Hamlet Exposed!

by George Freek

Critics for years have argued about how to interpret Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This one-act spoof by George Freek suggests some rather unusual answers. Here, we find a diabolical young Hamlet, playing with Shakespeare’s original language to disguise his intent to usurp the throne. A remarkably modern young Ophelia has little time for this young scholar’s skullduggery.

 

The dialogue comically mixes Shakespearean quotes and phrases with contemporary expressions.

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Play Details

Overview

In the one-act hilarious farce, George Freek turns Shakespeare’s Hamlet on its head.

Was Hamlet the main villain, envious of his uncle’s ascension to the throne? Is Ophelia fed up with the melancholy of this Dane? Does she pine for Laerte?

The dialogue comically mixes Shakespearean quotes and phrases with contemporary expressions.

This version of Hamlet is one for the ages. Ideal for teen drama groups, competitions, and community theaters.

Downloadable, printable PDF available

From the Play

GERTRUDE: Oh, I certainly do admit it. After all, his father spoiled him almost to rottenness! He indulged his each and every whim. He gave him all he asked for and prepared Hamlet for kingship in his own image. That is, teaching him to drink like a fish, to chase loose women and to treat all others as if they were his footstools.

CLAUDIUS (Uneasily): And I fear Hamlet adored him for it.

GERTRUDE: But he will soon be home, and his brute of a father is dead. So finally I can tell him the truth about… that man.

CLAUDIUS: Are you certain that be wise? The truth is often hard to hear. That is why ‘tis ‘bitter.

GERTRUDE: I am certain!

CLAUDIUS (Slightly pontifical): But remember this, my dear, as grows the tree, so grows the limb, and as Aristotle tells us ‘The apple falleth not far from the tree.’

GERTRUDE: Oh, piffle! Hamlet must hear the truth!

CLAUDIUS: But will he believe you?

GERTRUDE: I’m his mother!

CLAUDIUS: ’Tis true, a man’s mother is his mother, while his father is a matter of opinion—

GERTRUDE: What! Claudius!

CLAUDIUS: I only hope Hamlet doesn’t resent me.

GERRRUDE: Resent you! But he has always liked you.

CLAUDIUS: Yes, but as an uncle, not as a stepfather.

GERTRUDE: But Hamlet is kind and he is gentle. He will certainly recognize the truth when he hears it.

CLAUDIUS: Perhaps… But be gentle with him, my dear. Remember that Hamlet has suffered a great blow. The sudden death of a father is like a sudden storm upon on a calm sea—

GERTRUDE: Yes, yes… of course I’ll be gentle. Oh, Claudius, darling, you are so kind, so good… (She suddenly embraces him, as…)

(HAMLET then enters. He smirks knowingly, seeing them embrace)

HAMLET: Ahem.

GERTRUDE: Hamlet! My darling! You are home at last! (She embraces him).

HAMLET: Hello, mother dear. (Raised eyebrow) I hope you are well.

GERTRUDE: I am, now that you are here.

CLAUDIUS (With avuncular good nature): Hello, Hamlet, my boy!

HAMLET: Hello…Uncle Claudius. (They also embrace).

GERTRUDE: But now you must call him father, Hamlet.

HAMLET: Call him Father Hamlet?

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