Hamlet is the most often read, and most often studied of Shakespeare's plays. It is very much a play of ideas; thus many of the issues the play raises relate to the sections of the stack on the intellectual and political backgrounds.

Topics covered in this section:

Footnotes

  1. Summary: facts about Hamlet

    Written:
    1600-01
    First published:
    1603 (a "bad" quarto)
    1604 (second quarto)
    Three quartos were published before the Folio in 1623.
    First mention:
    in the Stationer's Register, 1602
    Major source:

    probably an earlier play of the same name, now lost, perhaps by Thomas Kyd.