Sunday, 25 November 2007


Unusual facts about Hamlet, best of plays

(I could not resist this illustration of an alien Hamlet).

1. Do you know that you can buy Hamlet, translated into Klingon here? Now there's a novel idea for a Christmas present... I quote, 'You may think you've read Hamlet before, but you can't really appreciate it until you've read it in the original Klingon. Now's your chance. Enjoy!'

(Original Klingon? Shakespeare was a Klingon??? Didn't know that).

2. TaH pagh taHb? is To be or not to be? in Klingon. (No, I don't know how you pronounce it. This is a blog, not an evening class for nerds! Go away.)

3. One line synopsis by Adrien Arnold: Whine whine whine...To be or not to be...I'm dead. (Not too good in my opinion; repetition of 'whine'. I prefer the simpler: Mother, how could you?)

4. Women have often played Hamlet. Sarah Bernhardt played the prince in a popular London production. In 1900, she made a five minute film of the fencing scene, with music and words on records that were played at the same time. It was the first talkie.

5. The highest-grossing Hamlet adaptation to-date is Disney's Academy Award winning animated feature The Lion King, which enacts a loose version of the plot among a pride of African lions.

6. Thomas Betterton went on playing Hamlet up to the age of seventy-four.

7. Garrick 'improved' the play; he said, 'I had sworn I would not leave the stage till I had rescued that noble play from all the rubbish of the fifth act. I have brought it forth without the grave-digger's trick, Osrick, & the fencing match".


And go here to see my all-time favourite YouTube short; Arnold Schwarzenegger as Hamlet.


  1. Ah, Hamlet in the original Klingon - you can't beat it, you know!


  2. You're not telling me you've seen a production in Klingon!

    Ooh...lucky you...envy...

  3. I like Much Ado About Nothing.

  4. Indeed, it is an excellent play.

  5. Did you know there's a website with erotica featuring klingons...but also heavy, intense gay sex between Spock and Kirk?
    I confess I read some and it sort of smelted my reading lamp...

  6. Fiona, I didn't know.

    The mind boggles.

  7. Dear me, Lexi - I thought everyone had seen at least one of Shakespeare's plays in Klingon!!



  8. Maybe in the cultured circles in which you move, Anne.

    Alas, round here, they think the Prince of Denmark is a pub.

    (Or, it's just occurred to me, perhaps you are a Trekkie?)