I am reading Hamlet for the Drama module of my Birkbeck course.
In fact, I should have finished reading this play before the term started – along with the other pre-term reading; Uncle Vanya, Private Lives and Top Girls. I enjoyed reading the other plays – especially Private Lives and Top Girls.
But Hamlet? Well, I am still ploughing through it.
Of course, I could take the easy option and just watch the 1996 film. Actually, I have never seen Hamlet performed either as a play or film. But I am determined to read the damn thing first.
I keep measuring the pages left to go against the pages I have actually read. I reckon I am half way through. When I try to read it in the evening, I fall asleep. When I read it today – as I did on the train – I fell asleep again and almost missed my station stop.
Hamlet seems weird – being basically about a man driven mad by a ghost’s accusations. The plots and characters in the current crop of Vampire books appear far more believable.
(Actually, it is well worth a visit to Stephenie Meyer’s website to find out how she was inspired by a dream and sat down to write the best-selling novel, Twilight. I went there in the name of research for this blog piece and Wikipedia is currently ‘down’ as a protest against proposed new legislation – but I digress and will get back on track in moment.)
So, confession time: I hated Shakespeare at school and haven’t recovered from being forced to read Twelfth Night in class – very slowly over the course of a whole year. Of course I didn’t understand much of the language and I still don’t. In my informed opinion, as a fifteen year old, twelfth Night had the most ridiculous plot ever and generated slightly less excitement than watching snooker on an old black and white TV.
And now, having managed to offend most Shakespeare lovers – and all snooker fans – I will shut up.
Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com