A young prince meets with his father's ghost, who alleges that his own brother, now married to his widow, murdered him. The prince devises a scheme to test the truth of the ghost's accusation, feigning wild madness while plotting a brutal revenge. But his apparent insanity soon begins to wreak havoc on innocent and guilty alike. Hamlet's combination of violence and introspection is unusual among Shakespeare's tragedies. It is also full of curious riddles and fascinating paradoxes, making it one of his most widely discussed plays.
Illustrated throughout by Sir John Gilbert (1817-1897), famous for his depictions of historical scenes. As well as Shakespeare, he illustrated works of Sir Walter Scott, Cervantes, Wilkie Collins and Wordsworth.
With an Introduction by Dr Robert Mighall.
William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, in 1564. The date of his birth is not known but is traditionally 23 April, St George's Day. Aged 18, he married a Stratford farmer's daughter, Anne Hathaway. They had three children. Around 1585 William joined an acting troupe on tour in Stratford from London, and thereafter spent much of his life in the capital. A member of the leading theatre group in London, the Chamberlain's Men, which built the Globe Theatre and frequently performed in front of Queen Elizabeth I, Shakespeare wrote 36 plays and much poetry besides. He died in 1616.