Hi there, everyone! I hope that you’re having a fantastic day(: Today, I will be writing a post going over all the reasons why I absolutely LOVE Hamlet by William Shakespeare! I first read this play last year for school, and I was legitimately so sad when I finished it. I instantly wanted to read it all over again, haha! I won’t make this post too long, although I do think that it would be fun to also show all of you my collection of Hamlet copies at the end of the post, so stay tuned for that! For now, let’s jump right into the 10 reasons why I love Hamlet.
- The mood. Most people know that Hamlet is a tragedy, even if they haven’t read it, and I will confirm that; it most certainly is. However, there isn’t a feeling of impending doom throughout the whole of the play like one might think. The circumstances are rather dire, but it is so much more than that! I don’t enjoy reading or watching anything that’s frightening or spooky, so the fact that I love this play so much says something about it. lol
- Hamlet’s personality. His humor is surprisingly similar to my own. Haha! I wouldn’t say that I only connect with him in that way, as he’s also indecisive (like me) and loves feigning madness … alright I wouldn’t say I do the same, but I do like being silly and oftentimes stupid. Hamlet is the backbone of the play; if you don’t like him, it’s hard to enjoy the rest of the play. Because I like him so much, it makes it very easy for me to love Hamlet in its entirety.
- The depth of the Prince’s soliloquies. They are SO deep, guys!! He ponders life, and death (as you all know when he said ‘to be, or not to be’), and the best course of action to take … they can often drag on, though, but over time, I have come to appreciate them and their meaning more. Also, ‘soliloquy’ is just about the fanciest word in my vocabulary haha
- The main cast. After reading a few other plays when I first began reading Shakespeare, where the casts of all of them were quite large and very easy to mix up, I appreciated the simplicity of Hamlet’s cast. It isn’t as if there are only five characters, or something, but they are easy enough to distinguish (and none of their names sound similar, so that’s helpful, too – have you read The Comedy of Errors?) to the point where I know who is who in this one. Bonus points to all of the main characters, protagonist and antagonist alike, for being masterfully-created, extremely likeable, and hilarious, too!
- The setting. When I first read the play, I loved picturing them walking around Elsinore Castle, from the battlements, to the halls, to the private quarters. Watching Kenneth Branagh’s movie on Hamlet (1996) helped me to further envision such an extravagant castle. (Also, casting Billy Crystal as one of the gravediggers in the castle cemetery really brought that to life for me, haha ❤ ) Depending on how the reader (or viewer) interprets the castle, it can either be spooky, or simply in a dark mood; it just depends on how you look at it. 🙂
- Its ability to be funny and tragic. The reader is laughing over the bantering of Hamlet in his friends in one scene, then fearing the welfare of a character in the next. It’s a roller coaster of polar-opposite emotions, and I absolutely love how Shakespeare handled the combination.
- Yorick. You know, the skull Hamlet finds when one of the gravediggers (picture Billy Crystal) is emptying (quite cheerfully) a mass grave. I don’t know exactly why Shakespeare included this part of the scene, whatever it’s supposed to mean symbolically, but I still love it because it gives me a reason to treat any skull I see (Halloween decor, or anything else meant to be spooky) as an old friend. I’ll say with passion, “Alas, poor Yorick!” and cradle the little skull in my palm. It always makes me family crack up, and gives me a good kick, too.
- The length of the play. Because Hamlet is the Bard’s longest play, we get a really good chance to learn about the prince, his friends, and his family. His other plays are a good bit shorter, so we end up knowing much less about the story and its characters. I’m all about getting to read as much as I can about any set of characters I love, which is why trilogies, sagas, and series are such a blast!
- Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Come on, if for no other reason, their names are ridiculously fun to say! They were a nice addition to the cast, although who they are personally, aside from being school friends of Hamlet, is quite aloof. Their end is tragic (sorry if I ruined that bit for anyone; it is quite well-known), but very fitting for how the play went down, too.
- The ending. I was legitimately out of breath the first time I read it. Everything happened SO quickly, and I really hadn’t seen a bit of it coming. Despite the loss that had occurred in Elsinore by ‘Exeunt,’ I was very pleased with the ending as a whole. (Especially with Fortinbras being played by Rufus Sewell in Branagh’s production.) ❤
Thanks so much for reading! This post was so much fun to write; I loved going over my favorite things about Hamlet! How about you?
Have YOU read Hamlet?
I would love to talk about it with you in the comments below!
thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx