Now, I’ve recommended that you pick up and read many various Shakespeare plays. So pay attention when I say that if you choose to read just one, make it Hamlet. It is probably my favorite play I have ever read so far. You see, it isn’t just a play; it’s a psychological analysis of the human condition. And as a disclaimer, that makes it kinda depressing.
Hamlet is a prince of Denmark. His father died three months before the play starts, and he is still in mourning clothes and saddened over it. His uncle is now king, and became his stepfather as well, because his mother married him soon after. Hamlet is greatly bothered by this, and is agitated even more by having a conversation with a ghost that claims to be his late father. This ghost says that he was killed by his brother, Hamlet’s uncle, so as to take the throne and his wife, and calls upon Hamlet to get his revenge. Hamlet must then make biting decisions, have internal struggles, while there are plots and schemes entrapping him and those near him, so that it becomes a tragedy.
“One may smile, and smile, and be a villain.”
“Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.”
“God hath given you one face, and you make yourself another.”
“I must be cruel only to be kind; thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.”
“Get thee to a nunnery.”
“If we are true to ourselves, we cannot be false to anyone.”
“Tis the times’ plague, when madmen lead the blind.”
“To be, or not to be, that is the question: whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer the Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune, or to take Arms against a sea of Troubles, and by opposing end them: to die, to sleep no more.”
Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays for a reason. I’m surprised why we don’t read it in the place of Romeo and Juliet in schools these days. The character of Hamlet is also an amazing capture of various human tendencies and downfalls, and his outlook and outspoken ways makes anyone able to look up and admire him.
“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember.”