alice grass

Hamlet by William Shakespeare- Review

Saturday, March 22, 2014
I finally read my first Shakespeare. Yeah!  I read it for my Project Disney The Lion King (the movie is based off this play).  Here is the goodreads description:

In this quintessential Shakespearean drama, Hamlet's halting pursuit of revenge for his father's death unfolds in a series of highly charged confrontations that climax in tragedy. Probing the depths of human feeling like few other works of art, the play is reprinted here from an authoritative British edition complete with illuminating footnotes. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative  

Honestly... this was a hard book to read.  It took me a little while to get in the grove of reading.  Once I picked up how the conversations were going I got a long much better.  I watched the 1996 film Hamlet (4 hours) after reading and now I wish I had read along with the film.  It uses the exact text and helps one understand more of what they are reading.  I was able though to figure out what the main plot was.   I find that it was interesting and what made it even more perfect is that it wasn't too long.  I suppose that is because I was reading a play so I am only going to read what people are going to sit there and actually watch.

I didn't go and study the story and the meanings behind it.  I simply just read it for enjoyment. I like the love... the drama... the witty text.  To finally read "to be or not to be".  Since I haven't really paid too much attention to Shakespeare novels before (except Romeo and Juliet of course) the ending was a complete surprise to me!  Shakespeare actually wasn't spoiled!  Shocker I know. I believe that (well from this play) that Hamlet should be read in one sitting.  I feel that putting it down and coming back to it later just takes away from the play feeling.  I love plays/broadway, so while reading this I was trying to read it as if I was listening to a play.

I enjoyed this even though... well let's be honest I really needed a dictionary for every sentence. I do plan on reading more Shakespeare.   

The crystal ball says:



Fog is coming.....  in the middle of the road on this book!
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21 comments:

  1. I sometimes shy away from classics just because you have to concentrate to really get into the "groove" , like you said. I am glad you did, I really need to too!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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  2. Oh, I never knew the Lion King was based on it. I have to admit that I never read Shakespeare - we didn't read it in school in East Germany. And to be honest, I think I would have problems to understand the language, but once you get into it, it must be so beautiful and rewarding. My daughter now does them in school, they are doing Macbeth at the moment.

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  3. One of my great disappointments in life is that i have never taken the opportunity to study great literature with a professor or teacher who could help bring it alive for me. I am impressed that you read this great play on your own.

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  4. I read it soooo long ago, I think I loved it but I'm not sure if it was genuine or if it was because it was Shakespeare ! ;)

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  5. YES! I must concentrate... no TV, no music... nothing. Otherwise I need to re-read the same paragraph over and over!!

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  6. You know... I wouldn't probably read Shakespeare for fun. I do have to read it one more time for Pocahontas in Project Disney but after that I think I am done with it. Just not my favorite. The nice thing though is that it is a really quick read ... I read Hamlet in one night.

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  7. I know!! It makes me wish sometimes I was an English Lit major in college. My sister was and she got to read a great many books with her classes. It would be like a wonderful giant book club!!!

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  8. LOL! Well Shakespeare does write a good drama. He would totally be a soap opera writer if he was alive today.

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  9. I am a nerd or geek and actually read almost all of his plays back in high school for fun! LOL I was one of those kids who looked forward to discussing these and analyzing them. So glad you enjoyed this, and while it wasn't my fav, it had some great lines and suspense.

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  10. Stop! The Lion King is based on Hamlet! I didn't know that but thinking about it now - the father, the uncle - yet it fits! I studied Hamlet in school and didn't hate it! Didn't love it either. I find Shakespeare really difficult to read and understand. Give me The Lion King anyday ;)

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  11. I actually wish I could've discussed this in a class. I will say when I watched the movie it helped me understand a lot more. I was able to picture more in my mind. There were scenes that I had pictured totally wrong! LOL!

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  12. Yes... I didn't hate it either. It takes a little while to get in the grove of reading it though. I did try to read it and picture it as a play in my mind. To think people sat there for like 4-5 hours!!!

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  13. I agree... I even found when reading it after a while I was in the flow. There was no way I wasn't going to not finish the book in one night. I didn't want to stop reading it in the middle and have to get back in the flow the next day. I would like to try to read Romeo and Juliet.

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  14. I read Hamlet in high school. I had to read so many other sources to understand what was going on, because I have a hard time understanding Shakespeare's tragedies. His plays are much easier to watch than read though.

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  15. It was ruff. I am glad though that I can say now that I have read Shakespeare and understand what people are talking about when they mention his plays. It is one of the goals I always had so now it's done!

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  16. Shakespeare can be difficult but I think the depth and beauty of the stories make it worth it! I do like to watch the adaptations too to help me understand what is going on - it is better to see it visually sometimes. But the words can be so difficult that you also need to read it. Shakespeare doesn't make it easy on us! :D I'm glad you enjoyed Hamlet enough to read more! My personal faves are the comedies - A Midsummer Night's Dream and Much Ado About Nothing!

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  17. Yes... the movies helped me so much. In fact... I enjoyed Hamlet soooo much more after watching the 1996 film. Had I known it was word for word I would've read the book along with the film. OH yes!!! I forgot about A Midsummer Night's Dream. I have always wanted to read that one based off the title alone.

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  18. Whoa I don't really ever see bloggers review the classics, and even then, not something like Shakespeare. It's interesting to see what you thought about it because I actually majored in Lit with a concentration in Shakespeare and studied Hamlet quite in depth...

    And it's kind of an interesting choice for your first Shakespeare. Usually people start with comedies like Midsummer's Night. Even though the plays are pretty short to read, it does take a long time to plough through if you're not used to the language. If you have annotations, it takes even longer because you're looking back and forth between the text and then what it means.

    I totally suggest http://nfs.sparknotes.com/

    No Fear Shakespeare has all the plays and side by side "modern translations" for the average reader. :)

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  19. To be honest...I loathed Hamlet! Part of it was reading it for school, I'm sure. But 've discovered over the years that perhaps Shakespearean tragedies and I just don't get along. But his comedies? I adore them! Midsummer Night's Dream is probably my favorite of the few I've read, and the movie version with Kevin Kline is fantastic! I'm with you - it helps to see what's going on when you're reading, otherwise it can be hard (at least for me) to make sense of.

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  20. I only ended up picking Hamlet as my first Shakespeare because of the Lion King. Thank you for the Shakespeare spark notes. I actually did put those on hold at the library to go with Hamlet but they didn't come in during the time frame I needed them. So I just went through and I made it!!

    I didn't think it was horrible. I used to dread Shakespeare because every one talks like they are this awful thing. I quite thought it was neat. I would actually tell people to read it!

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  21. Oooh I did quite like The Tempest (my mom was named after a character in it, so I'm glad I liked it haha) I hope you have a lot of fun with it!

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