Simon Critchley’s

by William Shakespeare

Hamlet—melancholic, inhibited, and unable to love—shows us the crossroads between life and death, between narcissism and desire. The demand for un-adulterated life, for the absence of defect, the doing away with loss in the guise of a plea for satisfaction and happiness arises like a “cursed spite” that he cannot set right.

–(Stay Illusion!: The Hamlet Doctrine)

Undoubtedly Shakespeare’s most famous play, Hamlet remains both an extremely enduring and equally enigmatic piece of Western literature.

The story of Hamlet, the young Prince of Denmark, his tortured relationship with his mother, and his quest to avenge his father’s murder at the hand of his brother brother Claudius has fascinated readers and audiences ever since it was written around 1600.

This edition is the heavily marked-up personal copy of Hamlet belonging to Simon Critchley, co-author of Stay Illusion: The Hamlet Doctrine. It reveals the philosopher’s intense engagement with the text and shows, in real time, the creative process behind this insightful work. Simon Critchley’s Hamletmarginalia pull back the curtain on one of our most intriguing and original thinkers–and the practice of conversing with a text and its author at large.


Paperback Edition

Out 1 September | 242 pages

ISBN: 978-1-9997981-2-3


SIMON CRITCHLEY is Hans Jonas Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York. His previous books include On HumourThe Book of Dead PhilosophersHow to Stop Living and Start WorryingImpossible ObjectsThe Mattering of Matter (with Tom McCarthy), The Faith of the FaithlessStay, Illusion!: The Hamlet Doctrine (with Jamieson Webster), Bowie, and Memory Theatre. He is series moderator of ‘The Stone’, a philosophy column in the New York Times, to which he is a frequent contributor.