Studying Shakespeare -- and Hamlet in particular -- can be challenging, but it is also incredibly rewarding.  Make use of these resources to best succeed in reading this play. 


Students who have struggled with Shakespeare's language have often struggled with three main barriers:  

  • Shakespeare's syntax or unusual word arrangement
  • Shakespeare's omissions and contractions
  • Archaic words or unusual words

View the handout attached to this page below for more details on how YOU can better access Shakespeare's language.


Reading a play in solitude can be difficult. Plays are meant to be read aloud with multiple people. To aid in your understanding of " Hamlet," here are several links. You should bookmark these. You'll want to use them throughout the play!

Full Text of Hamlet:

For the full text of the play, use No Fear Shakespeare: Hamlet provides a full text of the play right alongside a version that's written in everyday language. Try to read the Shakespeare as much as possible and rely on the translation just when you're lost!

Scene Summaries:

Once you've read a scene or act, it can be helpful to look at the scene summaries to make sure you caught everything that happened. You can use Spark Notes Hamlet pages for this.

Audio Version of the Play:

Sometimes listening to a play can be a huge help in understanding the dynamics between all the characters. Unfortunately there is not a free version of Hamlet on the web. However, with a library card you should be able to download a version from your local library. There are also versions available on iTunes for as little as $0.99.

Study Guides:

There are also some excellent study guides available online with tons of resources for understanding Hamlet. Here are just a couple that are worth looking at:

Arts Alive Hamlet Guide

Glencoe Hamlet Study Guide

Choose carefully the best resources that help YOU!