Othello to Much Ado to Romeo and Juliet to Hamlet. Jealousy to Love to Feuding to Revenge. Revenge! I wonder if Tarantino ever gave a thought to directing Hamlet. He loves his revenge movies. I always feel sorry for the actor who is picked to play Marcellus. He probably doesn’t know who that character is, but is elated when he finds out he gets to say one of Shakespeare’s most iconic lines ever, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” He must be all that right until he finds out he disappears after Act I.
King Hamlet is dead as the play opens because Claudius put poison in his ear (how Wrath of Khan!) and shows up again as a ghost, telling Hamlet he must avenge this “murder most foul,” a line that sounds like it could fit right in in Macbeth. Hamlet makes Horatio swear he won’t speak of the ghost and then he speaks in Latin, as if this play isn’t hard enough. From then on, the other players don’t know if Hamlet is mad, or just playing at it. (Psst, he’s faking it!)
Polonius, second runner-up for Most Annoying Person in the Play, gets Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (First runners-up) to spy on Hamlet and another guy to spy on Laertes. He also tells Ophelia (Ding, ding, ding, our winner!) to reject Hamlet then gets annoyed with her later on when she does.
After Lord and Lady Capulet, followed by Polonius, I’ve had enough of Shakespeare’s gawd-awful parents.
Scene I, Act III: the scary soliloquy. I was always taught To Be was a speech about suicide and that’s what I’ve always believed, but I’ve read some scholars who think it’s about deciding if he wants to go ahead with his vengeance plan. I can see it their way and that’s better than the most famous speech by the most famous English writer delivered by his most famous character being about suicide.
Then we get Ophelia and Hamlet together, the only time in the play they speak to each other. He’s mean and he talks dirty to her. Nothing new. Shakespeare is so dirty. If we taught that to the kids, they’d like him more. If parents had any idea how many weiner jokes were in Romeo and Juliet, it’d get banned.
I like when Hamlet is contemplating killing Claudius in Act III, but he sees Claudius is praying, so Hamlet won’t kill him then because he figures he’ll go straight to heaven. That’s too nice for our king killer.
I started getting a little weary of iambic pentameter by Act IV which is so damn long and nothing much happens. I switched over to Gone Girl, a book I wasn’t sure I’d like since I don’t often do well with wildly popular books. But it was not what I thought it’d be and I’ve been rewriting the end in my head since I finished it.
Act V, nice and quick. Claudius gets his, and poor Horatio is about the only one left to clean up the mess.
A lovely play, although not my favorite, but it does have my favorite quote. “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” A line I am going to use on anyone who disagrees with me from now on.
Ophelia is such a spineless girl, so much so that I forgot to get upset when she died. Who cares? She’s a wimp and this is not a romance story.
I’m not sure how much longer my Shakespeare binge will last, so I need to read my favorite before it ends. I need an antidote to Ophelia.
Hello, Lady Macbeth.