How Do You Make Hamlet Even More Tragic?

Do what the grad students in Shakespeare Studies at Mary Baldwin did in the performance I saw tonight (directed by Zach Brown):

1. Leave out Fortinbras entirely.

2. Have Horatio ignore Hamlet’s plea at the end of the play, drink the poison, and die. His last words were, of course, “The rest is silence”.

The result: I believe Osric is the only member of the upper classes left alive to inherit the throne. The accession of King Osric I would be a truly tragic outcome.

If any of my readers are in the Shenandoah Valley, there is a second performance tomorrow night at 7:30. The theater’s website is here.

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