Apr 2, 2013


William Shakespeare
Ghost: "Yo, Hamlet, dawg, that man dat married yo ma? Yeah, ya know, bro. Ya uncle? Yeah, dude. He killed me. He put dat poison stuff in my ear."
Hamlet: "Sup, brah? Yeah, dude. I always thought him marrying my ma was wacked-up, chea. I must shoot him up. Foshizzle."

Therein the story of Hamlet is told... except in like... weird Shakespearean speech, not weirder ghetto slang. Sorry, guys... I'm bad at that. So, William Shakespeare, infamous playwright, author, poet, actor, architect, and basically all around literary badass, wrote Hamlet. You've probably heard of this if you're over the age of 10 and have read any book... ever. Even children know a version of it! Disney's The Lion King was a spin off of the play (think about it... Uncle Scar kills epic dad Mufasa in a awful way, son Simba leaves, takes over throne with the help of two friends Pumba & Timon... yeah...). It's literally one of the most legendary plays in the English language, so, read it! If you don't get "to be or not to be" references (there was one on How I Met Your Mother) then that's sad.

Educate yoself, dawg... I'm stopping. I swear. No more ghetto.

So Hamlet and his little family live in an older version of Denmark. There's a whole dealio with this conqueror dude named Fortinbras whose going around taking over countries and doing crazy stuff. Meanwhile, Hamlet's dad has been killed by god knows whom and his uncle (probably Hamlet's dad's twin), seemingly innocent of all wrongdoing, has taken over the throne and married Hamlet's mom... hello, twincest. Creepy, right?

It gets better... there's been a ghost lurking around the castle, and Hamlet checks it out only to find out that it is purportedly the ghost of his dead father who is seeking a hero to revenge his murder... the murderer? His own BROTHER. In the wise and all-knowing words of Lil Wayne -  "what a f***ed up family picture."  (6 Foot 7 Foot) Pardon my French, but seriously? You killed your own brother, usurped his throne, and took his wife? Not cool, bro, not cool. Bros before hoes... bro code... Claudius forgot it all and committed the sin that would lead to his death.

Lil Wayne speaking to a skull... much like Hamlet
In a twist of fate, Hamlet decides to avenge his father's death and goes mad with the obsession with revenge, delivering the famed "To be or not to be" speech where he talks to a skull and considers suicide... Dat  s**t cray. He ends up killing Polonius, some ridiculous character that is his betrothed, Ophelia's, father. Ophelia goes crazy, kills herself or drowns in the river... it's not really clear what happened to her. Suicide or not, she's dead and gone. Laertes, Ophelia's bro, comes back and wants Hamlet's head. 

I'll spare you the gory details of all the action, but the book essentially ends with the castle flowing rivers of blood... for real. Hamlet's dead, Claudius is dead, Laertes, Polonius and Ophelia are dead, both of Hamlet's parents are dead, and Hamlet essentially sent two of his friends unto death, though it's unsure whether or not they actually died.... everyone that was important in the government of Denmark died. Tragedy this is... comical in it's unnecessary brutality? You begin to laugh a bit after reading the play three times, as I have.

Laurence Olivier as Hamlet
Hamlet has been turned into countless movies, screened by numerous famous actors, and been performed in more playhouses than you can imagine. One ofHamlet done through Laurence Olivier, married for a time to Vivien Leigh (see A Streetcar Named Desire), one of the greatest actors of the twentieth century, in my humble opinion. His portrayal of Hamlet's death scene is worth to behold... the way he leaps to stab that guy? Epic. Another fantastic version is done by Mel Gibson. The scene between Hamlet and Gertrude, his mom, played by Glenn Close, is extremely interesting and fraught with family tension.

I'm giving the play a 9 on the ADDICTING SCALE. What more could you ask for? It's got more blood and gore than an Roman era action film, more drama and intrigue than Gossip Girl, and more incestuous sex than a soap opera. Subscribe, comment and all! Be back later with The Elite!

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