Thursday, 22 April 2010

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Hamlet (Penguin Popular Classics) The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601. The play, set in Denmark, recounts how Prince Hamlet exacts revenge on his uncle Claudius, who has murdered Hamlet's father, the King, and then taken the throne and married Gertrude, Hamlet's mother. The play vividly charts the course of real and feigned madness—from overwhelming grief to seething rage—and explores themes of treachery, revenge, incest, and moral corruption.

My thoughts: This was the first time that I've read Hamlet, I've heard it quoted so many times and I thought it was about time I read it.

Hamlet's mother is married to her dead husband's brother. And after seeing his father's ghost Hamlet decides to take revenge on his uncle/step-dad who apparently murdered his father. It's a kind of crazy story with lots of death, and there were some places where I didn't really understand what was going on, but I still got the overall jist of the story.

I enjoyed reading this but when reading a play as a book I find it a bit hard to keep track of the characters and the settings, I think I would like to see it performed so that I can really get a feel for the story.


  1. What a great choice for last week, the 23rd is supposed to be Shakespeare's birthday. There are some good versions of the play on dvd, I like the Ken Branagh version or the recent version with David Tennant. I also prefer to watch plays to reading them, much easier and more fun. A great stage performance of Hamlet is truly wonderful theatre, hope you get see one soon.

  2. I know what you mean- you really need to concentrate to 'get' this. Before I read it- I read the 'simple' version. [Hopefully] I'll be going to see a Shakespeare play in the globe theatre soon!
    Ria xx