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For the Ignatius Study Guide for Hamlet, click here.
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 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.
A look at the essays
There's more than angst to Hamlet's musings, argues Crystal Downing, who shows the play to be not merely about making decisions, but about the problem of interpreting people, situations, and, yes, plays in "Reading Hamlet".
The various levels of acting within the play, like the sinister theatrics of the Danish court, give us Anthony Esolen's "To Play or Not to Play" while Gene Fendt tackles the perennial problems of psychology and motivation in Hamlet with a Thomistic touch.
Richard Harp makes the case for the defense in "The Nobility of Hamlet" while Andrew Moran explains Hamlet's darker side in light of the Reformation. Correspondence between Catholic and Protestant thought pops up again in Jim Scott Orrick's examination of "Providence in Hamlet", and once again in R. V. Young's consideration of Hamlet's ghost and treatment of the afterlife in "Residual Catholicism in Hamlet".
Joseph Pearce situates the reader with the introductory essay.$15.90