Included in this guide to Shakespeare's Hamlet are act-by-act synopses, discussion questions, student activities, and writing topics. Your students will enjoy this tragic play of revenge and familial relationships.
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At the end of the Signet Classic edition is a list of suggested references on Shakespeare including biographical information, the Elizabethan theater, and Hamlet.

Teaching Shakespeare

Alling, Eliza. "Dear Will." Shakespeare Quarterly 25 (1974): pp. 264-271.
Dean, James S. "What's the Matter with Hamlet in the Schools." In Shakespeare in the Classroom: Resources and Media Aids, edited by A. McLean, pp. 16-30. Kenosha: UW-Parkside's Center for Teaching Excellence, 1977.
Hellenga, Robert R. "Hamlet in the Classroom." College English 35 (October 1973): pp. 32-39.
Robinson, Randal. Unlocking Shakespeare's Language: Help for the Teacher and Student. Urbana: National Council of Teachers of English, 1989.
Sacks, Claire, and Whan, Edgar, eds. Hamlet: Enter Critic. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1960.

Hamlet in Film

Ashworth, John. "Olivier, Freud and Hamlet." Atlantic Monthly 183 (May 1949): pp. 30-33.
Halio, Jay L. "Three Filmed Hamlets." Literature/Film Quarterly 1 (Fall 1973): pp. 316-320.

Beyond the Play

Students who are interested in the ideas presented in Shakespeare's Hamlet can find adolescent novels which deal with these same ideas in more contemporary terms. The following sources are helpful to both teachers and students in locating books on various topics:

Abrahamson, Richard F. and betty Carter, eds. Books for You: A Booklist for Senior High Students. Urbana: National Council of Teachers of English, 1988

Davis, James E. and Hazel K. Davis, eds. Your Reading: A Booklist for Junior High and Middle School Students. Urbana: National Council of Teachers of English, 1988


Patti C. McWhorter is Chair of the English Department at Cedar Shoals High School in Athens, Georgia. For over ten years she has been the editor of "Bookcorner," a column in the Counselor, a quarterly publication of the Georgia Council of Teachers of English. Her publications include articles and reviews for The ALAN Review, Georgia Journal, and English Journal. She has also served on NCTE's committee to revise high Interest-Easy Reading and was president of the Georgia Council of Teachers of English. Patti received her undergraduate degrees and her Ed.D. from the University of Georgia.


Arthea (Charlie) J. S. Reed, Ph.D. is a former president of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN). She is the author of three books in the fields of literature and teaching: Reaching Adolescents: The Young Adult Book and the School, Comics to Classics: A Guide to Books for Teens and Preteens, and Presenting Harry Mazer. In addition, she is the author or co-author of numerous books in the fieldsof foundations of education and teaching methods. She was editor of The ALAN Review for six years and has co-edited the Signet Classic teacher's guide series since 1988.

In May 1996, Dr. Reed retired after 17 years as a professor of education and six years as chairperson of education at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. After nearly 30 years in teaching at the elementary, secondary, and college/university level, she is now pursuing a new career in education as Executive Director of Development and Education for Northwestern Mutual Life in Asheville, N.C. Dr. Reed and her husband Don live with their two dogs and a cat on a mountain top in Fairview, N.C.

W. Geiger (Guy) Ellis, Professor Emeritus, University of Georgia, received his A.B. and M.Ed. degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his Ed.D. from the University of Virginia. For most of his career, Guy has been active in teaching adolescent literature, having introduced the first courses on the subject at both the University of Virginia and the University of Georgia. He developed and edited The ALAN Review from 1978 to 1984, changing its focus from a newsleeter to a referred journal. His research has had heavy emphasis on the content of literature instruction.

ISBN: 0-451-52678-3
Copyright © 2000 by Penguin USA
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