord Chamberlain's, in the late 1580s, then it being performed and being pulled out of production. I would consider the Ur-Hamlet as being more of a collaboration in which Shakespeare wouldn't have had the complete freedom to create his vision, but a joint vision of a theatre group. It could've been pulled out because it wasn't well-received, or rather as I like to think, because Shakespeare, now in growing popularity with growing prestige and influence over his peers, felt that the play wasn't really what he had intended. If we believe that Shakespeare had his hand in the revisions of the Folio that was published in 1623, we could think that he was tinkering with the play until the very end. If we believe this to be true, it shouldn't be surprising if he had started moulding it not in 1603 but in the late 1580s or truly in the early 1590s.
We could continue of this subject forever, but then there is the thing itself: the play, the words, the beautiful narrative, the experience. "Hamlet" is so full of everything - not to mention the culture it has helped to mould - it's hard to come across unchanged; nay, it's impossible to come across unchanged, but hard not to be obsessed. If Hamlet obsesses with the ghost and revenge that transcends the mere excuse to kill, we've been trapped to obsess with Hamlet: there are cosmic things brewing in his mind, and in his words there's a metaphysical awareness, mysteriously shrouded to tingle our imagination in just the right way. He's a grand character, so much that Harold Bloom famously argues that it's in fact Hamlet that has been shaping our sense of a humanity; and ironically he's more human in his conflicted nature than any of us.
I'm also obsessed with self-reference, a term that's been losing its meaning since it first was spoken out loud. But it's a sort of phase in the process of the narrative becoming self-conscious and possibly transcending the limitations set for it by the medium and extending to the mind of the reader, becoming a lucid flow of introspection. I would like to think of "Hamlet" and "Don Quijote" as the two works most responsible for our modern notion of narrative introspection which uses self-reference to create a multi-layered reality. The basic concept, of course, is to be found in "Hamlet" where the prince sets out a play to catch the king's conscience: with "Mousetrap" we have a new reality inside the one we're dwelling, in fact geniusly reflecting the reality in which we think we live in (that of Hamlet's), yet only know because of what an infernal ghost has been telling us. Basically this means that also "Mousetrap" could be a fiction, and we could be guilty parties, as well, in believing Hamlet. Since Quarto 6 it has become standard to call the ghost "the ghost of Hamlet's father", although I think that Shakespeare enjoyed this ambiguity between truth and fiction and deliberately yet subtly referred to the possibility of the ghost being the main narrator by providing Hamlet with false information. I can't think of anything more delicious than to see Shakespeare playing the role of the ghost (as the legend tells) considering the possible lines we can draw from the ghost to Shakespeare himself as the illusionist, the mage Prospero, the possessed priest taking us beyond the cosmic doors.
This is but one way of reading Hamlet. What speaks of its importance and genius is that there are millions of ways of interpreting what the play means, and each of them is allowed their oddness because the play is so profound that it's possible to find a whole cosmos inside of it. This is a play that has grown out the concepts of a mere work of art into biblical propositions just as the Holy Writ, Iliad and Odyssey and Cervantes' "Don Quijote". This is art around which we can build our whole life, at least our literary existence. Then we become a part of something that's grander than our Zeitgeist, we arrive to the root of what has been a part of every generation's canon of literary minds. It's a legacy and a bloodline to be cherished.
With best regards, AK
Arden Shakespeare Hamlet Dec 4, 2006
I am currently working on my MFA/Directing. I directed Hamlet and am now writing my defense of it. I have two thoughts on this third edition.
After going through this edition, from a point of view of the script, I'm not sure I understand the need to update Harold Jenkins's 2d edition. The script itself was easier to navigate in the 2d edition and I thought Jenkins's notes were more helpful. I also disagree with some of what Thompson and Taylor have to say in their editorial notes below the script. That said, I am biased because I used the 2d edition as a sort of "Hamlet Bible" as I directed the piece. Jenkins's notes were extremely insightful and useful. I became very comfortable with it.
On the other hand, this third edition has some different insight into the play in performance than does the second edition, as well as information on casting and music that was not included in Jenkins. Obviously there is much written about William Shakespeare in the world, and this 3rd edition of Arden is probably the most up-to-date resource for bibliographic material (as well as some photos of past productions of the play). Jenkins edition is 24 years old, ancient in the scholastic world's "what's new" when it comes to sifting the vast quantity of material written on Shakespeare and Hamlet.
Obviously, the needs of the theatrical world for playing Hamlet are different than that of the scholastic world (of which I am currently stuck in both). I think Jenkins is more user-friendly for the theatrician while Thompson & Taylor suit the needs of the scholastic better. My final thought is that a scholar/student of Shakespeare will want to have both the second and third editions for the differences they have to offer.
This is Hamlet we're talking about Jun 19, 2001
I certainly do not rate this item five stars for its stunning value. I rate this five stars because I think that if I had to pay the amount listed for any complete edition of Hamlet, I would. It is simply that good. If you have not read it, do so.