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Thursday, 21 May 2015


Hamlet was set by William Shakespeare in the actual Port Elsinore, Denmark and ultimately derives from the legend of Amleth, preserved by 13th-century chronicler Saxo Grammaticus in his Gesta Danorum. It was subsequently retold by 16th-century scholar Fran├žois de Belleforest in a large French work called Histories and Tragedies.

Hamlet was not a success in Shakespeare's lifetime indeed it was only performed a dozen times in the Elizabethan age.

Hamlet is Shakespeare's longest play with 4042 lines.

The lead role, the gloomy Dane himself, has 1422 lines of speech. more than any other Shakespeare character

Shakespeare probably played Hamlet in the original play.

Famous lines in Hamlet include. "Neither a lender or a borrower be."1:3
"But to my mind-though I am native here. And to the manner born-it is a custom. More honour'd in the breach than the observance." 1:4.
"Though this be madness, yet there be method in it."2:2
"To be or not to be, that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles."3:1
"To die, to sleep: To sleep: perchance to dream' ay there's the rub."3:1
"The lady doth protest too much me thinks." 3:2
."I must be cruel only to be kind." 3:4.
"Alas poor Yorik! I know him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy." 5:1

Shakespeare used Catholic imagery in several of his plays including the return of the ghost from purgatory in Hamlet.

When the Polish composer and pianist Andre Tchaikowsky died in 1982, he bequeathed his skull to the Royal Shakespeare Company to be used as the skull of Yorick in Hamlet.  The first actor to use that skull in a performance of Hamlet was David Tennant in 1988.

Famous movie versions of Hamlet include in 1948 where the titular character was played by Laurence Olivier and in 1991 where he was portrayed by Mel Gibson.

The Laurence Olivier film won five Oscars on March 25, 1949. It was the first time a British movie won an Academy Award.

A Canadian businessman, Sean Shannon, holds the record for performing Hamlet’s "To be or not to be" soliloquy in the fastest time — 23.8 seconds.

Hamlet has been performed and published in more than 75 languages, including Klingon and Esperanto.

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