Arguably Shakespeare's finest and most important play, Hamlet is one of the most misunderstood masterpieces of world literature. "To be or not to be" may be the question, but the answer has eluded many generations of critics. What does it mean "to be?" And is everything as it seems to be? These are the questions that are asked and answered in the introduction by Joseph Pearce, author of The Quest for Shakespeare, and in the tradition-oriented critical essays by leading Shakespeare scholars that can be found in this groundbreaking edition of Shakespeare's masterpiece. To see or not to see, that is the question. The Ignatius Critical Edition of Hamlet will help many people truly see the play and its deepest meaning in a new and surprising light.
The Ignatius Critical Editions represents a tradition-oriented alternative to popular textbook series such as the Norton Critical Editions or Oxford World Classics, and are designed to concentrate on traditional readings of the classics of world literature. Whereas many modern critical editions have succumbed to the fads of modernism and post-modernism, this series will concentrate on tradition-oriented criticism of these great works. Edited by acclaimed literary biographer, Joseph Pearce, the Ignatius Critical Editions will ensure that traditional moral readings of the works are given prominence, instead of the feminist, or deconstructionist readings that often proliferate in other series of "critical editions". As such, they represent a genuine extension of consumer-choice, enabling educators, students, and lovers of great literature to buy editions of classic literary works without having to buy into the ideologies of secular fundamentalism.