I’m taking a Shakespeare class this semester. Initially, I was really concerned about it but I’m actually really enjoying the class so far. In high school, I never read a single Shakespeare play. My teacher believed the plays were meant to be watched, so that’s what we did. Not the best move. But hey, the David Tennant version of Hamlet is amazing, in case anyone was wondering!
Reading Challenge: A book more than 100 years old
Summary: After Hamlet, the Danish prince, discovers that his Uncle Claudius murdered his father and married his mother, he begins to plan his revenge. In order to get revenge and still achieve his place on the throne, Hamlet must reveal the king’s guilt in front of witnesses. But Hamlet’s life could be in danger, so in order to buy time, he must fake madness in order to avenge his father’s murder.
Likes: I really like the characters in this play. They’re all really crazy and over-dramatic, which makes for an interesting read. Certain interpretations of key characters, such as Gertrude and Polonius, make the play much more interesting as well.
Dislikes: Obviously, the play is written is early modern English, making it tough to understand at times. Plus, there are rhymes and puns that are completely lost in translation without the original Shakespearean accent, so truly understanding the play involves some extra research or reading.
TL;DR: Hamlet is a classic for a reason and everyone needs to read it. But don’t stick to the same Plain Jane interpretations that they teach you in high school!