share with the class
hmm hmmm mmm okay one of my favourites is that the flowers ophelia gives out are rocks because I like the whole ‘pockets full of stones’ imagery (thanks virginia woolf/florence + the machine)
but I think my most favourite one is that hamlet thinks he’s super funny and clever, which he is lbr. so he has word game duels with polonius/osric/literally everyone and the only person who fully appreciates his genius repartee is horatio so whenever he’s around horatio he can’t help trying to be witty and pun circles around people because it makes horatio laugh and he just loves that
but then in the graveyard scene the gravedigger/clown is all ‘haha I’m funny and clever’ so hamlet’s instinctively like ‘o rly??’ and with a nudge and wink to horatio he’s all ‘I think it must be thine for thou liest in it lolol!’ BUT THEN the gravedigger’s all like ‘haha right back at you mothafuckaaa’ and hamlet starts getting all stroppy because excuse you didn’t you know I am the witty one here clown so that’s why he’s all like ‘pff how absolute the knave is this jerk thinks he’s funny wELL HE’S NOT!1!’ but horatio’s sitting there cracking up because he just loves wordplay no matter who’s saying it but he tries to stifle it because he knows what hamlet’s like but hamlet notices and he’s all like ‘ET TU HORATIO’ /dramatic swoon/
but then oh a skull and shit gets real
and I imagine hamlet and horatio sitting side by side on the edge of the grave like with their legs dangling into the hole and so when hamlet picks up the skull he cradles it in his lap rather than fucking holding it up because that shit’s cliche yo
hamlet knows he’s the hero of a revenge tragedy.
of course he knows he’s the hero of a revenge tragedy; it’s pretty obvious. he knows enough about the theater to identify the genre that best describes his life (and because he’s an overly simplistic teenager, he does describe his life as a story). he spends the whole play referencing actors and acting, he consciously makes claudius into a villain and himself into the hero—he knows what he’s doing.
he’s playing the part, of course. when he fakes madness, that’s playing the part. when he makes up elaborate plans and schemes, that’s playing the part.
but revenge tragedies are called tragedies for a reason. it’s because at the end, even the hero dies.
hamlet casts himself as a hero doomed to die. hamlet identifies as someone who is going to die. hamlet knows he is going to die from the moment the play begins.
but a revenge tragedy only ends when the revenge has been had; a revenge tragedy only ends when not only the hero but the villain is dead.
it’s the great question of the play: why does it take hamlet so goddamn long to kill his uncle? what is the cause his indecision and inaction? why can’t he just get on with it and stab the man, for god’s sake?
hamlet doesn’t want to die.
hamlet isn’t ready to die. he can see the curve of his destiny approaching, and he doesn’t want it to. he wants to hold off that climax just a little longer, because he doesn’t want to die yet.
at the beginning of the last scene of the play, he’s invited to a duel organized by a man who’s tried to kill him already. hamlet figured out r & g were working for claudius in about five minutes; he knows this is sketchy, for god’s sake. and horatio tells him, horatio begs him, don’t go if there’s something that frightens you. be cautious. be afraid. don’t go, stay with me.
hamlet walks into his death with open eyes, because he is ready to fulfill his destiny, because he is ready to kill his uncle as his father told him, because he is ready to do the last thing the hero of a revenge tragedy will ever do. he knows how this story ends and he chooses this ending. he knows he will die and he chooses to die.
the rest is silence - it’s almost surprised. there’s nothing else. there’s no more to tell.
what do you say to children, once the storybook has been read and put away?
good night, sweet prince. flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
i’ll see you in the morning.
i’m that loser who legitimately imagines scenarios involving interaction between my favorite characters and me. all kinds of scenarios. i do it. i seriously do. all the fucking time. i enjoy it. i am a loser. i’m imagining a scenario right now. i’m being a loser and losing right now i’m fucking enjoying the hell out of it i love characters so much