Hamlet (blue), Romeo and Juliet (red), and Macbeth (yellow)

They all reach the same level of popularity during the school year and then just drop dramatically during the summer

Do you read Shakespeare during the summer?


“I Like Hanging Out With Guys Because There’s Less Drama.”

Translation: whenever I spend time with my female friends, we always end up doing an unabridged reading of Hamlet, and I’m salty because they always make me play Polonius.

of course, the irony about this cartoon - which I assume is meant to demonstrate shallow selfie culture desecrating the great classics - is that among other things a) hamlet is a disaffected young man suffering from depression and, frankly, deeply self-absorbed and b) the entire play is obsessed with the idea of performance and performativity and so absolutely hamlet taking selfies would be in the spirit of the original because a selfie is a new way of constructing the self through images

so what I’m saying is: fuck off culture snobs I’m coming for you

Claudius is the anti-thesis of metatheatre. I was thinking about reading Claudius’s repentance and prayer monologue as obviously fake and suddenly it all clicked into place. Claudius doesn’t play along with how metatheatre works. He knows right from the beginning that Hamlet is faking his madness. He knows shit’s about to go down in the play. When Laertes learns that Hamlet comes back and he’s raving that he’s about to cut his throat i’ th’ church Claudius is like wow you kids are so dramatic, here’s a better thought out plan. I mean, you could just read this as a bored no-bullshit Claudius. He responds to the actual play-within the play with “right, I’m king and you’re deported”. Every time Hamlet goes off on a you can smile on the outside and be a villain inside rant, Claudius’s reaction basically “…okay moving on”. In a play that is all about reflection with almost every character abiding by metatheatre rules, Claudius is never lured into it. I think that’s meant to show he’s remorseless or he cannot reflect on his actions or something.

Practical Shakespeare Quotes

Do you want to quote more Shakespeare in your life but never find opportunities to say “brevity is the soul of wit”? Do you rarely hang below balconies exchanging love vows with the daughter of your enemy? This is just the list for you.

“What an ass am I!”
Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2

“I am not a slut,”
As You Like It, Act 3, Scene 3
(Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here,”
The Tempest, Act 1, Scene 2

“Commit the oldest sins the newest kind of ways,”
Henry IV Part 2, Act 4, Scene 5

“This is the excellent foppery of the world,”

King Lear, Act 1, Scene 2

“Making the beast with two backs,”
Othello, Act 1, Scene 1

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool,”
As You Like It, Act 5, Scene 1

“To tell thee plain, I aim to lie with thee,”
Henry VI Part 3, Act 3, Scene 2
(Works great for courting hot widows.)

“I would rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me,”
Much Ado About Nothing, Act 1, Scene 1

“I wasted time, and now doth time waste me,”
Richard II, Act 5, Scene 5

“Marry, sir, in her buttocks.”
A Comedy of Errors, Act 2, Scene 5
(No judgement here.)

“My horse is my mistress,”
Henry V, Act 3, Scene 7
(Uh, there might be something wrong with that.)

“Thou dost infect my eyes,”
Richard III, Act 1, Scene 2

“Better a witty fool, than a foolish wit,”
Twelfth Night, Act 1, Scene 5
(“Wit” is Shakespearean slang for penis.)

“[Wine] provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance,”
Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 3

“I had rather live with cheese and garlic in a windmill, far, than feed on cates and have him talk to me in any summer-house in Christendom,”
Henry IV Part 2, Act 4 Scene 1

“Now, gods, stand up for bastards!”
King Lear, Act 1, Scene 2

“Villain, I have done thy mother!”
Titus Andronicus, Act 4, Scene 2
(This means exactly what you think it does.)

“And thou unfit for any place but hell,”
Richard III, Act 1, Scene 2

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,”
Henry VI Part 2, Act 4, Scene 2

“Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell.”
Othello, Act 4, Scene 2

“Out, dunghill!”
King John, Act 4, Scene 3

“This is too long.”
Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2


(With my deepest apologies to Shakespeare and Dr. Seuss)

Can I kill my Uncle Claude?
Yes, I can, I can, by God!
I will kill my Uncle Claude!

Should I kill him in the house?
Should I kill him while he’s soused?
I could kill him here or there
I could kill him anywhere
Would I, could I, while he prays?
Kill him! Kill him! Wherefore stay?
I would not, could not, while he prays!

Not in the house, not when he’s soused,
Not with his sister, now his spouse!
Not while he prays, not while he feasts,
O, incestuous, adulterate beast!
I do not like my Uncle Claude,
I do not like that bloody bawd!

Say! In the dark? Here in the dark!
Would I, could I, in the dark?

Should I kill him in his bed?
Should I there strike off his head?
Kill him with his nightcap on?
Kill him when the churchyards yawn?
Should I kill him where he lies?
I will kill him, by and by!
I do not like my Uncle Claude,
I’ll kill him, i’ th’ name of God!

The play! The play! The play’s the thing!
The thing wherein I’ll catch the king!
No more ‘to be or not to be,’
I will kill him, you will see!

Kill him while he wears his crown
Kill him while his guard is down
Kill him with some poisoned wine
Kill him with this sword of mine
O, is the point envenomed, too?
I’m dead–Horatio, adieu!
But tell them, tell them, more or less,
Who it was that made this mess!

I did not like my Uncle Claude,
I killed him in the name of God!
Good friend, report my cause aright–
And now, goodnight goodnight goodnight!

A Video Game About Changing What Happens In Shakespeare's Hamlet
Elsinore is a game where you play as Ophelia from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. She’s stuck in a time loop, ala Groundhog Day or Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. Her goal? To prevent Hamlet, a Shakespearean tragedy so tragic that it borders on ludicrous, from ending tragically.
By Nathan Grayson

Elsinore is a game where you play as Ophelia from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. She’s stuck in a time loop, ala Groundhog Day or Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. Her goal? To prevent Hamlet, a Shakespearean tragedy so tragic that it borders on ludicrous, from ending tragically.

I took a look at the game while at GDC in San Francisco. It’s a really neat concept, and so far the execution seems to be keeping pace. The basic idea is that every character operates on their own schedule in the game’s world, stuck on a path of predetermined doom by their cackling, pointy mustached god. As Ophelia, you gather information and interact with people to change their stories—to, say, stop Hamlet from murdering Polonius and, you know, pretty much everyone else from dying.