This text is designed as a supplement to the Arden Hamlet and refers to the Introduction and Appendices of that volume for a full discussion of dating, sources, textual matters, afterlife, and all other topics usually covered in an Arden edition. In order to make use of this volume, the reader will need access to the Arden Hamlet (but not vice versa).
This volume gives readers the First Quarto text of 1603 and the Folio Text of 1623, modernized and edited to the usual Arden standard. As a companion to the Second Quarto volume, the Arden Hamlet, it will be of particular interest to scholars and students of textual history and comparison, or to anyone studying Hamlet at an advanced level. Both plays are edited and annotated, and the introduction contains the fullest available stage history of the First Quarto text.
The Arden Shakespeare has developed a reputation as the pre-eminent critical edition of Shakespeare for its exceptional scholarship, reflected in the thoroughness of each volume. An introduction comprehensively contextualizes the play, chronicling the history and culture that surrounded and influenced Shakespeare at the time of its writing and performance, and closely surveying critical approaches to the work. Detailed appendices address problems like dating and casting, and analyze the differing Quarto and Folio sources. A full commentary by one or more of the play's foremost contemporary scholars illuminates the text, glossing unfamiliar terms and drawing from an abundance of research and expertise to explain allusions and significant background information. Highly informative and accessible, Arden offers the fullest experience of Shakespeare available to a reader.
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