That’s the Question: Soliloquy or Speech?

Now it’s time to tackle one of the Big Questions in Hamlet — or, well, maybe we’re not ready to tackle it quite yet. But we’re definitely going to walk straight up and tweak it on the nose. Take that, question! Hamlet’s most famous soliloquy, of course, is the one that begins, “To be or…

H2016: The Devil Hath Power

Today, two weeks into my Hamletian blogsperiment, it feels like the time is right to start talking about my own plans for producing the play in 2016. I’ll be revealing my hand very slowly, partly because I know this medium has the potential to generate excitement and suspense amongst the local populace (local, in my case,…

Ham and Sharp: Under Cover of Darkness

Hamlet was the first play I ever read voluntarily. After becoming intrigued about it through a Games Magazine puzzle, I sought it out during my first year of high school. I was taking English AP, the advanced class, and we had just read A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the first of two assigned Shakespeare plays. The…

Line by Line: Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 1-2

BERNARDO: Who’s there? FRANCISCO: Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself. While nowhere near as famous as the first lines of Romeo & Juliet (“Two houses, both alike in dignity…”), Henry V (“O for a muse of fire”), or Richard III (“Now is the winter of our discontent”), the first line of Hamlet has a…

Ham and Sharp: First Contact

When I ask students how they first became aware of Hamlet, their answers are vague. Some of them remember seeing the Simpsons parody, while others recall being informed that the plot of The Lion King borrows heavily from something called Hamlet. Mostly, there seems to be a gradual, generalized awareness, like pieces of a vast…