Hamlet is the story of an indecisive, Danish prince who causes seven deaths because he can't decide if the ghost he saw was his father or Satan.

Franco Zeffirelli cast Mel Gibson as Hamlet in his 1990 film version of the play.  The choice was described as Uncle Morty in Withnail and I was based on Zeffirelli. "/>

Just The Facts

  1. Hamlet is considered the best play ever written by many, including whoever this person is.,/a>
  2. The most famous moment in Hamlet is a soliloquy that begins, "To be or not to be". This is where Hamet decides to be indecisive about whether he should kill himself before ultimately deciding it's a moot question seeing as he's too much of a pussy to do it, anyway.
  3. Hamlet was groundbreaking because it was the first time somebody wrote a tragic hero who was also a complete douchebag. All previous tragic heroes had some redeeming qualities.
  4. Yes, you have to read it if you want to pass British Literature 2034.


Hamlet dad dies and his uncle Claudius marries his mom and is elected king. When Hamlet comes home from college with a duffel bag full of laundry, his buddies tell him they saw his dad's ghost. Hamlet goes off looking for it. When he finally realizes his friends punk'd him good, he decides to stage a grand, prolonged tragedy in order to save face.

Hamlet reports that the ghost of his father told him Claudius assassinated him by pouring poison in his ear and asked Hamlet to avenge the murder. He does this by sending his girlfriend into a fit of suicidal insanity after murdering her father but before accidentally ending the life of her brother along with his own mother and a troop of orphaned Girl Scouts who were just trying to sell him some cookies. He does manage to execute Claudius, the one person he was actually supposed to kill.

At some pont in all this, Hamlet's life is saved when the boat taking him to his death is attacked by pirates whom he befriends. He convinces them to take a piracy break and help him with an hilarious prank on England in which two of Hamlet's oldest friends are wrongly executed.

As Hamlet is dying, his buddy Horatio says, "Maybe he didn't literally pour poison in your dad's ear. Doesn't that sound like a euphamism to you? It just seems weird. Of all places to put poison, why the ear?"

Plot Holes in Hamlet

1. The biggest problem with Hamlet is that it never occurs to the title character that the ghost may only have been an hallucination and, instead of a killing spree, he should really just stop eating the mushrooms he finds growing on cow turds.

2. When the court has been wiped out and blood runs through the castle, everybody acts like Hamlet was such a great guy. His buddy Hortio calls him a "sweet prince". I mean, he was deep and troubled and all that bullshit. But, sweet? The man practically called his own mother a whore.

3. Elected King? What?

Actors Who Have Played Hamlet

The role of Hamlet has been played by some of the greatest actors ever to grace the screen or stage, most of whom you've never heard of: Kenneth Branagh, Laurence Olivier, Richard Burbage, Thomas Betterton, Lewis Hallam, Asta Nielsen, Ethan Hawk.

While the role has been played by Christopher Walken, the theater world still anxiously awaits a production in which Kevin Spacey plays Kevin Pollack doing an impression of Jay Mohr doing an impression of Christopher Walken playing Hamlet. Everybody agrees it would be <a href="http://www.cs.rit.edu/~dmrg/vislit/" rel="nofollow" >exquisitely and pointlessly postmodern.</a>