Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hamlet by John Marsden

Life has become too much for Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, to bear. His father recently passed away, and the body was barely in the ground before his mother married his father's brother. Now his father's ghost has appeared to Hamlet and informed Hamlet that he was murdered by Hamlet's uncle/step-father/new King, and that he will be never be at rest until the killer is caught. Hamlet decides to seek the truth about his father's death, and once he does, take vengeance on those who have wronged him.

In this prose adaptation of Shakespeare's well-known play, Hamlet's story is the same one that people have observed for centuries: Hamlet tries to avenge his father's death but is undone by hesitation and indecision. It's pretty much a straight-up story transfer, and I think that that is a smart idea, given how many high school students are assigned the play. Not that this is dumbed down - it has all of the complex storylines and wordplay. It does give attention to characters in a bit of a different light; I think Ophelia benefits the most from this, making her end even sadder.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Enter Three Witches by Caroline B. Cooney
Hamlet by Adam McKeown
Illyria by Elizabeth Hand

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