I fall head over heels in love with Shakespeare every day. It sounds cheesy, but what can I say, I am an aspiring drama major!
HISTORY OF HAMLET
While I could’ve written about the history of the playwright himself, who knows how long that would’ve been… Instead, I present some background history on Hamlet and it’s context.
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (Hamlet), is a tragedy written between 1599 and 1602. The story is derived from the legend of Amleth, preserved in the 13th-century. It follows a similar storyline of revenge (for more on the plot, refer to the section below). Hamlet is the longest of all Shakespearean plays, and is considered one of the most popular and influential works in world literature. It has been adapted and reformed an endless amount of times. It was likely one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays during his lifetime, and is today still one of his most performed. Shakespeare’s longest play, and is considered among the most powerful and influential works of world literature, with a story capable of “seemingly endless retelling and adaptation by others”. The play likely was one of Shakespeare’s most popular works during his lifetime, and still ranks among his most performed.
ABOUT THE PLOT
The play is set in Denmark, and the opening scene sets the stage ( 😉 ). It follows Prince Hamlet and his attempt to avenge his father’s death. His father, King Hamlet, was murdered by his brother, Claudius. Upon seeing the ghost of his father, Prince Hamlet determines to murder Claudius to get revenge. Claudius had murdered his own brother and seized the throne, also marrying his deceased brother’s widow. Prince Hamlet, however, is unable to act, and is tortured by conflicting thoughts and depression. It is from Hamlet that we get the infamous line, “To be, or not to be”.
Often misinterpreted, this line is actually Hamlet questioning whether he should live or die, whether he should act or remain idle. Though some feel that Hamlet’s constant questioning is overbearing and drawn out, I find it intriguing. Hamlet offers an extremely personal view of the human mind; a personal insight portrayed externally for the world to see. Combined with the tragedy of the story, Hamlet proved to be an exciting and captivating read.
10 / 10
I loved Hamlet! Aside from the brief aspects of the play that I covered, there is so much more to explore. The themes and motifs are truly astounding
WOULD I RECOMMEND IT?
Yes! Both as a read and as a watch. It truly is a classic, and examines important topics such as mortality, human existence and purpose, feminism, and revenge.