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Philip Edwards aims to bring the reader, playgoer and director of Hamlet into the closest possible contact with Shakespeare's most famous and most perplexing play. In his Introduction Edwards considers the possibility that Shakespeare made important alterations to Hamlet as it neared production, creating differences between the two early texts, quarto and folio. Edwards concentrates on essentials, dealing succinctly with the huge volume of commentary and controversy which the play has provoked and offering a way forward which enables us once again to recognise its full tragic energy. For this updated edition, Robert Hapgood has added a section on prevailing critical and performance approaches to the play. He discusses film and stage performances, actors of the Hamlet role as well as directors of the play; his account of scholarship stresses the role of remembering and forgetting in the play, and the impact of feminist and performance studies.