His father's ghost lets
him in on the secret of
his untimely death
I first read this play my senior year of high school, when I chose to take a playwriting class instead of AP Lit. It was a class of misfits, like a sort of Breakfast Club, but we had the best time reading aloud from Pygmalion, The Glass Menagerie, Brighton Beach Memoirs, and Hamlet. I remember this class so clearly because I felt like it was the first time I truly appreciated Shakespeare. It may have helped that our teacher also taught drama.
Hamlet is a tragedy from any angle, and with most texts is prone to strange interpretations on the part of actors and directors. Some delve heavily into sexual interpretations, allowing for Oedipal comparisons, but the themes of corruption and revenge are what really carry the play. One scene, in which Claudius attempts to pray, is particularly disturbing. This is one of Shakespeare's longer plays, but is well worth the read for any true fan. (PG-13)
My Goodreads Rating: ★★★☆☆