At the end, Hamlet's fideism, a vague faith in God's ability tosort out the mess of this world without any morespecific religious dogma, is the kind of faith thatmany honest, thinking people have reached in our own day.
Especially, if you do not like everything abouttoday's teenaged "Goth" culture(wearing black, being clever and disrespectful, playing with people'sfeelings, complainingthat life seems meaningless and empty), you won't like everything aboutthe Hamlet who we meet at the beginning.
Now, when Hamlet expresses regrets that he's not completed his revenge, he compares himself unfavorably to the PlayerKing (who has just recited a ridiculous, bombastic speech)and to Fortinbras (who is getting thousands of people killed forno good reason at all -- I first became interested in Shakespeareduring the Vietnam war).
But the truth is that Hamlet has no opportunity to kill the king andthen justify his action, until the final disaster, when Laertes reveals "The king's to blame".
Bradley points out thatHamlet seems depressed ("melancholy") and that this will slow a persondown; early 20th century writers influenced by psychoanalysistalked about a mother-fixation causing the depression.
Please let me know ifthis ever reappears online.
"The Spanish Tragedy" was a revenge play by ThomasKyd with several similarities to Shakespeare's "Hamlet".
In our era, organized crime leaderVincente Gigante is said to have feignedmadness.There is a historical novel, now hard to find, about the historical Hamletentitled "The War of Jutish Succession".
RoyalDeceit is a B-movie, not released in theaters,adapted from Saxo.
Ammelhede exists to this very day, and in 1933 thelocal tourist board put up a stone with this memorial inscription:"Amled ypperste / Oldtids-snille / teed sig tåbe /Til Hvnens time / Kaaret paating / Af jyder til konge/ H jsat han hviler / Paa Ammel Hede" ( = "Amledthe greatest / Craftiest of Old / Acted a fool / Until the hour ofrevenge / Elected at the "Ting" / by Jutes to be king / raised high he rests /at Ammel Heath" [my translation]) So next time you visit Denmark, stopby Ammelhede, a few miles to the south-east of Randers -- don't eventhink about visiting the bogus 'Hamlet's Grave' between Elsinore andCopenhagen!
Shakespeare's "Hamlet" was a remake of an already popularplay, based in turn on historical fiction, basedin turn on an episode from the Dark Ages, the lawless,might-makes-right era that followed the collapseof Roman-era civilization.The Historical Hamletwas the son of aDanish "King of the Jutes",who lived during the Dark Ages.
Hamlet says life itself is short ("The interim is mine, / Anda man's life's no more than to say 'One'.")Osric brings Laertes's challenge, Hamlet accepts.
Thomas Nashe wrote in 1589 in his introduction to abook by Robert Greene, "English Seneca read by candlelightyields many good sentences -- as 'Blood is a beggar'and so forth; and if you entreat him fair on a frosty morninghe will offer you whole Hamlets, I should say handfuls,of tragical speeches!" Nashe is mostly spoofing ThomasKyd, who wrote blood-and-thunder revenge plays.
Hamlet tellsthe queen not to dismiss what he has said about her as the result of madness, and says how ironic it is thatvirtue (his blunt talk to his mother) has to ask pardon forits bad manners.
Perhaps someof the original text of the play has been lost from the folio version.)Hamlet'sspeech to his mother has less to do with the murderand how it is wrong than with her sexual misbehavior andher not mourning her loving first husband.
Gertrude gets frightened and yells"Help!" Polonius behind the curtain yells "Help!" In thestress of the moment, Hamlet stabs him to death through the curtain.