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The third edition of Hamlet offers a completely new introduction to this rich, mysterious play, examining Shakespeare's transformation of an ancient Nordic legend into a drama whose philosophical, psychological, political, and spiritual complexities have captivated audiences world-wide for over 400 years. Focusing on the ways in which Shakespeare re-imagined the revenge plot and its capacity to investigate the human experiences of love, grief, obligation, and memory, Heather Hirschfeld explores the play's cultural and theatrical contexts, its intricate textual issues, its vibrant critical traditions and controversies, and its history of performance and adaptation by celebrated directors, actors, and authors. Supplemented by an updated reading list, extensive illustrations and helpful appendices, this edition also features revised commentary notes explicitly designed for the student reader, offering the very best in contemporary criticism of this great tragedy.