Reading/Watching Shakespeare: Hamlet

After reading Coriolanus I wanted to read a play I was familiar with so I could get used to the language. So my next play would be Hamlet, followed by David Tennant’s 2009 RSC film adaptation. Now, there is no arguing that it is a fantastic play and that David’s performance as Hamlet is top notch…. it’s just… I think I may have grown out of Hamlet, if that is possible.

The play will always have a place on my shelf as it was the first movie I ever saw in cinemas in 1994; however, it seems that the character of Hamlet doesn’t ring true to who I believe I am or was, to be exact. He is a prince who is robbed of his birthright and once he learns the truth seeks revenge…. sound familiar cough Loki cough.

The plot of Hamlet is that after a visit from his father’s ghost, Hamlet becomes obsessed with the mission of avenging his fathers’ death by killing his uncle, who two months after his fathers’ death married his mother. Because of his fixation on the task at hand he neglects Ophelia and starts acting ‘mad’ for what onlookers can see. Hamlet finally gets revenge yet it costs him his ultimate asset.

Hamlet, for me now reading Shakespeare’s plays for the first time, was a much more enjoyable read than it was watching. This may be because I wasn’t coming to the adaptation for a first time viewing. So when I watched it and enjoyed it, the story didn’t captivate me and draw me into the world of Demark.

In the past I have seen Hamlet as grief-stricken and unable to contain or express his true emotions. Now, though as well as the traits mentioned above I see Hamlet as a little bit of an emo kid (minus the grunge) that probably needed to talk to someone, not just himself, about what was truly on his mind.

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