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Hamlet (No Fear Shakespeare)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  209 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published May 30th 2018 by SparkNotes
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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  209 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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In the century since this renowned work by the legendary William Shakespeare was written, it has also been regarded by critics, scholars, and theater professionals alike as one of the greatest plays ever written. Praised and studied for its psychological accuracy and complexity, the essential story is simple, if perhaps excessively violent – a young man, urged to revenge the murder of his father, delays taking action. Several other deaths result, and the young man loses his own life in a battle ...more
Sage Elizabeth
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
first Shakespeare and I loved it!
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This brought a deeper appreciation of the play I read last week, Hamlet. The language reads with a sense of depth, but the explanation and analyses of the play brings light to the complicated genius of Shakespeare. I plan to find a movie version on the internet and watch it tonight.

Update: I remember reading and watching Macbeth in undergrad school, and loving it. I watched Hamlet for the first time, a modernized version with abridged but exact Shakespeare text. I had chills all over
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
It was okay. Had to read it for school. Pretty good for a school book, but still not something I would read just for fun.
Nick Jones
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amanda is teaching Hamlet next year, so she read it out loud in the car on our recent vacation. I loved reading it last year; loved hearing it this year.
Donald Powell
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: government, other, novel
I love the "No Fear Shakespeare". Having read this play several times I did not have a good understanding until reading the current language version in this little book. One can see how Shakespeare has guided so much literature and story telling with his works. A true tragedy with profound comments about life, love, duty, avarice, greed, lust, envy, and much more. Having the old English and the current interpretation side by side was a genius move. Thank you SparkNotes.
kenzie ⎊
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
act five scene two

osric: hello! welcome back!
hamlet: aww, thanks! (aside to horatio) do you know this insect

also act one scene two

hamlet: thrift, thrift, horatio!
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Since I didn't have an English teacher to guide me through it, I used this version along with two other resources to help me through my Hamlet experience. I also listened to some actors portraying the work via audiobook (Unabridged fully dramatized vesrsion from the Folger Shakespeare Library - I highly recommend it) and also a commentary podcast by Oxford lecturer Emma Smith (, which was fantastic. It was great to have this book so I cou ...more
Katie Katie
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This edition makes it so easy to read, it's fantastic.
Even as I have read a few Shakespeare plays at this point, it is still easy to miss things through the reading, so this is EXCELLENT to keep you on track.
This is probably one of Shakespeare books I like more. There's so much happening and a lot of plot to keep you entertained.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Shakespeare's plays are either tragedy or comedy. This is definitely in the tragedy column, and dives in to how fragile humank
Jul 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, shakespeare
I have a good relationship with Shakespeare works and I understand certain people who don't, which is completely valid. I'm mostly rating the edition and not as much as the play. I really do enjoy Hamlet and love picking apart the language and characters. I think this edition is more geared towards younger readers or people very new to Shakespeare. I still refer to the edition on the website every so often to get second thoughts on specific interpretations. For me personally it just doesn't give ...more
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Students
Absolutely outstanding at making Shakespearian literature understandable. Whether you are a student, teacher, or simply want to be able to the grasp context better–No Fear Shakespeare has your back! Hamlet includes the original text on the left side and the modernized text (with small notes) on the right. I was able to comprehend and enjoy the famous tale of Hamlet. Round of applause to the SparkNotes team.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
My first time reading Hamlet and this book truly helped. I would read the right (modern English) first and then the Old English. I tried it the other way but it didn't work out for me because I had no idea what they were really saying.

I liked that in the beginning of the book they list all the characters and tell you a little about what's going on with them in the story. I felt more prepared that way.

As for the story itself, I found it a very good one and I looked forward
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-20
Even though it is an undeniable classic of Shakespeare, Hamlet can still impact greatly in this modern age. In Denmark, the prince, Hamlet, is told by a ghost that resembles his dead father, that he was killed by Hamlet’s uncle who took his father's place. With silent rage, Hamlet starts plot for revenge. This plot leads him and his surrounding ongoing dramatic events entangling and complicated relationships as things end up as a chaotic mess ruining whoever’s life that gets involved. Revenge is ...more
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I haven’t read Shakespeare’s Hamlet since my high school English class, back in the mid 70’s, but this edition made it an easy read. Having Shakespeare’s original prose side-by-side with a more current “translation” is definitely helpful. However, reading Hamlet as Shakespeare penned it is far more satisfying. I definitely recommend No Fear Shakespeare as a great way to gain exposure to one of the greatest playwrights of all time.
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be reviewing Hamlet itself, or this specific version. To be clear, I don't like Hamlet at all, but the No Fear Shakespeare version was great!! Not only does it have a modern translation right next to the original text, but there are side notes explaining various parts of the story that are no longer common knowledge. I always thought Hamlet was boring, but this version held my attention.
Sara Khan
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had to read this book due to an English literature assignment and honestly I didn’t understand a word from the book given by my tutor with the orginal text so this was very helpful in understanding the meaning behind the orginal text but also not removing the meaning keeping it authentic.
If you like shakespeare and want to understand i suggest you read this version as you get a better understanding 🙏🏼
Rion Park
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've never read stories from Shakespeare due to the difficultness of the wordings from the old texts. Though, this book made it a lot easier to read since they also had the modern text with the old texts. Hamlet really showed morality and the human nature; the anger, rage, and desire for revenge. It was very interesting.
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought that this book was very educational in a way of helping the reader understand the characters and the story line. also the old English pares with plain English was very helpful overall 5 star book
Lucien L
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
this book was an amazing type of historical fiction when it's really just a graphic novel. this book can teach you a little bit of history but not as much as a teacher would teach you. I'd recommend this book to anybody that likes graphic novels or Shakespeare.
Oct 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Always find Shakespeare confusing this helped a bit
Connor Sullivan
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Read for class, but I still enjoyed it. Hamlet is so sassy and dramatic; basically, he’s me in a sense.
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Ophelia deserved better.
May 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: school-books
Definitely more of a cerebral play than an action play but I did enjoy it. The annotations were really helpful because stuff can go over my head easily.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good translation that makes the old English of Shakespeare easy to understand.
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
“To be- or not to be that is the question”
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: british-classics
Pretty good, but Macbeth was better.

As for the modern English translation, it did the job, but I've had better.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
Read this for my Advanced Shakespeare course
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This story has ghosts, pirates, swordfights, flirting, murder, suicide, accidental murder, intentional murder, excellent soliloquies, and much, much more. Its awesome.
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Summed up: You're never too old for your parents to traumatize you. lol.

Jk. But I always like a story that asks questions, and this one certainly asks a lot of them. Also, Hamlet as an individual has a handful of noble traits, highlighted by the foils in Laertes and Fortinbras--traits much needed these days.
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