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Saxo Grammaticus and the Life of Hamlet: A Translation, History, and Commentary
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Saxo Grammaticus and the Life of Hamlet: A Translation, History, and Commentary

3.2  ·  Rating details ·  20 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
"His discolored face and visage smutched with slime denoted foolish and grotesque madness. All he said was of a piece with these follies; all he did savored of utter lethargy. In a word, you would not have thought him a man at all, but some absurd abortion due to a mad fit of destiny." A re-analysis of the Hamlet (Amleth) section of Saxo Grammticus, with a transalktion of ...more
Hardcover, 206 pages
Published January 1st 1983 by University of Nebraska Press
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Nelson
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
A review of the main Latin source for the Danish story forming the background for Shakespeare's Hamlet. The book has almost nothing to do with Shakespeare (not that it pretends to, either). Rather, it discusses Saxo Grammaticus' Danish history which provided Shakespeare and (probably) Thomas Kyd with the skeleton of the play. Hansen operates from a folklore standpoint, so his work is mainly concerned with tracing variants on the Ambleth story (as it is called) in Scandinavian and even earlier so ...more
Rachel Jackson
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read online here: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/amleth.html

Some highlights of Saxo Grammaticus's "Amleth, Prince of Denmark":
- Uncanny telepathic communication with friends who warn of treachery
- People riding horses backwards
- The cutting up of a dead body and throwing it into the sewer for pigs to eat
- Questionable royal ancestry
- Badass lines like "not idly do I wear the mask of folly" and "the messenger of his death was likewise its author"
- An army of the dead
- Somehow more death than Shakespe
...more
Aline
A curious “origin story” to Hamlet.
Marilyn
2.5* -
Read for a class on Hamlet. I liked reading about various versions of Hamlet/Amleth, however, I found this book a bit tedious. Good for Hamlet and Shakespeare fans or students, however.
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