I am thy father’s spirit;
Doom’d for a certain term to walk the night,
And for the day confin’d to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
Are burnt and purg’d away.
I don’t know if Hamlet is the most popular or the best known of Shakespeare’s plays but I bet it’s near the top of the list. I’m only one act in but if it continues at this pace I’d say its ranking in the canon is well deserved. So far it’s been much more of a page turner than the other six plays I’ve read – or slogged through, as the case may be.
Things kick off in fine fashion with the night watch being upset by the ghost of their recently departed king. As for Hamlet, he’s having a tough time dealing with said death, not to mention the fact that the queen has recovered indecently quickly and taken up with the new chief bottle washer – Hamlet’s uncle.
When he finds that his father’s ghost has been lurking around, Hamlet plans to meet up with it (him?). Lo and behold, when they get a chance to chat the moldy old shade drops a bombshell, advising Hamlet off the following:
The serpent that did sting thy father’s life
Now wears his crown.
Well now, I’m no prophet, but methinks this just won’t do.