Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hamlet in Rewrite

Since I have little time to bake as grades are due on Thursday and I'm bleary eyed from essays I thought I'd string together a chronology of today's essays greatest hits to create a revisionist writing of Hamlet from various students' perspectives (like a students' Picasso of Hamet, if you will), not mocking, okay just a little, but I have to I was forced to read so much drivel that only more wine or purging out of my own soul, to expel it all, so that I may start anew tomorrow will cure me.

I'll try to keep it semi-chronological, so you may follow:
So this may be less revisionist, because even Hamlet continually shortens the span between his father's death and his mother's hasty remarriage to his uncle Claudius, but what we don't know is that Cladius actually married Gertude the same day as Hamlet Sr.'s death. And he actually had a sibling, (name unclear) but this sibling was not on the same course as Hamlet and apparently less indecisive. The aforemntioned issues with dad's death and mom's quick remarriage led to Hamlet's diagnosis of manic bipolar disorder.
Later we find out that he wasn't mentally sick; Hamlet was just using his fake madness as an escape goat from reality. Hamlet packed all his troubles into a knapsack, jumped on his goat and traversed to a place far, far away.
        Of course, he realized he had to face his problems eventually and returned to find his friend Horatio, Bernardo, and Marcellus in the closet. Because he's such a great orator and friend to Horatio,  he was able to coax them out and there they remained.
     Much later. . . .we  arrive to a scene on a stage strewn with dead bodies and we find out it is there that Hamlet has murdered Claudius and he's ready to take his own life;  he gives his famous "To be or not to be" speech, contemplating suicide as the poison simultaneously pulses through his veins.  Horatio, since he's now "out" wants to follow Hamlet to his death, but Hamlet doesn't allow it; he must live to retell Hamlet's story, again and again.
      And who, but the dead Laertes returns from the grave to take over as the new King of Denmark, promising to give Hamlet an honorable burial.

And that concludes today's greatest hits and I am purg'ed.


  1. Okay - I'll admit it. I've never been a HUGE Shakespeare fan. Probably because my experiences with him in high school were baffling at best. It takes a good teacher to get a 15 year old to understand it, in my opinion. But damn, I might have to try Hamlet again... And wait, Horatio was gay? See? I totally missed something.

  2. Pick up one of his plays again , maybe Hamlet, it's not the most accessible, but probably the most alluded to of all his plays. I don't know what this world would have been like without him. He touches on so many themes of the human condition and his vocabulary was so immense, that it's hard to fathom the breadth of his contributions to not only the English world, but a ,multitude of disciplines. You might feel different about it as an adult and I would suggest an annotated version like the Norton critical to use as a guide. It's not a light read, but definitely worthwhile. I didn't like Shakespeare until college as an adult.
    And the version I wrote was a compilation of lines from students' essays that in no way shape or form followed the plot, LOL