This may not be exactly what goes down in Hamlet 1.3, but I really do love Ophelia’s surprisingly noncommittal responses to Laertes’ interminable mustache-twirling lecture on How to Remain a Virgin.

Yeah, you’d know, wouldn’t you? says Ophelia.

Whatever, loser, says Laertes, I gotta pack for France. Paris here I come!

YOU’RE STUPID, yells Ophelia.

YOUR FACE IS STUPID, yells Laertes.

This is exactly what goes down in that scene. Laertes and Ophelia are so obviously siblings, it’s great.



It’s that time of the month again, ladies & gents! Sign-ups will be closing in about a week or so (due date pending; it’ll be up later today); make sure you sign up & spread the word! 

Just in case you missed the memo, this month we’ll be having a thrilling read-through of Hamlet (which is just dandy because ghoooooosts are perfect for Halloween)!

The form will be closing on October 12th, 2014 at 11:59PM EST.


poppydichotomy submitted a very interesting collage essay called "Variations on Ophelia"  that just got listed as Notable for Best American Non-required Reading 2014. If anyone’s interested in Ophelia generally, Poppy’s one-woman play about Ophelia & Hamlet is Opening in NYC in May of 2015 as well.

Needless to say, congrats, PoppyDichotomy! Check it out, fellow Ophelia-enthusiasts (that means you, Ophelia Defense League).

aaaaaaaah I can't believe there's a fuckyeahhamlet. I love it!

— Anonymous

I love it too, to be honest with you, because these


are like the best part of my morning.

What do you think of T.S. Eliot's essay on Hamlet?


I rather like TS Eliot’s essay, although I don’t agree with everything he says in it. Eliot touches on a few points that I mentioned yesterday in this post and I think he makes a very good case for all of his arguments-especially in comparing Laforgue and Shakespeare’s versions of the same story.

I think what Eliot also really got right was talking about how Hamlet’s challenge/theme is not as clear-cut as Othello’s or Antony’s. He faces a whole host of challenges in the story, and determining the main personal conflict with him is more based on the mood and tone of the play than specific driving plot factors. There is no simple solution to what the revenge play is about, and therefore the audience is left to determine the tone of the story and read it how you will.

But that’s the beauty of Shakespeare, you can interperate any play any way you want to. I think of Hamlet as a character-based story about a depressed teenage college kid trying to do the right thing. Eliot says that we shouldn’t base analysis on either character or psychology, but rather look at the construction of the play. I think he goes a little too much into what Shakespeare’s mental state was at the time of it being written-it sounds pretty phony psychology to me- but the essay is a different way of looking at Hamlet and it makes for a very interesting read.


"—Soft you now,
The fair Ophelia!—Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember’d”


Leslie Howard as Hamlet

Maxine Peake as Hamlet at the Royal Exchange Theatre (2014) #7

Santino Fontana in Hamlet (2006)

The role has a lot of baggage, but I just started with the fact that his dad has passed away, his mom married his uncle and he has to stay home longer than he wants to. Everything after that is Hamlet trying to figure out how to get things back to the way they were.

People say he’s not active, but he’s incredibly active—he keeps changing his mind because he knows he’s only got one shot, and he’s trying to figure out who he can trust. It’s one of those plays that never really leaves you. I wish I could do it again.” (x)


Looking at people’s tags it’s become apparent that a lot of people refer to Hamlet and Horatio as “tragic Danish boyfriends”, which I find incredibly sweet, BUT: do we even know for certain that Horatio is actually Danish??

I personally always pictured him as a foreigner. Of course, his status as “outsider” at the Danish court could be solely due to his social rank/class i.e. him being neither royality nor nobility (I assume??); but there are a couple of other things:

  • there’s that part in act 1,II, where Hamlet tells him “We’ll teach you to drink deep ere you depart.” (this could of course refer to the propensity for heavy drink at the court,and not in Denmark as a whole).
  • cf. act 5,II: “I am more an antique Roman than a Dane.”!? (again: this could be solely a matter of temperament, i.e. his leaning towards suicide as the most virtuous option)

I’m sorry if there’s already been a ton of talk about/meta on this that I somehow missed! But if that’s the case, I’d be most grateful if someone could point me towards anything written on the subject, either here on tumblr or in academic articles (!!) –  any thoughts are welcome, really.