In this quintessential Shakespearean drama, Hamlet’s halting pursuit of revenge for his father’s death unfolds in a series of highly charged confrontations that climax in tragedy. Probing the depths of human feeling like few other works of art, the play is reprinted here from an authoritative British edition complete with illuminating footnotes.
Note from the editor: No I have never read Hamlet. As soon as I was told that the only decent female character dies, I swore off it, but NOW she doesn’t have to! In fact…
Once upon a time there was a maid named Lydia who was dating a prince with serious issues.
When he was a young boy, Hamlet’s father was murdered in his bed by Sir Humphrey, one of his closest advisors. Sir Humphrey had then seized power, so no one dared call it murder, rather it was a natural transfer of power. In order to show just how much of a better King Humphrey was, he allowed Hamlet to live in the castle, adopting him into his family as a nephew.
Hamlet did not like his faux-uncle. Still, he lived in his castle, determined that one day he would regain his rightful throne.
In the meantime he met Miss Lydia. She was the youngest daughter of a country gentleman and had been brought to court as a lady in waiting to the queen. Naturally, she was a novelty to the prince that had lived his entire life inside the castle. She knew how to ride a horse (sidesaddle), go hunting (as good luck), and most importantly, how to sneak around (not that she’d ever admit it).
They became fast friends, and as they grew up hormones happened and next thing you know they were dating. Lydia knows of Hamlet’s quickly solidifying plans for revenge, and gives him an ultimatum. Either he accepts his place in his uncle’s house and forgives him his murder, or she dumps him.
To be in a relationship or not to be?
Hamlet announces his engagement to Miss Lydia, and that very night creeps into his uncle’s room and stabs the sleeping figure, fleeing immediately.
The next morning it’s announced that the queen has been murdered.
Lydia is devastated.
Hamlet is…torn. She was a nice woman, but she did marry a murderer. She also looked a lot like a man under blankets.
Unfortunately, a civil war has started over the assassination. Commoners took responsibility for the assassination, and the war engulfed the land.
King Humphrey was killed on the battlefield. When his will was read, it turned out that Hamlet was his heir, and Hamlet descended into depression. He hated the king for just handing over the title he was ready to kill him over, and hated that he had the gall to be killed by someone else.
So instead of being coronated, Hamlet became a monk, and Lydia was later married to a knight.