History WMG / Hamlet

19th Sep '16 10:50:33 AM PABurritio
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[[WMG: There are multiple ghosts in the play.]]
Murdered folks come back as ghosts. Hamlet Jr respected Hamlet Sr more than anyone, so when Hamlet Sr gets murdered he visits his son and orders vengeance. Hamlet murdered Polonius. Polonius comes back and tries to convince Ophelia, who respects him more than anyone else did, to avenge him. Ophelia makes up a complicated test to see if Hamlet did it, or if the ghost was a demon or something, ala Hamlet's play-within-a-play. She seeks Hamlet out, knowing if he murdered her father he'd try to get rid of her to avoid the sense of guilt, but if he didn't he'd want to bond with her more than ever given their shared pain over a lost parent. When Hamlet proves his guilt, she fakes insanity and starts planning her vengeance. Gertrude overhears the plot and murders Ophelia. Ophelia's ghost comes back to seek vengeance, and since Gertrude is the person who most respects Ophelia, she's the one that gets to see and hear her, although Ophelia doesn't necessarily catch on that she can. Ophelia spends the rest of the play casting her presence over various scenes, including the one where Claudius and Laertes plot against the man she loves/hates, and she flips out on everyone in the duel scene. Gertrude hears the ghost's monologue, realizes her son is in danger, and avenges Ophelia by poisoning herself to save her son and make recompense to Ophelia's ghost.
17th May '16 7:53:27 PM vifetoile
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** Then... where's the real Hamlet? Is Fortinbras actually "real" Hamlet, invading his own country by pretending to be his enemy? Or... is Hamlet HidingInPlainSight as Horatio, wearing a big mustache and glasses?
5th Apr '16 8:41:58 AM Doc_Loki
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[[WMG: The Hamlet in the play is an impostor.]]
As Claudius points out, 'neither the inward nor the outward man resembles' the Hamlet he remembers. Hamlet, taking caution from reports of his father's ghostly appearances and the rather suspicious succession of Claudius, does not come himself but instead sends a man impersonating him. The false Hamlet mostly tries to keep everyone off balance by acting unpredictably in order to preserve his secret while investigating the death of Hamlet's father. At the same time, he struggles with a strong attraction to Gertrude (hey, she's not ''his'' mother), and resorts to manipulating others to their deaths in order to stay alive himself. Finally, he is trapped into a duel with Laertes which he cannot evade, and it all goes terribly wrong.
19th Nov '15 7:46:39 PM PaulA
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[[WMG: Hamlet's insanity is real and is the result of a sublimated Oedipal complex.]]
[[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040416/ Oops, it looks like this theory's not so wild after all.]]

[[WMG: Horatio killed everybody.]]
We see the events of ''Hamlet'' from Horatio's perspective. He is in every important scene and has off-stage events reported to him. He promises to tell Fortinbras the story of how Claudius, Gertrude, Hamlet, Laertes, Ophelia, Polonius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern wound up dead. So he makes up an odd story involving ghosts, dueling with poisoned swords, mistaken identity and insanity to cover up that he's an AxCrazy maniac. For all we know, Horatio even murdered Yorick when he was a boy.
* I can see where this comes from, but Shakespeare isn't one for ambiguous endings; if something that dramatic was true in-play, he would have told us that somehow. Or maybe it's in a lost epilogue somewhere...

[[WMG: Horatio murdered everyone because he was Fortinbras's BrainwashedAndCrazy puppet.]]
Notice how he came in right when King Claudius was trying to appeal peace with Norway.

[[WMG: Hamlet knew Yorick in a biblical sense.]]
Alas, poor Yorick! I ''knew'' him, Horatio!
* He hath borne me on his back a thousand times.
* Which is a bit [[{{Squick}} squicky]], considering the age difference.
* It's doubtful that Hamlet would be so eager to tell Horatio he was having sex with Yorick.
** Which opens up the debate on whether Hamlet and ''Horatio'' are having a torrid affair...
*** Yes.
** Horatio was a pagan, so he would have been cool. (Interesting, in light of Ophelia.)
** It would've been old news by then, anyway.
* On a more serious note, the joke might be that "knew" also meant "recognized." Much of the scene revolves around the idea that all skulls are equal and indistinguishable in death.

[[WMG: Hamlet knew everyone in the cemetery in a biblical sense.]]
Except Ophelia.

[[WMG: Ophelia is Pregnant]]
[[http://www.craftyscreenwriting.com/ophelia.html Seen here]], but also just type in 'Ophelia Pregnant' in a search engine and multiple results (20 300 from Ask.com) will show up.

[[WMG: Claudius is Hamlet's biological father]]
Doesn't it seem odd that Gertrude willingly leaped right into bed with her husband's brother Claudius once Hamlet Senior kicked the bucket? Indeed, the Gravedigger scene informs us that Hamlet was born the same day that Hamlet, Sr. killed Fortinbras, Sr. Old Hamlet was out on military campaigns all the time. It's hardly a stretch to think that Gertrude fooled around with Claudius behind her husband's back. Claudius himself knows that Hamlet is his son, which is why he initially tries to be friends with him and insists that he remain at Elsinore rather than return to France for school. Indeed, Kenneth Branagh's adaptation all but makes this assertion. Branagh bears a much greater resemblance to Derek Jacobi than {{BRIAN BLESSED}}, and the scene where Claudius orders Hamlet's murder makes Claudius seem genuinely reluctant to do so.
* Extra context for those scenes where he basically calls his mother a whore.

[[WMG: Claudius is Laertes's biological father]]
Suggested in the Mel Gibson ''Hamlet.''

[[WMG: Hamlet is Hamnet]]
Hamlet is close enough to his father to hate his mother when he dies. Shakespeare's supposed to have been recovering from the loss of his similarly named son when he wrote his adaption of the Amleth legend and probably hated his wife, what with his whole moving-to-London thing. What if at least part of Hamlet's character is what Shakespeare wished had happened if he'd died first (you know, aside from the poisoned daggers, &c.)?
* There's no record of Shakespeare going home for his son's funeral, and we know for a fact that his daughters were illiterate. Not exactly the picture of a loving father who'd write a play in his grief to honor his dead son.

[[WMG: Hamlet knows he's in a play.]]
At least by Act 5 he does. Hamlet is constantly making metatheatrical references-- to the practices common in Elizabethan theatre in general and to the Globe specifically. When he gets picked up by the pirates, he realizes what an obvious plot device it is (and it is-- Shakespeare uses it in ''Pericles'' as well)-- and he's GenreSavvy enough already for that to clue him in that he's a character in a play. This explains why he's so calm about facing the duel in Act 5-- he knows how it's going to end already.

[[WMG: ''Hamlet'' is a flashback.]]
Horatio is the narrator. He's in the first and last scenes, and in between he's in a lot of scenes but does almost nothing but observe. Hamlet tells him everything, and he's unobtrusive enough to have observed other scenes without being noticed, so that accounts for the scenes that he's not in. In his last speech to Fortinbras, he says: "Give order that these bodies high on a stage be placed to the view, and let me speak to the yet unknowing world how these things came about." That's another metatheatrical reference-- the bodies ''are'' on a stage. Horatio has just finished narrating the entire tale to Fortinbras and this speech is where the flashback comes full circle.
* Addendum to this theory: That speech is a prologue, and as soon as they get offstage the entire play starts again. ''This'' is why Hamlet isn't bothered by death after realizing that he's in a play-- see above-- because he knows everything will reset next time the play starts.
* Which, if this were actually staged, would give Horatio the first and last lines of the play. It would open with him surrounded by bodies saying, "Why does the drum come hither?" and end with his previous line of, "GoodnightSweetPrince..."

[[WMG: Hamlet didn't know Yorick at all.]]
In his angst and near-lunacy, Hamlet gives an eloquent speech about the happiness of his youth...personified as a man he never even met. This represents the fact that Hamlet's youth probably wasn't as good as he thinks it was (after all, his mother seems to have loved his uncle all along, not to mention all that royal stress). With his father gone, Hamlet mentally rewrites his past: he had the best father ever born, the most loving mother, and, of course, the funniest and most loyal court jester.

[[WMG: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were innocent.]]
They didn't know the contents of the letter they were delivering. They were roped into Claudius' schemes because they genuinely wanted to help their poor mad friend.
* [[GallowsHumor Heh heh, "roped" ...]]
** While they didn't know the contents of the letter, they were hired by Claudius to spy on Hamlet, a detail they hide so unskillfully that Hamlet picks up on it himself. So "innocent" is not the word I would use to describe them.
11th Oct '15 2:37:19 PM vifetoile
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* John Updike held to this idea and developed it in his novel ''Gertrude and Claudius.''
16th Jul '15 7:30:51 AM jet556
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[[WMG: Polonius aided Claudius in Old Hamlet's murder]]

Since Polonius is a much more sinister and shifty character than the senile old man many misinterpret him as, it stands to reason that he may have conspired with Claudius to put him on the throne being the one to make sure that Old Hamlet was alone in the orchard. This makes Polonius' death at Hamlet's hands all the more enjoyable and it is perfectly obvious since any idiot who believes that Hamlet is a DesignatedHero can't be anything but wrong.
20th Jan '14 8:43:36 PM DoltBoy
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* This explanation makes a lot of sense thematically, but leaves several plot holes. Even going so far as to assume that the guards are hallucinations, what about Horatio? In fact, what about the entire first scene, in which Hamlet does not appear at all? Why doesn't the play simply start with I.ii?
19th Jan '14 9:35:15 AM FoolsEditAccount
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[[WMG: The ghost is a hallucination of Hamlet's.]]


[[WMG: The ghost is a hallucination hallucination, not the actual spirit of Hamlet's.King Hamlet.]]
19th Jan '14 9:34:44 AM FoolsEditAccount
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On that note, said ghost is an EldritchAbomination who drives whoever it talks to to insanity. That's why it refused to speak to the guards. Lastly, Ophelia realized that the ghost planned to throw Denmark into ruin, so she committed suicide so she wouldn't be a part of it.


On that note, said ghost is an EldritchAbomination who drives whoever it talks to to insanity. That's why it refused to speak to the guards. Lastly, Ophelia realized that the ghost planned to throw Denmark into ruin, so she committed suicide so she wouldn't be a part of it.it.

[[WMG: The ghost is a hallucination of Hamlet's.]]
It doesn't speak to anyone except Hamlet, and when it does, it doesn't really give him new information. In fact, it tells him exactly what he wants to hear -- his reaction is even "I knew it!" Also, not only is it the only character other than Hamlet to label Gertrude and Claudius' marriage as "incest", it actually seems ''more'' passionate and vehement about that topic than the whole, you know, murder thing. If it was really the ghost of Hamlet Sr., wouldn't he be more concerned with his brother killing him than his brother marrying his wife (as was standard practice back then)? Hamlet's the one with the "incest" hangup, so the only way this makes sense is if the ghost is a reflection of his own neuroses! And of course, Gertrude can't see the ghost, which is highly suspect given that the ghost is telling Hamlet to take mercy on her in that scene -- why wouldn't it show itself to her?

As for the guards, they never appear again after act 1 scene 2. Who's to say they aren't hallucinations either, made up by Hamlet to rationalize the ghost's appearance?

24th Aug '13 3:04:49 PM RF99
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**It might also be because Denmark has an electorate system of kingship, as mentioned in the play.
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