The Masks of Hamlet

The Masks of Hamlet
Author: Marvin Rosenberg
Pages: 971
ISBN: 0874134803
Available:
Release: 1992
Editor: University of Delaware Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Hamlet's challenge: "You would pluck out the heart of my mystery - " Yes, we would. If we could. We can but try; and the best way to begin, this book suggests, is to share what distinguished actors, scholars, and critics have gleaned; and thus enriched by their experience forage in the text and come to know the play personally, intimately. Again and again Mr. Rosenberg will insist that only the individual reader or actor can determine Shakespeare's design of Hamlet's character - and of the play. More, the reader, to interpret Hamlet's words and actions at the many crises, needs to double in the role of actor, imagining the character from the inside as well as observing it from the outside. So every reader is deputed by the author to be an actor-reader, invited to participate within Hamlet's mystery. The critical moments are examined, the options and ambiguities discussed, and the decisions left to individual judgment and intuition. The mysteries of other major characters are similarly approached. What terrible sin haunts Gertrude, that she never confesses? What agonies hide behind Claudius' smile? Does Ophelia truly love Hamlet? Does she choose madness? What are Polonius' masked motives, as in using his daughter for bait for Hamlet? With how much effort must Laertes repress the conscience that finally torments him? Only the actor-reader can know. And the mystery of the play itself: by what magic did Shakespeare interweave poetic language, character, and stage action to create a drama that for centuries has absorbed the attention and admiration of readers and theatre audiences on every continent in the world? The reader-actor will find out. To prepare the actor-reader for insights, Mr. Rosenberg draws on major interpretations of the play worldwide, in theatre and in criticism, wherever possible from the first known performances to the present day. He discusses evidences of Hamlet's experience in Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, South America, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Yugoslavia. Theatres from a number of these countries provided the author with videotapes of their Hamlet performances; his study of these, and of films and recordings, and of a number of modern stagings in America and abroad, deepened his sense of the play, as did interviews with actors and directors, and insights sent to him by colleagues and friends from throughout the world. Mr. Rosenberg followed one Hamlet production through rehearsals to performance, for personal experience of the staging of the play he discusses, as he did in his earlier books, The Masks of Othello, The Masks of King Lear, and The Masks of Macbeth . And as with the latter two studies, he came upon further illuminations of Shakespeare's art by exposing Hamlet to "naive" spectators who had never read or seen the play.

The Masks of Othello

The Masks of Othello
Author: Marvin Rosenberg
Pages: 268
ISBN: 1953450318
Available:
Release: 2021-07-28
Editor: Mockingbird Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Who are the three primary characters in Shakespeare's Othello-and how have their interpretations changed throughout history as social mores affected the audience, critics, and actors who portrayed them? These are the questions that noted Shakespearean Marvin Rosenberg seeks to answer in The Masks of Othello: The Search for the Identity of Othello, Iago, and Desdemona by Three Centuries of Actors and Critics. In this 1961 work, Rosenberg explores some of Shakespeare's most complex characters, and aims to help us understand how three people who are capable of such wrong-especially Iago and Othello-can yet inspire the audience's compassion. Born in Fresno, California, in 1912 to Russian immigrant parents, Rosenberg was a student of English throughout his life. He earned his B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of California at Berkeley, followed by a stint working for the U.S. State Department during World War II. He then returned to UC Berkeley for his Ph.D. in English. He later joined the college faculty as a journalism professor, but eventually transferred to the Department of Dramatic Art. During this time, Rosenberg and his students set to documenting the way Shakespeare's works have been staged since they were first performed in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Rosenberg used this material to trace the way the bard's scenes and characters have been reinterpreted and altered over the ensuing 350 years. The Masks of Othello was the first in a series of Masks books that would eventually include The Masks of King Lear (1972), The Masks of Macbeth (1978), The Masks of Hamlet (1992), and the posthumous The Masks of Anthony and Cleopatra (2006). In this first work, Rosenberg explores the complexity and differing interpretations of noble yet jealous Othello, naïve Desdemona, and conniving Iago over 357 years of productions. Rosenberg writes, "Since a staged play is a public event, performed before a willing audience, the actors' characterizations were partly products of their times, and to understand their differences we must know something of how a changing society influenced them, as it responded to them." This is particularly true of Othello, as it is one of Shakespeare's most sexually charged works-a "problem" to be solved in restrictive 18th century society. Many productions chose to "eliminate verbal and visual imagery that was erotic or in 'bad taste'..." including references to nudity and men and women lying together-odd omissions from a story about infidelity and jealousy. Another frequent issue was virtuous Desdemona's violent death, which caused an uproar at more than one performance. A production in France even changed the ending when Parisian society ladies had to be carried out of the theater in a swoon following the grisly scene. The new ending allowed Desdemona's (still living) father to rush in and save her from Othello at the last moment. The change only lasted for a few performances before the director decided he couldn't bear the false conclusion, and restored the original ending. The play has seen subtle updates as well, including the ways the actors have chosen to portray the characters over the centuries. Othellos have been intellectual and thoughtful, violent and brooding, troubled and unsure. Iagos have been domineering, sneering, spiteful, and a "gay light-hearted monster." Desdemonas have been yielding and tender, strong and determined, and even coarse in some of her banter (often cut from 18th and 19th century productions). The Masks of Othello is a fascinating exploration of the play and the way each performance is a reflection of its own time. It's a must-read for every scholar of Shakespeare.

The Masks of King Lear

The Masks of King Lear
Author: Marvin Rosenberg
Pages: 431
ISBN: 087413482X
Available:
Release: 1992
Editor: University of Delaware Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"LEAR: Does Lear walk thus? Speak thus? / Who is it that can tell me who I am?" "Centuries of critics and actors have tried to tell, but Lear's identity, and the meaning of his action in the play, are still touched with enigma." "This book seeks Shakespeare's intentions in King Lear in new ways. It explores major interpretations of distinguished actors and directors as well as of critics from England, the United States, France, Belgium, Japan, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Italy, the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Poland. Is the play unsuited for the stage, as Charles Lamb - and others - have declared? How, in fact, has it been staged, and how visualized by critics? Is Lear designed to be a frail and aging old man? A powerful image of authority? Mad, or senile, to begin with? A kindly old father? Everyman? All of these? None? Does the play end with redemption? Unmitigated despair? Is it Christian? Pagan? Mr. Rosenberg confronts these and other questions from the base of his study and personal experience of the play." "To deepen the theatrical side of that experience, he began, as he did in his The Masks of Othello, with an involvement in the staged play: he directed and acted in Othello, and he followed a production of King Lear through two months of rehearsal and performance. One by-product of this intense participation was a discovery of some special qualities in the language of the play." "To achieve a better understanding of these qualities, Mr. Rosenberg put Lear's vocabulary through a computer, and established a concordance of every word both for the play as a whole and for each character. Interesting structural elements in Shakespeare's language become apparent." "Recognizing the difficulty, for a critic, of responding afresh to Shakespeare's craftsmanship in characterization and in arousing expectation, Mr. Rosenberg also arranged to expose the play to spectators who had never seen or read it. The response of this naive audience, after attending performances, was curious and illuminating. The author believes that any critical approach must be used that will increase our understanding of Shakespeare's work."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Performing Hamlet

Performing Hamlet
Author: Jonathan Croall
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9781350030732
Available:
Release: 2018-08-23
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Hamlet is arguably the most famous play on the planet, and the greatest of all Shakespeare's works. Its rich story and complex leading role have provoked intense debate and myriad interpretations. To play such a uniquely multi-faceted character as Hamlet represents the supreme challenge for a young actor. Performing Hamlet contains Jonathan Croall's revealing in-depth interviews with five distinguished actors who have played the Prince this century: Jude Law: 'You get to speak possibly the most beautiful lines about humankind ever given to an actor.' Simon Russell Beale: 'Hamlet is a very hospitable role: it will take anything you throw at it.' David Tennant: 'No other part has been so satisfying. It was tough, but utterly compelling.' Maxine Peake: 'Hamlet was a way of accessing bits of me as an actress I've not been able to access before.' Adrian Lester: 'Working with Peter Brook on Hamlet changed me as an actor, and for the better.' The book benefits from the author's interviews with six leading directors of the play during these years: Greg Doran, Nicholas Hytner, Michael Grandage, John Caird, Sarah Frankcom and Simon Godwin. Many other productions are described, from those starring Michael Redgrave, Alec Guinness and Paul Scofield in the 1950s, to the performances of Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Scott and Paapa Essiedu in recent times. The volume also includes an updated text of the author's earlier book Hamlet Observed, and an account of actors' experiences of performing at Elsinore.

Death Be Not Proud

Death Be Not Proud
Author: David Marno
Pages: 315
ISBN: 9780226415970
Available:
Release: 2016-12-21
Editor: University of Chicago Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

What might contemporary thinkers learn from prayer? The seventeenth-century French philosopher Nicolas Malebranche suggested a possibility: that prayer teaches us how to attend. This book explores the precedents of Malebranche s advice by reading John Donne s poetic prayers in the context of what David Marno calls the art of holy attention. This requires an understanding of attention s role in Christian devotion, which he provides by uncovering a tradition of holy attention that spans from ascetic thinkers and Church Fathers to Catholic spiritual exercises and Protestant prayer manuals. Donne s devotional poems occupy a unique position in this tradition. Marno identifies in them a devotional model of thinking whose aim is to experience an affect of attention. Marno s argument is framed by compelling close readings of Death, be not proud, Donne s most triumphant poem about the resurrection. Elsewhere, Marno takes up Claudius s prayer in "Hamlet" and Saint Augustine s account of attention in the "Soliloquies" and the "Confessions." The book ends with a Coda on the aftermath of holy attention in the philosophies of Descartes and Malebranche."

Shakespeare Text and Theater

Shakespeare  Text and Theater
Author: Jay L. Halio,Lois Potter,Arthur F. Kinney,Thomas W Copeland Professor of Literary History and Director of the Center for Renaissance Studies Arthur F Kinney
Pages: 346
ISBN: 0874136997
Available:
Release: 1999
Editor: University of Delaware Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"Jay L. Halio is internationally distinguished as an editor of Shakespeare's plays and as a critic of Shakespeare in performance. This collection, with an international list of contributors, honors both those interests and explores their interconnectedness."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Acts of Criticism

Acts of Criticism
Author: James P. Lusardi
Pages: 275
ISBN: 0838640591
Available:
Release: 2006
Editor: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

This book assembles a cast of sixteen distinguished theater historians and performance critics, each of whom has contributed significantly to our understanding of issues associated with performing works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Their essays, all appearing in print for the first time, are presented in two groupings: a theater history and practice section, in which contributors examine matters related to performance in Shakespeare's time and our own, and a performance criticism section, in which contributors treat modern productions on stage and screen. In the theater history and practice section, Roslyn L. Knutson explores the 1599-1600 repertory of the Admiral's Men and the Chamberlain's Men, who performed in rival playhouses.

What Happens in Hamlet

What Happens in Hamlet
Author: J. Dover Wilson
Pages: 357
ISBN: 0521091098
Available:
Release: 1959
Editor: Cambridge University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A scholarly examination of the plot and dramatic technique of Shakespeare's most controversial play

The Adventures of a Shakespeare Scholar

The Adventures of a Shakespeare Scholar
Author: Marvin Rosenberg
Pages: 365
ISBN: 0874135982
Available:
Release: 1997
Editor: University of Delaware Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Rarely does a scholar single-handedly point Shakespeare study in a new direction. But in the 1950s, Marvin Rosenberg led the way to a wider perspective of the poet-playwright's genius. The essays in this collection, which span Rosenberg's entire career, reflect the remarkable diversity of the scholar's pursuit of his vision.

Hamlet Protestantism and the Mourning of Contingency

Hamlet  Protestantism  and the Mourning of Contingency
Author: John E. Curran Jr
Pages: 278
ISBN: 9781317124023
Available:
Release: 2016-04-22
Editor: Routledge
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Building on current scholarly interest in the religious dimensions of the play, this study shows how Shakespeare uses Hamlet to comment on the Calvinistic Protestantism predominant around 1600. By considering the play's inner workings against the religious ideas of its time, John Curran explores how Shakespeare portrays in this work a completely deterministic universe in the Calvinist mode, and, Curran argues, exposes the disturbing aspects of Calvinism. By rendering a Catholic Prince Hamlet caught in a Protestant world which consistently denies him his aspirations for a noble life, Shakespeare is able in this play, his most theologically engaged, to delineate the differences between the two belief systems, but also to demonstrate the consequences of replacing the old religion so completely with the new.

Hamlet

Hamlet
Author: John Russell Brown
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781137203700
Available:
Release: 2006-03-30
Editor: Macmillan International Higher Education
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The commentary at the centre of this groundbreaking introduction alerts the reader to what happens on stage during a performance by showing what the text requires from actors and the choices they are offered. By this means, the Handbook demonstrates how an audience responds to plot and dramatic structure, what conflicts and issues are involved as the action unfolds, and the effects of developing expectation and variations of tension and pace. Chapters complementing this core feature provide an account of the three original texts, the theatrical conditions of early performances, and the play's social, political and cultural contexts. Generous quotations are given from books that influenced the writing of the play, and notable productions and performances are described to illustrate a wide range of interpretations. A concluding chapter quotes from recent critics and offers a number of different ways in which to understand the significance of this tragedy which has proved its enduring appeal.

Hamlet

Hamlet
Author: William Shakespeare
Pages: 640
ISBN: 9781408142899
Available:
Release: 2014-09-25
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The core of the ground-breaking, three text edition, this self-contained, free-standing volume gives readers the Second Quarto text (1604-5) and includes in its Introduction, notes and Appendices all the reader might expect to find in any standard Arden edition. As well as a full Introduction to the play's historical, cultural and performance contexts and a thorough survey of critical approaches to the play, an appendix contains the additional passages found only in the 1623 text."The new Arden Hamlet is a pathbreaking edition, one that promises to change irrevocably our understanding of Shakespeare's greatest play."- Professor James Shapiro, author of 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare'Hamlet's latest editors have undertaken a heroic task with great skill and thoroughnesss.' - Stanley Wells, The Observer"(The) new Arden Hamlet is quite simply the most comprehensive edition of the play currently available, a status I suspect it will enjoy for many years to come" - The British Theatre Guide"Stunning! There is absolutely no doubt about this being the text to buy if you are studying the play at A Level. And the same stands for those students who will be studying the play at university. This critical edition gives the reader the Second Quarto Text (1604-1605), annotated with intelligence and care, a wealth of historical and cultural references and a survey of different critical approaches to the play."- The Use of English, The English Association Due to copyright restrictions, there are 11 missing images in the ebook.

Philosophy and the Puzzles of Hamlet

Philosophy and the Puzzles of Hamlet
Author: Leon Harold Craig
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781628920499
Available:
Release: 2014-07-31
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Shakespeare's famous play, Hamlet, has been the subject of more scholarly analysis and criticism than any other work of literature in human history. For all of its generally acknowledged virtues, however, it has also been treated as problematic in a raft of ways. In Philosophy and the Puzzles of Hamlet, Leon Craig explains that the most oft-cited problems and criticisms are actually solvable puzzles. Through a close reading of the philosophical problems presented in Hamlet, Craig attempts to provide solutions to these puzzles. The posing of puzzles, some more conspicuous, others less so, is fundamental to Shakespeare's philosophical method and purpose. That is, he has crafted his plays, and Hamlet in particular, so as to stimulate philosophical activity in the "judicious" (as distinct from the "unskillful") readers. By virtue of showing what so many critics treat as faults or flaws are actually intended to be interpretive challenges, Craig aims to raise appreciation for the overall coherence of Hamlet: that there is more logical rigor to its plot and psychological plausibility to its characterizations than is generally granted, even by its professed admirers. Philosophy and the Puzzles of Hamlet endeavors to make clear why Hamlet, as a work of reason, is far better than is generally recognized, and proves its author to be, not simply the premier poet and playwright he is already universally acknowledged to be, but a philosopher in his own right.

Stage Directions in Hamlet

Stage Directions in Hamlet
Author: Hardin L. Aasand
Pages: 234
ISBN: 0838639461
Available:
Release: 2003
Editor: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The subject of stage directions in 'Hamlet', those brief semiotic codes that are embellished by historical, theatrical, and cultural considerations, produces a rigorous examination in the fifteen essays contained in this collection. This volume encompasses essays that are guardedly inductive in their critical approaches, as well as those that critique modern productions that attempt to achieve Shakespearean effect through a modern aesthetic. The volume also includes essays that enunciate the production of stage business as a cultural interplay between productions and social agencies outside the theater.

An Overview of Hamlet Studies

An Overview of Hamlet Studies
Author: Manpreet Kaur Anand
Pages: 147
ISBN: 9781527536524
Available:
Release: 2019-07-08
Editor: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Hamlet Studies (1979-2003), an international journal devoted exclusively to one work of art, Hamlet, presented a vast wealth of research on Shakespeare’s play, contributions from well-established critics from across the globe. This book focuses on the critical contribution Hamlet Studies made to the play’s scholarship, bringing together textual criticism, twentieth century critical thought and performance-based contributions. It represents a valuable and comprehensive guide for students and teachers studying Shakespeare in colleges and universities the world over.

Hamlet s Problematic Revenge

Hamlet s Problematic Revenge
Author: William F. Zak
Pages: 156
ISBN: 9781498513111
Available:
Release: 2015-05-20
Editor: Lexington Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Hamlet's Problematic Revenge: Forging a Royal Mandate provides a new argument within Shakespearean studies that argues the oft-noted arrest of the play’s dramaturgical momentum, especially evident in Hamlet’s much delayed enactment of his revenge, represents in fact a succinct emblem of the “arrested development” in the moral maturity of the entire cast, most notably, Hamlet himself—as the unifying disclosure and tragic problem in the play. Settling for unreflective and short-sighted personal gratifications and cold comforts, they truantly elbow aside a more considerable moral obligation. Again and again, all yield this duty’s commanding priority to a childishly self-regarding fear of offending those in nominal positions of power and questionable positions of authority—figures, like Ophelia and Hamlet’s fathers, for instance, demanding an unworthy deference. While Hamlet fails to consider with loving regard the improved well-being of the larger community to which he owes his existence and, fails to interrogate the moral adequacy of the Ghost’s command of violent reprisal (two things he never does nor even contemplates doing), “all occasions” in the play “do inform against” him and merely “spur a dull revenge”—not, as he interprets his own words, arguing the need for greater urgency in his vendetta, but, instead, to “inform against” the criminality of that very course itself. His revenge therefore can be argued as “dull,” not because he cannot summon the wherewithal to enact it more bloodily, but because in obsessing about it ceaselessly he remains unreceptive to its “dull” or “unenlightened” opposition to the evil he hopes to eradicate. Hamlet does not avenge his father; this book argues that he becomes him. Amidst a wealth of previously unremarked figurative mirrorings, as well as much of the seemingly digressive material in Hamlet within Shakespearean studies, Hamlet’s Problematic Revenge brings to light a new interpretation of the tragic problem in the play.

Hamlet After Q1

 Hamlet  After Q1
Author: Zachary Lesser
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780812246612
Available:
Release: 2014-10-24
Editor: University of Pennsylvania Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In 1823, Sir Henry Bunbury discovered a badly bound volume of twelve Shakespeare plays in a closet of his manor house. Nearly all of the plays were first editions, but one stood out as extraordinary: a previously unknown text of Hamlet that predated all other versions. Suddenly, the world had to grapple with a radically new—or rather, old—Hamlet in which the characters, plot, and poetry of Shakespeare's most famous play were profoundly and strangely transformed. Q1, as the text is known, has been declared a rough draft, a shorthand piracy, a memorial reconstruction, and a pre-Shakespearean "ur-Hamlet," among other things. Flickering between two historical moments—its publication in Shakespeare's early seventeenth century and its rediscovery in Bunbury's early nineteenth—Q1 is both the first and last Hamlet. Because this text became widely known only after the familiar version of the play had reached the pinnacle of English literature, its reception has entirely depended on this uncanny temporal oscillation; so too has its ongoing influence on twentieth- and twenty-first-century ideas of the play. Zachary Lesser examines how the improbable discovery of Q1 has forced readers to reconsider accepted truths about Shakespeare as an author and about the nature of Shakespeare's texts. In telling the story of this mysterious quarto and tracing the debates in newspapers, London theaters, and scholarly journals that followed its discovery, Lesser offers brilliant new insights on what we think we mean by Hamlet.

Hamlet Prince of Denmark

Hamlet  Prince of Denmark
Author: William Shakespeare,Philip Edwards
Pages: 258
ISBN: 9780521532525
Available:
Release: 2003-04-21
Editor: Cambridge University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

For this updated edition Robert Hapgood has added a section on prevailing critical and performance approaches to Hamlet.

Shakespeare and the History of Soliloquies

Shakespeare and the History of Soliloquies
Author: James E. Hirsh
Pages: 470
ISBN: 0838639712
Available:
Release: 2003
Editor: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Shakespeare and the History of Soliloquies provides the first systemic and comprehensive account of the conventions governing soliloquies in Western drama from antiquity to the twentieth century. Avoiding anachronistic assumptions that have marred earlier commentaries on soliloquies, the present study is based on a painstaking analysis of the actual practices of dramatists from each age of theatrical history. This investigation has uncovered evidence that refutes longstanding commonplaces about soliloquies in general, about Shakespeare's soliloquies in particular, and especially about the "To be, or not to be" episode.

Hamlet A Critical Reader

Hamlet  A Critical Reader
Author: Ann Thompson,Neil Taylor
Pages: 264
ISBN: 9781472571397
Available:
Release: 2016-04-21
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Hamlet remains the most-studied of all Shakespeare's great tragedies. This collection of newly-commissioned essays gives readers an overview of past critical views of the play as well as new writing about the play from today's leading scholars. The range of perspectives offered makes the book an invaluable companion to anyone studying the play at an advanced level. The final chapter on learning and teaching resources is particularly useful as a guide for further study.