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Publication Date: December 2006

The Sourcebooks Shakespeare edition of Hamlet features an integrated audio CD with 25 performances by different actors throughout the twentieth century, narrated by Sir Derek Jacobi. Detailed essays, commentary and photos accompany our newly edited text of the play with insights from a noted Shakespeare scholar.

Hear 12 classic scenes with Hamlet played by:

  • John Barrymore (1928)
  • John Gielgud (from a 1948 recording made for radio)
  • Laurence Olivier (from his 1948 movie soundtrack)
  • Richard Burton (from Gielgud's 1964 "rehearsal" production on Broadway)
  • Derek Jacobi (from a 1980 production for BBC-TV)

See images from notable productions:

  • At the Joseph Papp Public Theater with Martin Sheen, Kevin Kline, and Liev Schreiber as Hamlet.
  • Simon Russell Beale in New York City, Roger Rees at the Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Stills from Kenneth Branagh's 1996 film and Michael Almereyda's 2000 version
  • Set designs and costume renderings from a 1934 production directed by Sir John Gielgud

Read essays and commentary with insights from:

  • Russell Jackson, editor of The Oxford Illustrated History of Shakespeare on Stage, on Kenneth Branagh's 1996 film.
  • Douglas Lanier, editor of Shakespeare and Modern Popular Culture on Hamlet as inspiration for contemporary media
  • Text editor Terri Bourus on productions of Hamlet throughout history

Additional essays dissect a contemporary performance, offer a modern cast's insights into their characters, and uncover the history of Shakespeare's world.

For more information about the series, visit [The Sourcebooks Shakespeare] web site

Praise for [The Sourcebooks Shakespeare]

“The emphasis on performance constantly sets these books apart from other Shakespeare editions, and interesting photographs from historic and contemporary productions offer an unprecedented view of Shakespeare on the stage and in film. The emphasis on performance certainly makes these editions more accessible and more meaningful than other text-only versions.” —BookReview.com

“For the student, they provide an excellent introduction to the play's major themes and a platform from which any novice (or expert) can explore the text.” —BookReview.com

“The really exciting feature of these editions is the audio CD…Extremely useful for instructors who want their students to think about differing interpretations of the lines.  Good purchases for schools in which these plays are a part of the curriculum.” —School Library Journal, Starred Review

“A stunning undertaking.” —AudioFile magazine

“With the number of film adaptations of Shakespeare’s works in recent years, public libraries should seriously consider acquiring this series.” —Carolyn M. Mulac, Chicago Public Library, in Library Journal


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