“Hamlet” (Vol. 2)

Colin Burrow writes:

The Arden 3 Hamlet, which presents modernised texts of Q1, Q2 and the Folio in two volumes, is the lineal descendant of the Oxford Shakespeare. It is, in both good and bad senses, an extraordinary achievement. The editors are generous and unprescriptive almost to a fault, seeking not to present a particular view of the play, but to allow their readers to choose which of a range of interpretations they prefer – and even, in effect, to construct their own text from its three versions. Its introduction is enriched by more Hamlets: in performance, in novels, in operas, in prequels and sequels. The editors are especially good at imagining what might be going on onstage, and often cite in their notes the different ways in which potentially ambiguous moments have been played in the past.

(LRB 21 June 2007)

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