For the first time in my life, I read and watched Hamlet.
Now, I'm a big Shakespeare fan. I've read all of the sonnets and he has heavily influenced many of my books, my most recent one having a working title that is a line drawn from one of Othello's monologues. I love seeing plays and reading sonnets. I love the way he writes and the stories he weaves. He is the bard, as we have dubbed him, and everything he wrote set a tone for writers generation thereafter.
I am not one to only read a seminal text when it is assigned. I wouldn't be much of an English major if that were the case. However, I just always preferred to have the opportunity to see a Shakespeare play rather than to read it.
However, when it was assigned in class, I was excited. It has been a few years since I have had a conversation with the Bard, and I was growing tired of the needless separation.
First of all. Hamlet's great. Seriously. I really, really like this play. Its filled with all of the tropes we hold near and dear or revere, but it is the origin. It is the thing that made the thing.
I also watched the David Tennant version, which I bought for 3 dollars on Amazon. I'm a huge film fan, and they shot the play/film as if it were partially shot through security cameras, and the actors are aware that they are being filmed. Talk about meta.
Hamlet is just that: meta. Its a play that is aware that it is a play. And, personally, I find that brilliant. Shakespeare continues to teach writers everywhere that there really is no limit to what we can do with our minds and our imaginations.
Even looking at this text closer in class showed me curves and edges to the plot and the characters that I hadn't noticed before. It reinvigorated my love for theater and everything that falls under that category.
Now, in this coming week, we will be studying David Ball's "Backwards and Forwards", which walks you through Hamlet backwards.
I'm about halfway through, and I'm already loving it.
More on that next week when I've read more, and hopefully that wc has gone up.