The Modrn Transformation and Reinvention of a Classic: Hamlet, Slings and Arrows, and I Hate Hamlet College

Hamlet will be Hamlet, a fabled tragedy of the human spirit that still resonates, even today (Slings and Arrows, 1.2).”

Hamlet by William Shakespeare is one of the very few plays that have survived throughout the ages and is still referenced in modern times. Hamlet seems to be eternal- it is adapted and still somehow relevant to society in the year 2018. A Hamlet adaptation has a simple formula: Someone is killed by their brother, a ghost tells their son, the son wants revenge. However, Hamlet itself can also be the base of an adaptation. This is seen in Slings and Arrows, a Canadian T.V series also in Paul Rutnick’s play, I Hate Hamlet. Although these two forms of media are not complete copies of Hamlet, the actor playing the role carries the prestigious notion and the incredible emotional weight of the role.

How is it that Hamlet, written between 1599-1602, still has such an impact on modern culture? De Grazia in her book, Hamlet Without Hamlet, states that “The basis of the identification [of Hamlet] is so obvious now that it hardly needs to be stated. (De Grazia)”. The author even goes on to say that Hamlet has been “hailed as the inaugural figure of the modern period: “the Western hero of consciousness”…”a distinctly...

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