WARNING! This article contains high amounts of spoilers.
To read or not to read. That is the question.
The only Shakespeare play I’ve ever read before was Romeo and Juliet in ninth grade, so I really didn’t know what to expect. I think that with young readers in high school there can be a stigma or perceived challenge around reading Shakespeare due to the difficult and seemingly ancient language. I certainly stumbled over a plethora of sentences and there were many times when I had no idea what was going on, but reading it as a play with my classmates and with my amazing English teacher, Ms. Walter, made it a lot more understandable, interactive, and overall way more fun than I ever thought Shakespeare could be. I never thought a troubled Prince Hamlet coming from Denmark would be relatable to me, but I was pleasantly surprised. And yeah, some things were outlandish; A ghost was one of the main characters, but that’s part of what made it so enjoyable. With Shakespeare, the impossible is possible. However, there were definitely aspects that I did not like. For example, there were way too many deaths that could have been avoided had there been any resemblance of communication. It’s frustrating getting connected to so many characters and then reading about how they ALL die in the SAME SCENE. Although, once you get over the fact that William Shakespeare had a tendency to kill off several characters in one play, you can appreciate the story for what it is: A lost boy with mommy issues confused about how to confront his father’s ghost, his new stepdad, and his own mortality. Hamlet is timeless because every reader can pinpoint at least one thing they find relatable. I encourage you to find that one thing! And I stick with my previous answer, “to read.”
By: Hadassah Reich (12th)