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Hamlet

by William Shakespeare
395 pages, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Clodsley S.

Long but entertaining Shakespeare play with some bawdy humor.

Plot

When his mother marries his uncle, Prince Hamlet of Denmark smells a rat among the Danes. How did his father suddenly die? Was it his uncle's doing? Hamlet goes on a journey into madness as he contemplates revenge against his uncle and retribution for his dead father.

Morality

This story mostly revolves around revenge. Hamlet's uncle has married his mother, and Hamlet suspects his uncle of killing his father. There is one point when he almost gets his revenge, but he wishes to wait until his uncle is doing something sinful.

Spiritual Content

Catholic traditions are mentioned here and there, such as not burying victims of suicidal death on consecrated ground. Most of the characters are presumably Catholic or Christian.

Violence

Being a typical Shakespeare play, violence is implied and mentioned in soliloquies and monologues. Many characters die. One is a suicide.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Wine is consumed/mentioned but no one gets drunk.

Sexual Content

Bawdy Shakespeare innuendo is sometimes so subtle it's hardly noticeable. Many things are said about Ophelia's chastity and Hamlet's assumed "lust" toward her. Hamlet calls his uncle "incestuous" for marrying his mother.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

A few "D-mn"'s and "H-ll" used correctly. The Lord's name is thrown around irreverently a lot of times. There are also clever Shakespearean insults.

Conclusion

Shakespeare's "Hamlet" is quite enjoyable. The plot and characters (which are very well developed) are easy to understand and follow, such as Hamlet's plot for revenge. However, it is bawdy, like a lot of Shakespeare plays. If you don't like the innuendo of Shakespeare, a good alternative would be "Julius Caesar". But I highly recommend "Hamlet".

Fun Score: 4
Values Score: 3.5
Written for Age: adult

Review Rating:

Average rating: 3 stars
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