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?
This Signet Classic edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream features an extensive overview of Shakespeare's life, world and theatre by the general editor, Sylvan Barnet, and a special introduction to the play by Wolfgang Clemen (University of Munich). It includes dramatic criticism from the past and present with commentaries by William Hazlett, John Russell Brown, Frank Kermode, Linda Bamber, and Camille Wells Slights. There is a comprehensive stage and screen history of notable actors, directors, and productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, then and now, and a note on the sources from which Shakespeare derived the play. Text, notes and commentaries are printed in the clearest, most readable type, and there is an up-to-date list of recommended readings.
The second Oxford edition of Shakespeare's Complete Works reconsiders every detail of their text and presentation in the light of modern scholarship. The nature and authority of the early documents are re-examined, and the canon and chronological order of composition freshly established.Spelling and punctuation are modernized, and there is a brief introduction to each work, as well as an illuminating and informative General Introduction. Included here for the first time is the play The Reign of King Edward the Third as well as the full text of Sir Thomas More. This new edition also features an essay on Shakespeare's language by David Crystal, and a bibliography of foundational works.