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In the introduction to this new edition, David Bevington explores some key dilemmas and puzzles in this most famous of Shakespeare's tragedies. What is the role of providence in a work with pagan sources? How does Hamlet comment on dramatic art in his play within a play? What are the moral ambiguities of seeking revenge?
The introduction also traces the history of Hamlet criticism and performance from 1604, when critic Anthony Scoloker said the play "should please all," to the 2015 production starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Appendices offer key sources, an analysis of gender issues in the play, and textual variants from Quarto 1.
A collaboration between Broadview Press and the Internet Shakespeare Editions project at the University of Victoria, the editions developed for this series have been comprehensively annotated and draw on the authoritative texts newly edited for the ISE. This innovative series allows readers to access extensive and reliable online resources linked to the print edition.
David Bevington is Phyllis Fay Horton Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Chicago.