Folger Shakespeare Library
by William Shakespeare
Mass market paperback, 336 pages
Current Retail Price: $6.99
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In this quintessential Shakespearean drama, Hamlet's halting pursuit of revenge for his father's death unfolds in a series of highly charged confrontations that climax in tragedy.

  • 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
  • An essay by an outstanding scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
  • Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books
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FLAWS: Fighting/violence, Language, Sexual content
Summary: Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, and Hamlet must fight his own conscience while trying to punish his father's murderer.

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  Hamlet; Prince of Denmark
L. M. Shearer, 5/12/2011
Prince Hamlet's father has a month been dead;
The state of Denmark turned upon its head.
Claudius is married to the Queen,
The ghost of Hamlet's father has been seen.

When Hamlet speaks unto the restless ghost,
He learns the news that he's been dreading most:
That Claudius, who wed his brother's wife
Is the same one who took his brother's life.

Hamlet swears to the spirit of his father
To avenge his death upon his wicked brother.
Yet still the noble Hamlet is unsure
And Claudius' guilt he'd like to make secure.

To deter suspicion he will feign
Through grief of his father's death to be insane.
Yet all the while, a clever trap he built
With which to prove or disprove Claudius' guilt.

This tragedy is one of Shakespeare's best
Please read it if you'd like to learn the rest;
For in this tragic tale you will find
Love and hatred, cruel men and kind

Yet in the darkness, hope still springs
Though Hamlet tries and fails at many things
Though in the prince perfection is not found
He knows himself by right and duty bound

He does his duty, even to the grave;
Not many men would dare to be so brave.
With this I hope my reader to convince
To read of Denmark and its noble prince.