This edition of Hamlet represents a radically new text of the best known and most widely discussed of all Shakespearean tragedies. G.R. Hibbard argues, in a substantial introduction, that the presently accepted text is not, in fact, the most authoritative version of the play. Instead, he turns to the First Folio of 1623, Shakespeare's "fair copy" of the play that has been preserved for us in the Second Quarto. This revision of the play is more "theatrical" in the best sense of that word--it provides, as Shakespeare intended, a better, more practical acting script. Such changes as the omission of Horatio's account of the omens preceding Caesar's assassination, and Hamlet's on the drunkenness of Danes, give the play new momentum, and lend credence to Hibbard's claim that the familiar conflated text of Hamlet is a much more "problematic" play than it appears to have been in the First Folio.
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