One of the greatest plays of all time, the compelling tragedy of the tormented young prince of Denmark continues to capture the imaginations of modern audiences worldwide. Confronted with evidence that his uncle murdered his father, and with his mother’s infidelity, Hamlet must find a means of reconciling his longing for oblivion with his duty as avenger. The ghost, Hamlet’s feigned madness, Ophelia’s death and burial, the play within a play, the “closet scene” in which Hamlet accuses his mother of complicity in murder, and breathtaking swordplay are just some of the elements that make Hamlet an enduring masterpiece of the theater.
Thug Notes: Hamlet by William Shakespeare (video)
Goodreads: Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Let's set the scene...
Trix is being a nosey, well, trick again.
Trix: Yes. Lorelai, walk with me. I have something that I want to discuss with you.
Trix: I’ve been thinking about something I heard the other night.
Lorelai: What was that?
Trix: That you borrowed money from your parents for Rory’s school.
Lorelai: Well if you’re worried about them getting the money back...
Trix: You know Shakespeare once wrote ‘Neither a borrower nor a lender be’. Do you consider Shakespeare a wise man?
Lorelai: Uh, sure, yeah.
Emily: We certainly don’t mind loaning Lorelai the money if that’s what you’re worried about.
Richard: Certainly not. Rory is first priority in this house.
Trix: I’m not concerned about whether you mind or not. Loaning money is a dirty business. It’s distasteful and I don’t care for it. As you know, I came into town to check up on the family investments and to talk with our lawyers. I have some things to put in order, and one of them is setting up a trust fund for Rory.
I know it's cliched but this is my favorite of all Shakespeare's plays. But as my friend Jennifer just stated as I was musing about what I could possibly say about Hamlet that might be construed as insightful: "It's all been said before, hasn't it?" And there's the rub... my favorite Shakespeare but, as it's been the favorite of so many people for so many generations... there's really nothing left to say about Hamlet, Ophelia et al that hasn't already been analyzed to death by scholars and laypeople alike. Was Hamlet truly mad? Was The Ghost really that of Hamlet Sr? Was Gertrude in on Claudius' plan to slay his brother? Blah blah blah. You know the deal.
So, instead, I'm going to cheat and give you some fun facts about Hamlet:
Hamlet is the world's most filmed story after Cinderella.
The Lion King is based on Hamlet.
The original Hamlet was supposed to be quite fat. (I think we get a glimpse into Shakespeare's original view of Hamlet as Gertrude mentions that Hamlet is out of shape right before he and Laertes are set to fight)
Over 200 women have played the role of Hamlet on stage.
Hamlet is Shakespeare's longest play. (that's the best part of Shakespeare... short, short, short!)
- It is believed that Shakespeare appeared as The Ghost in performances of Hamlet at The Globe.
You're very welcome!
Who do I see reading this in the Stars Hollow gazebo?
Daddy issues... need I say more?