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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

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Visible Empire
Hannah Pittard
The Deptford Trilogy
Robertson Davies
Life on Mars
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Review: Hamlet

Hamlet (Cambridge School Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare, Rex Gibson, Richard Andrews

I’ve seen quite a few Shakespeare productions and have read several other works. Surprisingly, in all my years, Hamlet has escaped me. Don’t ask me how—despite never missing a day of high school, and attaining a degree in English and a Master’s in writing, and being alive—I have never read or seen a production of Hamlet. I decided to remedy that.


No surprises here. It’s typical Shakespeare. Betrayal, mistaken identities, honor, incest, duels, poison, death, death, and death. The story itself didn’t make much of an impact on me, but what did was the language. Of all of Shakespeare I am familiar with, this one stood out as having the most memorable lines. Sure, I knew the whole “To be or not to be” monologue was present, but there are so many others that were not only familiar, but memorable with reason. An obvious classic despite being very run-of-the-mill in terms of Shakespeare’s work.