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p. 435. Hamletlocked

  • Stanley Wells

Abstract

Hamlet’ explains the textual fluidity of the play and how it has therefore been subject to a wider range of interpretation than most; it is different every time it is acted. Though every version has the same basic central story of Hamlet’s revenge for his father’s murder, each inevitably presents a more or less subtly different narrative, some omitting whole scenes and even major story threads. All this helps to explain why the play—and its central character—have been subject to an exceptionally wide range of interpretation. The most familiar image of the play is the young prince contemplating a skull, the overriding theme being how people react to death.

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