Hamlet is a play about a young man who finds out his father was murdered so he kills nearly everyone he’s ever known. It’s called a “tragedy” because snuff-films had yet to be invented.
The Lion King is the first and probably the last Disney cartoon to be based on Hamlet. There were a few modifications, of course: Instead of poison, Hamlet’s father was killed by a stampede, Simba did not die at the end and the “To be or not to be” speech was replaced with “Hakuna Matada”…
Maurice Evans portrayed Hamlet on Broadway more than any other actor with 267 performances; however, some think that record is suspect because he played the character of Hamlet in productions of King Lear, MacBeth and Hello Dolly… until he was asked to leave the stage.
The only actor to win an academy award for the role of Hamlet was Laurence Olivier, in 1947. Some speculate that the only reason he won was his remarkable resemblance to singer/songwriter Sting.
As early as the eighteenth century, a woman has played the part of Hamlet. Sara Siddons portrayed the melancholy Dane at least nine times in her life. The worst part was when she got to the part about settling up with her enemies with a “bare bodkin”, because it made the ten year olds in the audience giggle.
Freud assumed the reason Hamlet wanted to avenge his father was because of an Oedipus Complex. Makes sense. An Oedipus Complex is what motivated me to get an engineering degree and paint my basement off-white.
Bill Cosby remade Hamlet with his movie Ghost Dad. The only differences between the two were the dialog, the plot and the fact that Hamlet is actually watchable.
Hamlet is the longest Shakespearean play at 29,551 words… which is over two-hundred thousand words in dog years.
A likely venue for the original story of Hamlet is the Castle Kronborg, a bleak, cold and dismal place that is still way better than living in Minneapolis.
A Tom Stoppard play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, follows two minor characters from the play, Hamlet, as they slowly come to the realization that they are trapped in a drama and their fate is not theirs to control. It is a bleak and dismal play but still way better than living in Minneapolis…