Hamlet, the last of Liszt’s Weimar symphonic poems, stands out from the others in the sheer detail of its references to the text of Shakespeare’s play. This paper considers how Liszt revised the symphonic poems in order to tighten the relationship between music and drama against the context of his encounter with a renowned and innovative Shakespearian actor, Bogumil Dawison. It demonstrates that the revisions made to Hamlet concerned incorporating extra ’scenes’ from the play using techniques associated with incidental music. Liszt also added programmatic instructions directly related to Dawison’s portrayal. All of this allows us to reconsider the position of Hamlet within the symphonic poems, as a forerunner to the highly programmatic Two Episodes from Lenau’s Faust and the melodramas that Liszt would compose immediately afterwards.