The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

Inside the Minds of Hamlet/Edgar and Gertrude/Trudy; Actions Explained in The Story of Edgar Sawtelle 12th Grade

In his play Hamlet, there is no question that William Shakespeare crafts complex and distinct characters. However, because the story is a play, the reader is left to guess the reasoning for many of the character’s actions and the truth of what is going on in each character’s head. In his novel based on Hamlet, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, on the other hand, David Wroblewski takes advantage of the ability to go beyond dialogue and actions to offer a better explanation of each person he writes. Although some of the characters in Hamlet express their emotions through dialogue and soliloquies, the fact that in The Story of Edgar Sawtelle there is a narrator that can delve into the characters’ thoughts and go beyond just what they say allows much more room for character development and consequently, offers the reader a better understanding of each character.

When the reader is introduced to all the characters in Hamlet, one of the first things learned is that Gertrude is married to Claudius only a month or two after her husband’s death, which seems both questionable and unusual. Gertrude does not have many lines in the play, so the reader never really learns why she makes the choice to marry her late husband’s brother. However, in A...

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