Saturday, December 26, 2015

"Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" by William Shakespeare

You'd think I'd have nothing left to say about this play after spending nearly three months discussing it.  And, in a way, you'd be right -- I'm not going to say anything new or revelatory here.  But I'd like to kind of recap a few of my thoughts from this reading.

This time through, I particularly noticed how focused this play is on the difference between seeming and being.  Obviously, I've long known this is a major theme in Hamlet, but this time so many lines jumped out at me as reinforcing that idea.  From Hamlet's "Seems, Madam?  Nay, it is.  I know not 'seems'" (I, 2) to Claudius' "Or are you, like a painting of a sorrow, A face without a heart?" (IV, 7), it felt like every character was reminding me time and again to take a good look at appearances versus reality, acting/pretending versus being, truth versus deception, honesty versus intrigue.

No matter how often I read this play or see it performed, I always find some new nuances or details that help me see it in a fresh way.  I've been studying it for 18 years, and it never gets stale.  Amazing!

If you want to read some of my other posts on this play, this post has links to all the individual scene posts I did.  And don't forget to enter the Hamlet giveaway here!  It's open through the end of Monday, January 4th.

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  PG-13 for sexual themes and violence.

This is my 30th book read and reviewed for the Classics Club!


  1. I've missed you! ;) (Btw, I have to run to milking... but did my recent emails come through all right?)

    And (more pertinent to the post) I can't WAIT to get to this here play in January.

    1. Yes, I got a couple emails from you yesterday and just haven't had time to reply yet. After tomorrow, life should calm WAY down! Case in point: I've been writing this post since the 23rd. Yeesh.

      If you want anything from the giveaway, you can totally enter even though you haven't started the play yet!

  2. Woo hoo! I can't believe it's finished! The Read-Along was so great, Hamlette. I've said it before, but I really appreciate how you take time for your read-alongs. It lets the reader really immerse himself/herself in the book and so many more thoughts and ideas come to mind while reading.

    I just got my last read-along post up and I'll hopefully have my final review up tomorrow (I need it to finish my Back To The Classics challenge). Once again, thanks for all the time you put into this read-along and for all your insightful posts. I keep getting more and more out of this play each time I read it!

    1. Cleopatra, thanks so much! I think I like chapter-by-chapter read-alongs because they're not at all like taking a college lit course. I used to so frustrated by the "read this book for Monday and we'll spend an hour discussing it" way you had to plow through books in college, so this is kind of me fixing that, I guess.

      Now that my life is going back to normal, I'm working my way through all the blog posts I missed. Please do add your posts (or a meta-post that links to all of them?) to the link-up here so others can read them too! And don't forget to enter the giveaway here if any of the prizes strike your fancy.

      Thanks for all your great discussions and participation!

    2. Another seems/is:
      hamlet's tantrum at Ophelia, and women in general, painting their faces "an inch thick." I can't expand on that. My bed was changed this a.m., & I am quite worried that book went to the laundry!

    3. Kelda, yup! There are oodles of them.

      Hope you find your book!!!!

  3. That is a really great theme, I enjoyed thinking about it. Especially with how a lot of whether something seemed or was was left open. And that's so cool that it hasn't gotten old and still has details to discover after 18 years for you! That's amazing. Thanks for all your hard work and great insights, Hamlette!

    1. Sarah, thanks! It's a fascinating theme, isn't it? And I'm glad you've enjoyed the read-along :-) Thanks for participating!


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