The Bad Hamlet

The “Bad Hamlet” is indeed quite entertaining. The first things I have noticed are the chopped names and soliloquies. Claudius and Gertrude are simplified to King and Queen. When the guards see the ghost during their watch, Horatio says the ghost “horrors me with fear and wonder”, whereas in the original version Horatio says “it harrows me with fear and wonder”. The person who wrote it down probably either had hearing problem or he was not as learned as we would have liked.

The King’s and Hamlet’s lines are mostly destroyed. Along with many other rich speeches written by Shakespeare, the King’s speech in which he asks Hamlet to stay home is cut half as short, making the plot seems to be going too fast. I enjoyed how the King calls Hamlet “princely son Hamlet” and he keeps calling the prince “son Hamlet” afterwards. Just like how Cassio in Othello keeps saying he is not drunk, the repeated use of “son” as Hamlet’s title makes me feel like the King is trying to convince everybody in the palace, including himself, that he is now Hamlet’s father. The copier probably was very confused by the meaning of the play, as he wrote “the rouse the King shall drink unto Prince Hamlet”. Then Hamlet’s internal conflict immediately after that is ruined by the hilarious exclamations like “such speed!”. All in all, the copier is just trying too hard.

 

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