Emilia Bassano Lanier and Hamlet

Portrait of an unidentified woman by Nicholas Hilliard, who many have suggested could be Emilia Bassano Lanier. Source: Wikipedia Commons (Public domain). Note: The three primary works which provide background for this essay are Shakespeare’s Dark Lady, by John Hudson, The Reckoning, by Charles Nicholl, and Four and Twenty Fiddlers, by Peter Holman. All should … Continue reading Emilia Bassano Lanier and Hamlet

Not a Love Song: The Tragedy of Juliet

Shakespeare's best known tragedy is the story of two star-crossed lovers, who, in death, end their families' conflict. Despite being hailed as a great romance, Romeo and Juliet is, in no way, a love story, but very much about individual responsibility and the consequences of making decisions in the heat of passion. Romeo is very … Continue reading Not a Love Song: The Tragedy of Juliet

Myths and Myth Making in Hamlet

Note: This article has been updated and expanded in my essay collection Words Words Words available in print from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Laurence Olivier once referred to Hamlet as the story of a man who can't make up his mind. While there are elements of indecisiveness in Hamlet's actions, to say he can't … Continue reading Myths and Myth Making in Hamlet

Ophelia and Hamlet

Note: This article has been updated and expanded in my essay collection Words Words Words, available in print from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Modern stage interpretations of Hamlet place a great deal of emphasis on the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia, more so, perhaps, than Shakespeare himself intended. Some go so far as to place … Continue reading Ophelia and Hamlet