The Folger Library offers the definitive, updated edition of Hamlet, with newly edited text, explanatory notes, scene summaries, and more.

Hamlet is Shakespeare's most popular, and most puzzling, play. It follows the form of a “revenge tragedy,” in which the hero, Hamlet, seeks vengeance against his father’s murderer, his uncle Claudius, now the king of Denmark. Much of its fascination, however, lies in its uncertainties.

Among them: What is the Ghost—Hamlet's father demanding justice, a tempting demon, an angelic messenger? Does Hamlet go mad, or merely pretend to? Once he is sure that Claudius is a murderer, why does he not act? Was his mother, Gertrude, unfaithful to her husband or complicit in his murder?

The authoritative edition of Hamlet from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, is now available as an eBook. Features include:

· The exact text of the printed book for easy cross-reference
· Hundreds of hypertext links for instant navigation
· 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
· Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books
· An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 432 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743477123 | 
  • July 2003 | 
  • Lexile NP
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About the Author

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England’s Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children—an older daughter Susanna and twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare’s working life was spent in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright and poet, but also as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Although some think that sometime between 1610 and 1613 Shakespeare retired from the theater and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616, others believe that he may have continued to work in London until close to his death.