Item description for Hamlet (Ignatius Critical Series) by William Shakespeare & Joseph Pearce...
Overview Edited by Joseph Pearce Arguably Shakespeare's finest and most important play, Hamlet is also one of the most misunderstood masterpieces of world literature. "To be or not to be", may be the question, but the answer has eluded many generations of critics. What does it mean "to be"? And is everything as it seems to be? These are the questions that are asked and answered in the introduction by Joseph Pearce, author of The Quest for Shakespeare, and in the tradition-oriented critical essays by leading Shakespeare scholars that can be found in this groundbreaking edition of Shakespeare's masterpiece. To see or not to see, that is the question. The Ignatius Critical Edition of Hamlet will help many people truly see the play and its deepest meaning in a new and surprising light. The Ignatius Critical Editions represent a tradition-oriented alternative to popular textbook series such as the Norton Critical Editions or Oxford World Classics, and are designed to concentrate on traditional readings of the Classics of world literature. Whereas many modern critical editions have succumbed to the fads of modernism and post-modernism, this series will concentrate on tradition-oriented criticism of these great works. Edited by acclaimed literary biographer, Joseph Pearce, the Ignatius Critical Editions will ensure that traditional moral readings of the works are given prominence, instead of the feminist, or deconstructionist readings that often proliferate in other series of 'critical editions'. As such, they represent a genuine extension of consumer-choice, enabling educators, students and lovers of good literature to buy editions of classic literary works without having to 'buy into' the ideologies of secular fundamentalism. The series is particularly aimed at tradition-minded literature professors offering them an alternative for their students. The initial list will have about 15 - 20 titles. The goal is to release three books a season, or six in a year.
Publishers Description Arguably Shakespeare's finest and most important play, Hamlet is also one of the most misunderstood masterpieces of world literature. "To be or not to be," may be the question, but the answer has eluded many generations of critics. What does it mean "to be"? And is everything as it seems to be? These are the questions that are asked and answered in the introduction by Joseph Pearce, author of The Quest for Shakespeare, and in the tradition-oriented critical essays by leading Shakespeare scholars that can be found in this groundbreaking edition of Shakespeare's masterpiece. To see or not to see, that is the question. The Ignatius Critical Edition of Hamlet will help many people truly see the play and its deepest meaning in a new and surprising light.
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Studio: Ignatius Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5" Height: 7.75" Weight: 0.76 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 2008
Publisher Ignatius Press
Series Ignatius Critical Editions
ISBN 1586172611 ISBN13 9781586172619
Availability 0 units.
More About William Shakespeare & Joseph Pearce
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon." His extant works include some collaboration, consisting of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, the authorship of some of which is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
William Shakespeare lived in Stratford-Upon-The Avon. William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and died in 1616.
Reviews - What do customers think about Hamlet (Ignatius Critical Series)?
Me thinkest thou protests too loudly. May 22, 2009
I find this very interesting, at least one of the reviewers who gave such a low review not only reviewed this book, but every other book in this Ignatius Critical Series edit by Joseph Peace. In each one, he gives only one star, basially saying the book is a waste of time and money.
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark!
Why would someone, keep on reading all the books in this series, and then say that reading them is a waste of time? It just does not make sense! Not only that, but the majority of the book is giving nothing but the text of Hamlet. How can any true fan of Shakespeare give that one star. Just the text of Hamlet alone would make it at least 2 stars.
So it seems to me that there are some here who have a hidden agenda of not wanting me to read this book - not because of its allegedly poor literary value. So the more they protested, the more I was intrigued.
So I got the book, and I am so glad I did! For the first time, Hamlet came alive to me. The footnotes were enough to hep be understand the arachaic phrases, but I was not overwhelmed with them. The editor wanted Shakespear to speak for himself. None of the footnotes tried to persuade you to their interpretations. That was left to the commentaries after you read the Hamlet story.
The commentaries were extremely insightful, looking at Hamlet from a Catholic perspective. And why not? Other commentaries look at Hamlet from a modernist or a feminist perspective. Why not from a Catholic perspective? Again, I do not understand these one-star critics. If they were really fans of Shakespeare, they would be happy to see a book like this that would broaden Shakespeare's audience. But it seems they would rather that Hamlet never be read than to read Hamlet from a politically incorrect view.
To read why Shakespear was probably a Catholic and was writing from a Catholic persepective, you may want to read The Quest for Shakespeare
DO NOT BE FOOLED BY SALES PITCH: BUY ACADEMIC AND ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED NORTON OR OXFORD EDITIONS INSTEAD Jan 6, 2009
The over-heated sales pitch on the product page makes promises the book cannot keep, and casts ideological disfavor upon the most accepted academic treatments of this great play. The sales pitch cannot be lived up to. For example we hear there that in the introduction editor Joe Pearce, writer in residence at Ave Maria College in Florida, will do the following:
'"To be or not to be", may be the question, but the answer has eluded many generations of critics. What does it mean "to be"? And is everything as it seems to be? These are the questions that are asked and answered in the introduction by Joseph Pearce, author of The Quest for Shakespeare'
Good for you, Joe, but you do not. His critically discredited The Quest for Shakespeare is also published by this sectarian Ignatius press.
It is only fair to share with you who writes these "tradition-oriented critical essays by leading Shakespeare scholars that can be found in this groundbreaking edition of Shakespeare's masterpiece" and wonder what ground is being broken here beside Ophelia's unhallowed grave. This information is strangely difficult to discover. Each of the essays is about a dozen paperback pages long, with a few rather shorter. The publication history of these essayists is rather in the backwater publish-or-perish field of professorial publication and mainly unread even by their peers. It is not from the top level of Shakespearean scholarship as you will find in Hamlet (Norton Critical Editions), in Hamlet (Oxford World's Classics) or in the Hamlet: The Texts of 1603 and 1623: Third Series - Paperback (The Arden Shakespeare Third Series).
In fact, in the text of the play as published here under Pearce's direction we get none of the usual textual comparisons of the various versions as found in usual academic editions. We are accustomed in Critical Editions to find a central band on each page comparing the various versions produced in Shakespeare's lifetime as well as after, including normally such later editors as Theobold, Pope, etc., up to the modern age. We have none such variorum here.
Normally in a critical edition we find at the bottom of the page footnotes to explain terms unfamiliar to the modern reader, with reference often to the OED, etc. Here we find perhaps five glossings per page, usually of terms which need no explanation, as if Joe Pearce was searching for something to do, and only provides a few words of explanation each. There is also none of the usual Sources and History of the Text as we are accustomed. Get thee to a Norton; Go!
First off in the essays is Crystal Downing, professor of English and Film Studies at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, who has been published in the Literature / Film Quarterly and who has published by equally unknown publishers two books: a study of Dorothy L. Sayers for Palgrave in 2004 and "How post-modernism serves (my) Faith" for IVP Academics in 2006. In fact her essay here is rather post-modern, entitled Reading Hamlet, exploring how we learn to read, well, Hamlet by the reading, or not.
The next essay is by Anthony Esolen, author of the archly right-wing polemical screed The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization (Politically Incorrect Guides) and professor of Renaissance English Literature (think about that term for a moment) at Providence College in Rhode Island (another religious school). He also edits the right wing Touchstone magazine. His essay is full of praise for the "simple" soldiers as the only honest and honorable folk around, capable of reason, and with "their language manly and direct (p. 204)." He condemns post-modernists who require us to read in a certain way, and he condemns "naive rationalists." He even manages to condemn "that nation of manners, France." He praises however the soldiers' "humility and honesty (which) open their hearts to a wider reality than the materialist can know." He uses such indecipherable phrases as "psycho-facial absurdity" in describing the marriage of Claudius to his sister-in-law, and has frequent recourse to manly talk, including noting a particularly "easy masculine banter" among Rosencrantz, Guildenstern and a very wary Hamlet who is probing them to find their allegiances, which they conceal. This is in fact not easy banter of any gender. He has frequent recourse as well to the presence of God, including finding God in the "crowing of the cock in whom God has planted foreknowledge" including of the last day and its judgment. He sees the "imperturbable light of God" which may answer the sales pitch's question: "To see or not to see, that is the question. The Ignatius Critical Edition of Hamlet will help many people truly see the play and its deepest meaning in a new and surprising light." He ends with an agonized and ancient rhetoric for Claudius which could ring out from any church pulpit but seems out of place in this self-proclaimed "critical edition": "Could he (Claudius) but fling himself upon that mercy more lovely than man's greatest beauty and more terrible than man's direst fear, he could yet be forgiven and all might be well. But he does not. Words are all he mouths, and he is wise enough to know and to confess that God requires more. Thus he ends with the saddest words of the play: (here Eselon quotes what are not Claudius' last words but from a much earlier scene, when Hamlet found Claudius apparently praying, but whose words remained below. Then Eselon concludes:) Let all us Danes heed the warning (p. 215)."
This is just embarrassing. This is to publish or to perish. We must confess that a critical edition requires more. These are the saddest words of this unfortunate edition. Words are all he mouths.
The next essayist is Gene Fendt, of the University of Nebraska at Kearney, author of Is Hamlet Cristian Drama for Marquette and Love Song for the Life of the Mind: The Purpose of Comedy for the Catholic University of America. Here he writes a dozen pages entitled Psychology, Character and Performance but which never leaves Aquinas. He forces newer wine into old scholastic skins. The whole essay essentially creates an Aquinan school of psychology, and attempts to use scenes from Hamlet as example. Remarkably these essays all seem to examine the same scenes, none in great depth. Needless to say, Fendt handily dismisses the paper tiger of the empiricists, as Eselon did his naive rationalists and materialists.
Next, Richard Harp of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (OMG!) attempts in a needlessly convoluted and disorganized manner to prove that Hamlet is not a melancholic procrastinator as supposed (by whom, the evil postmodernists?) but a hero in the ancient and classical sense, one determined to discover truth and to seek justice. His conclusion: "Hamlet is a great but a tragic figure." For this I need a Critical Edition?
Next we have Andrew Moran, assistant professor at the University of Dallas and former associate of Joe Pearce at Ave Maria College in Florida, who presents himself as studied in Shakespearean Meta-drama (hello?) and here adds a dozen pages on Hamlet's foil.
Then, Jim Scott Orlick of Boyce College in Louisville Kentucky where he teaches Literature and Culture and has six daughters writes about eight pages on Providence (not the college in Rhode Island) and Who's in Charge.
Finally R. V. Young of North Carolina State writes under ten pages on Residual Catholicism in Shakespeare, and on Spiritual Freedom and Tyranny (as which would he characterize the current papacy?) R.V. is a contributer to such far right wing publications as the National Review, the WEEKLY Standard (OMG!!), the Saint Austen (sic) Review (so written here with RV; under Joe Pearce's bio it is spelled Saint Austin), Touchstone (noted above) and First Things. His one publication is a bilingual edition of Justus Lipsius's Concerning Constancy.
Do you get the picture yet? Please, for a real and acceptable Critical Edition do not go to the Ignatius series, which is only hollow ideological and political propaganda. Stay with the traditional Arden, Oxford, and especially the Hamlet (Norton Critical Editions). For an economical basic edition try the Hamlet (Pelican Shakespeare)or the Hamlet (Penguin) (Shakespeare, Penguin), any bird beginning with P that is not Pearce!