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Paperback:  $19.75

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Approaches to Teaching Shakespeare's Hamlet

Editor(s): Bernice W. Kliman

Pages: xiv & 291 pp.
Published: 2002
ISBN: 9780873527682

"[These] essays leave the reader with a sense that the strategies our colleagues are applying are consistently stimulating. Indeed, this is a volume that is teeming with ideas, a volume that is bound to be well received by the many of us who are looking for new ways into the provocative world of Hamlet."
June Schlueter, author of Dramatic Closure and editor of Two Gentlemen of Verona: Critical Essays

The casebound edition of this title is out of print.

For centuries Hamlet has been a source of inspiration for readers and audiences. The play's characters fascinated Romantic critics from Goethe to Coleridge, its themes interested psychoanalytic theorists from Freud to Lacan, and its ideas have engaged recent scholars of all schools. Teachers regard Shakespeare's great tragedy as rewarding, challenging, and ideal for classroom instruction and performance.

This volume, like others in the MLA's Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, is divided into two parts. The first part, "Materials," culls from thousands of works on Hamlet those editions, anthologies, reference materials, films, and Web sites that will be of greatest help to teachers. The second part, "Approaches," presents a wide array of techniques for presenting the play to students--textual approaches, performance strategies, comparative and postmodern methodologies. Unique to this Approaches volume are twenty short takes--exercises, syllabus additions, and tips for teaching Hamlet.

Table of Contents

Approaches to Teaching Shakespeare's Hamlet

Bernice W. Kliman

Single-Play Editions for Students
Single-Play Editions for Instructors and Advanced Students
Complete Works
The Student's and Instructor's Library
References and Guides
Aids to Teaching

An Annotated and Chronological Screenography: Major Hamlet Adaptations and Selected Derivatives
Kenneth S. Rothwell


Introducing Verse and Meter

Hearing the Poetry
George T. Wright

Dancing the Meter
Ellen J. O'Brien

The Multiple-Text Hamlet

"The Play's the Thing": Constructing the Text of Hamlet
T. H. Howard-Hill

An Editing Exercise for Students
Randall Anderson

Teaching with a Variorum Edition
Frank Nicholas Clary

Teaching Hamlet through Translation
Jesús Tronch-Pérez

Performance Approaches

Exploring Hamlet: Opening Play Texts, Closing Performances
Edward L. Rocklin

To Challenge Ghostly Fathers: Teaching Hamlet and Its Interpretations through Film and Video
Stephen M. Buhler

Critical Practice through Performance: The Nunnery and Play Scenes
Mary Judith Dunbar

Teaching the Script: The "Mousetrap" in the Classroom
Michael W. Shurgot

Narrative, Character, and Theme

Hamlet's Narratives
Arthur F. Kinney

From Story to Action: A Graduated Exercise to Teach Hamlet
Nina daVinci Nichols

A World of Questions: An Approach Indebted to Maynard Mack
Robert H. Ray

"That Monster Custom": Highlighting the Theme of Obedience in Hamlet
Joan Hutton Landis

Teaching Hamlet as a Play about Family
Bruce W. Young

Ten Questions Basic to Interpreting Hamlet, with Special Focus on the Ghost
Roy Battenhouse

Comparative Approaches

The "Encrusted" Hamlet: Resetting the "Mousetrap"
Graham Bradshaw

Teaching Hamlet in a Global Literature Survey: Linking Elizabethan England and Ming China
Paula S. Berggren

Hamlet in a Western Civilization Course: Connections to Montaigne's Essays and Cervantes's Don Quixote
Ann W. Engar

The Pyrrhus Speech: Querying the Uses of the Troy Story
Lisa Hopkins

From Elsinore to Mangalore and Back: Hamlet between Worlds
Ralph Nazareth

Modern and Postmodern Strategies

The Gertrude Barometer: Teaching Shakespeare with Freud, Eliot, and Lacan
Julia Reinhard Lupton

"She Chanted Snatches of Old Tunes": Ophelia's Songs in a Polyphonic Hamlet
Nona Paula Fienberg

Decentering Hamlet: Questions and Perspectives Concerning Evidence and Proof
Terry Reilly

More than Child's Play: Approaching Hamlet through Comic Books
Marion D. Perret

Hamlet and Sylvia, Shakespeare and Bambara: Reading Hamlet as Context
Mary S. Comfort

Focus on Scenes

Act 1, Scene 3: An Introduction to Hamlet
Michael J. Collins

Act 2, Scene 1, 75–120: Psychoanalytic Approaches
H. R. Coursen

The Closet-Scene Access
Maurice Charney

Language, Structure, and Ideology: Act 4, Scene 5
John Drakakis

The Fencing Scene
Laurie E. Maguire

Shaping Our Ends: A Workshop on the Last Scene
Arthur Kincaid

Hamlet Online

The Prince of Punk in the Festive Classroom
James R. Andreas Sr.

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Hamlet in a Distance-Learning Classroom
Anthony DiMatteo

E-Mail to Facilitate Discussion
Eric Sterling

Short Takes

Hamlet Refracted through Three Definitions of Tragedy
David G. Hale

Francis Bacon's "Of Revenge"
Margaret Maurer

Introducing Students to Effective Refutation
Joanne E. Gates

Believing and Doubting Ideas about Hamlet
Meta Plotnik

Students as Characters, Speaking in Character
Christine Mack Gordon

Two Ways to Use Film for Student Writing
Rob Kirkpatrick

Hamlet Is Not Mad
D. Buchanan

Defamiliarizing Hamlet: Hamlet with and without His Soliloquies
Barbara Hodgdon

Helping Chinese Students Study Hamlet
Luo Zhiye

Oral Reports on Criticism
Edna Zwick Boris

Teaching Text and Performance through Soundscripting
Michael W. Young

More Matter (but Not Necessarily Less Art): Using My Coloring Book to Introduce Seventh Graders to Hamlet
Denise M. Mullins

Priming Questions for the "Mousetrap"
Bente Videbaek

Puns and Wordplay in Hamlet
Paul J. Voss

Leaping into the Text: Teaching Stage Directions in Act 5, Scene 1
Hardin L. Aasand

Groups Debating Issues
David George

Existential Questions
Alan R. Young

Words, Words, Words: Comparing, Cutting, Explaining
Nathaniel Strout

Hamlet and Subjectivity
Dympna Callaghan


Cheating Death: The Immortal and Ever-Expanding Universe of Hamlet
Maria M. Scott

Works Cited and Materials for Further Study

Index of Names

Index of Scenes in Hamlet

Index of Characters in Hamlet, Other Than Hamlet

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