Gepost door: Frank de Zanger | maart 17, 2012

Essay: ‘Hamlet, Dead or Alive?’

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Hamlet, Dead or Alive?

To get to know Hamlet, there is really no need to struggle through the old English text. Hamlet can be seen on stage, cinema, or DVD, and it is very interesting to see the different versions of this intriguing play.

Hamlet is not British. Hamlet is a Dane! Strange, why would Shakespeare have chosen a Danish environment for his play? A similar story could easily have been set somewhere on the British isles, where – no doubt- the nobles were fighting each other for land and glory.

No wonder, the play Hamlet got so famous. Its text is penetrating your mind, whether you want it or not, and it is a story of all times. Conspiracies did not stop after the seventeenth century. The world news today shows us that it is a continuous story; a story in which we are observers, or even might be players. Seeing Hamlet, you may puzzle what role would be yours…

I wondered, whether Hamlet at the end is a winner or a loser. My conclusion is that Hamlet is definitely a winner, although he dies in a cowardly murder plot. Why then is Hamlet a winner? Because, before he dies in a duel, his opponent (using a poisoned rapier) tells the truth, pointing his finger towards the treacherous king. The king, who had murdered Hamlet’s father and who had just tried to poison Hamlet with a goblet of wine. It’s true, Hamlet does not survive the treacherous plot, but he dies pure, and none of his offenders survive their own conspiracy.

But… if Hamlet had been just a little smarter, would not then… a happy ending? No! Then Hamlet would not have been a martyr, and the heart of the story would have been lost, the warning to everybody…

No, Hamlet might be dead, he is also very much alive.

© Frank de Zanger

aangepast tek5 Bangladesh,Hamlet,1995,300dpi



Hamlet, dead or alive? (drawing by Frank de Zanger)

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