Hamlet- Adult or Adolescent? Essay

1264 Words Mar 8th, 2011 6 Pages
After reading Hamlet or watching the play, how old would you say that Prince Hamlet was at the time? Would you say he was around thirty? Or maybe you would say he was in adolescence, somewhere around the age of eighteen. Whatever age you would say, there would be someone who would argue that you are wrong. I recently attended the play Hamlet at Washington University, directed by William Schvey. Schvey viewed Hamlet as a young college-age student. I think that this type of view on Hamlet’s age is a common thing, but I do not feel that it is the correct view. Schvey shows Hamlet with his book bag, saying that he is a student and therefore must be young, so the actor playing Hamlet is indeed young. Yes, Shakespeare does say that …show more content…
In my eyes I would not say that my grandmother is a child, or young. King Hamlet and Polonius calling Prince Hamlet young does not make him an adolescent but simply shows that they are older than him.
Schvey was a great director of this play, but he refused to accept the age set by Shakespeare in his play Hamlet. Shakespeare does not set the age for his characters often so I would say that he must have included Hamlet’s age in this particular play for a reason. For example, Shakespeare tells readers Juliet’s age but not Romeo’s in his play Romeo and Juliet. He does not tell the readers Lady Capulet’s or Nurse’s age or any other characters’ for that matter. It just really is not that often that Shakespeare feels it is necessary to include an age in his play, so when he does it will definitely mean something or is important to the readers understanding, and in Hamlet, Shakespeare does tell the readers Hamlet’s age. It is not until act five of the play when Shakespeare makes it very clear to us how old Hamlet actually is, but there is a time before that where his age is sort of suggested. In the Mousetrap (the play within Hamlet), the player playing King Hamlet opens the play by saying, “Full thirty times hath Phoebus’ cart gone round Neptune’s salt wash and Tellus’ orbed ground, and thirty dozen moons with borrowed sheen about the world have times twelve thirties been

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