Working Papers


Click the boxed lines when the arrow points down to display the cut passages; click when the arrow points up to hide them.


The Director's Cuts

Latest Addition

If you're interested in the process of how scholars edit the texts of plays, we have a list of references on the subject which you can download.


Text v. Text

A play performed is not a play read.

Directors cut text for a variety of reasons—running time, costs, the limits of the actors, and much else besides. In this part of the site, we show both the performance text and the "literary" text on which it's based.

A literary text is a work of scholarship that collates bits and pieces from a number of possible quarto and folio versions. No scholarly text is definitive; its creation is an act of interpretation, one scholar's informed opinion of what Shakespeare produced.

Knowing the scholarly text allows us to begin to understand how a performance text differs. Our understanding is strengthened when we can both access the absent passages and also learn why the director chose to cut them.

This site doesn't ask you agree or disagree with either the choices or the reasons; rather it asks you to use them as a point of departure for your own Hamlet.

Cut Passages

Act 1

Act 1, Scene 1

Act 1, Scene 2

Act 1, Scene 3

Act 1, Scene 4

Act 1, Scene 5

Act 2

Act 2, Scene 1

Act 2, Scene 2

Act 3

Act 3, Scene 1

Act 3, Scene 2

Act 3, Scene 3

Act 3, Scene 4

Act 4

Act 4 Scene 1

Act 4 Scene 2

Act 4 Scene 3

Act 4 Scene 4

Act 4 Scene 5

Act 4 Scene 6

Act 4 Scene 7

Act 5

Act 5, Scene 1

Act 5, Scene 2