Auteur: William Shakespeare.
Jaar van verschijnen: ± 1608.
The book is about a boy, Hamlet. His father, the king of Norway, died a while ago, so Hamlet is very sad. Hamlet's mother has married his uncle, his fathers' brother. The uncle is the king of Denmark. In the castle lives a servant that is a very good friend of Hamlet, they grew up together. His name is Horatio. One night Horatio took a shift as a watchman, and he sees a ghost shaped like the late king of Norway. He tells this to Hamlet and Hamlet meets the ghost. The ghost tells Hamlet about how Hamlets' father died, saying that Hamlets' uncle killed him and then seduced the queen. At first Hamlet thinks he made the whole story up. So he organizes some actors to act out a story that is similar to the ghost's story for his uncle. Hamlet waches the reaction of the king seeing the play. And when his uncle gets very angry at the players, Hamlet knows that the story is true. Hamlet is thinking about how he is going to deal with this knowledge, he's pondering on the choise between confronting his uncle with the story and really live or leaving everything as it is and die a living death. While Hamlet is thinking so much he talks in riddles to everyone. He tells the girl he loves that he doesn't love her anymore. His uncle is not aware of the knowledge Hamlet has about him. The king thinks Hamlet is crazy, because Hamlet is so confused. After some time Hamlet goes to his mother and tells her everything, he blames her of a lot of things. The father of the girl Hamlet used to love is listening to this conversation, until he makes a little sound. Hamlet hears this and kills the man. For the king this event is the proof of Hamlets' madness. By then the king has heard that Hamlet knows about the death of the late king, and he wants him out of his way. So Hamlet is sent to England. But Hamlet gets off of the boat before it arrives in England. He sends some letters back to the castle, one for Horatio and several for the king and queen. In the letter for Horatio Hamlet asks to meet him outside the castle, for a couple of sailors brought him back to Denmark. Meanwhile the girl Hamlet loved drownes. She's so upset about her fathers death, that she doesn't notice that she's walking to close to the water. The girls' brother, Laertes, is now very angry with Hamlet, because the king sais it's all Hamlets' fault. Laertes wants revenge. At the cemetery, where Laertes' sister is being burried, Hamlet and Horatio meet the king, the queen and Laertes. Laertes challenges Hamlet for a fight, and he accepts. The king and Laertes set up a trap for Hamlet. When Hamlet comes to the castle for the fight, there are special glasses of wine prepared. If Hamlet scores a point he can drink some wine, but his wine is poisoned. By accident the queen drinks some wine out of Hamlets glass, and she dies. Hamlet injures Laertes, and he is dying too. Then Hamlet kills the king, not because he wants to, but because this man shouldn't be king. Hamlet already drank some of the poison, and while he's dying he asks Horatio, who has seen it all, to tell his story to the world.
Hamlet is a goodhearted boy, who learned to think about his actions a long time ago. He was raised to become king someday, so he had very good teachers. Because he always thinks and tries to talk to the people before he does anything, he doesn't know what to do with his anger toward his uncle. With the famouse line 'To be or not to be' he expresses his doubts about what to do, because he knows that his father was killed by his uncle. Only when he knows that he would never be able to sleep well anymore if he doesn't say something about the murder on his father to his uncle, makes that he is able to be sa harsh on everyone around him. Hamlet is very rational. He doesn't believe the ghost immediately, he first cheks the story. So normally Hamlet is a goodhearted, kind and rational young man, but the fact that his uncle killed his father confuses him so much that, for a while, he doesn't know what he is doing anymore.
I think the story about Hamlet is very good. Maybe it was a bit to complicated for me, but I'm glad I read it. Sheakespeare is a very good writer, he writes the characters down as if they really have existed. Nobody is totally good, or totally bad, they are always a little bit good or a little bit bad.
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