Dramatis Personae

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark - The protagonist. Hamlet is not happy about his uncle's marriage to his mom especially so close to his father's death. Be question - is he crazy or just acting that way?

King Hamlet - Dead at the beginning of the play, but appears as a ghost and demands vengence upon his murder. Big question - can you trust him?

King Claudius - King Hamlet's brother. He marries his brother's wife soon after Hamlet's death.

Queen Gertrude - Hamlet's mom. She marries her brother-in-law (Claudius) shortly after her husband's death.

Polonius - The Lord Chamberlain. He is an advisor to the king and father of Ophelia and Laertes. He is very controlling. He does not trust Ophelia with Hamlet and does not trust Laertes off at France.

Laertes - Polonius's son and Ophelia's brother. He cares a lot for Ophelia (in a protective big brother way). He does not think that Hamlet really loves his sister and tells her to stay away from him. he blames Hamlet for bad things that happen in the play.

Ophelia - She is Polonius's daughter and sister to Laertes. She loves Hamlet and does not understand Hamlet's actions since he does not confide to her.

Reynaldo - Laertes friend who was sent by Polonius to France in order to spy on Laertes.

Horatio - Hamlet's true friend. He is the one who brings Hamlet to see his father's ghost.

Rosencrantz - Hamlet's friend who is sent to spy on him. Always seen with Guildenstern. Could be seen as "Dumb."

Guildenstern - Hamlet's friend who is sent to spy on him. Always seen with Rosencrantz. Could be seen as "Dumber."

Marcellus - A guard on watch duty who sees the ghost.

Bernardo - A guard on watch duty who sees the ghost

Francisco - A guard on watch duty that does not see the ghost.

Gravedigger - Uh...he digs graves.

Yorick - The famous skull that Hamlet talks to belonged to Yorick. Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well...

Sexton - Just a title for a servant. Nothing dirty...

Fortinbras - He lives in Norway. His father (also called Fortinbras) was killed by King Hamlet. Just like Prince Hamlet, Fortinbras did not become king, his uncle did instead. Fortinbras wants his father's lands, which were seized by King Hamlet, to be returned and has raised an army. Near the beginning of the play, everyone is getting ready for a possible invasion by Fortinbras army. The king of Norway, however, promises that he will only allow Fortinbras to attack Poland. Fortinbras is a mirror of Hamlet in many ways.

The Players - A traveling group of actors that helps Hamlet test Claudius. They produce a play called The Mousetrap.

The Churlish Priest - He refuses any burials for suicides.

Voltimand - Sent by Claudius to Norway to prevent war.

Cornelius - A royal kiss up.

Osric - A foppish and foolish royal kiss up.

A gentleman - A royal kiss up so unimportant, he doesn't even get a name.

Hamlet characters in smiley faces. Click the picture to see it better.

Another Hamlet Character Guide

Did you know?

Hamlet is Shakespeare's longest play. Uncut, it could take up to five hours to perform.

"To be, or not to be" is the most quoted phrase written by Shakespeare.

The character of Hamlet has the most lines (1,530) to learn than any other Shakespearean character.




The Bard


You may be quoting from Hamlet and not knowing it!

The following famous quotes are from Hamlet:

"Sick at heart" - Francisco I. i.

"Not a mouse stirring" - Francisco I. i.

"Frailty, thy name is woman!" - Hamlet I. ii.

"In my mind's eye" - Hamlet I. ii.

"Foul play" - Hamlet I. ii.

"To thine own self be true" - Polonius I. iii.

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark"
- Marcellus I. iv.

"Murder most foul" - Ghost I. v.

"One may smile, and smile, and be a villain" Hamlet I. v.

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
-Hamlet I. v.

"Brevity is the soul of wit" - Polonius II. ii.

"Though this be madness, yet there is method in't"
- Polonius II. ii.

"The devil hath power t' assume a pleasing shape"
- Hamlet II. ii.

"The play's the thing" - Hamlet II. ii.

"To be, or not to be, that is the question" - Hamlet III. i.

"Get thee to a nunnery" - Hamlet III. i.

"The lady doth protest to much, methinks"
- Gertrude III. i.

"Sweets to the sweet!" - Gertrude V. i.

"The dog will have his day" -Hamlet V. ii.


Click below to read the comic


The famous "To be, or not to be" speech:

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.


"To be, or not to be" in Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn

To be, or not to be; that is the bare bodkin
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would fardels bear, till Birnam Wood do come to Dunsinane,
But that the fear of something after death
Murders the innocent sleep,
Great nature's second course,
And makes us rather sling the arrows of outrageous fortune
Than fly to others that we know not of.
There's the respect must give us pause:
Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The law's delay, and the quietus which his pangs might take,
In the dead waste and middle of the night, when churchyards yawn
In customary suits of solemn black,
But that the undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns,
Breathes forth contagion on the world,
And thus the native hue of resolution, like the poor cat i' the adage,
Is sicklied o'er with care,
And all the clouds that lowered o'er our housetops,
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.
'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.
But soft you, the fair Ophelia:
Ope not thy ponderous and marble jaws,
But get thee to a nunnery -- go!

This rendition is by the Duke and mixes up many parts of Hamlet and quite a few from Macbeth. Nonetheless, in true form, Huck thinks he is a genius.


Green Eggs and Hamlet

I ask to be or not to be.
That is the question I ask of me.
This sullied life, it makes me shudder.
My uncle's boffing dear sweet mother.
Would I, could I take me life?
Could I, should I end this strife?
Should I jump out of a plane?
Or throw myself before a train?
Should I from a cliff just leap?
Could I put myself to sleep?
Shoot myself ot take some poison?
Maybe try self immolation?
To shudder off this mortal coil,
I could stab myself with a fencing foil.
Slash my wrists while in the bath?
Would it end my angst and wrath?
To sleep, to drea, now there's the rub.
I could drop a toaster in my tub.
Would all be glad if I were dead?
Could I perhaps kill them instead?
This line of thought takes consideration-
For I'm the king of procrastination.


Prince Omelet, from Veggie Tales: Kyle the Friendly Viking. Click the picture to play a game to help Omelet find his eggs, "light and fluffy," just the way he wants them.



READ's easy version of Hamlet

The Enfloded Hamlet

Contradictions in Hamlet

Was Ophelia Pregnant?

Parodies on the "To be" speech

Hamlet text online

Hamlet broken down structurally

Click Notes on Hamlet

Ophelia Art

The Shakespeare Conspiracy

Fox in Sox, Prince of Denmark

The Filming of Hamlet

The Little Pumpkin Theatre

A man might pass for insane who should see things as they are. ~William Ellery Channing

Today I felt pass over me
A breath of wind from the wings of madness.

~Charles Baudelaire

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. ~Mark Twain


(Adam McNaughtan)
This is a folk song that breaks Hamlet into about three minutes (thus the alternative name, "Three Minute Hamlet")

There was this king nodding
In his garden all alane
When his brither in his ear dropped
A wee tait of henbane
Then he stole his brother's crown
And his money and his widow
But the dead king walked and got his son
And said,"Now listen, kiddo

I've been killed and it's your duty
To take revenge on Claudius
Kill him quick and clean and show
The nation what a fraud he is
The boy says, "Right, I'll do it
But I'll have to play it crafty
So that nobody will suspect me
I'll kid on that I'm a dafty

So wi all except Horatio
(and he trusts him as a friend)
Hamlet - that's the kid
He kids on he's round the bend
And because he's not yet willing
For obligatory killing
He tried to make his uncle think
He's tuppence off the shilling

Took the mickey oot Polonius
Treated poor Ophelia vile
And told Rosencrantz and Gildenstern
that Denmark's blooded bile
Then a troup of traveling actors
Like the 784
Arrived to do a special one night
Gig in Elsinore

Hamlet, Hamlet, acting balmy
Hamlet, Hamlet, loves his mommy
Hamlet, Hamlet, hesitating
Wonders if the ghost's a fake
And that is why he's waiting

Then Hamlet wrote a scene for
The players to enact
While Horatio and him would watch
To see if Claudius cracked
The play was called "the Mousetrap"
(not the one that's running noo)
And sure enough, the King walked out
Before the scene was through.

So Hamlet's got the proof that Claudius
Gived his dad the dose
The only problem being now that
Claudius knows he knows
So while Hamlet tells his ma that her
New husband's not a fit man
Uncle Claud puts out a contract with
The English king as hit man

Then when Hamlet killed Polonius
The concealed corpus delecti
Was the King's excuse to send for
An English hempen necktie
With Rosencrantz and Gildenstern
To make sure he got there
But Hamlet jumped the boat and put
The finger straight on that pair

Meanwhile Laertes heard his dad had been
Stabbed thru the arras
He came racing back to Elsinore
Toute-suite, Hot foot from Paris
And Ophelia with her dad killed by
The man she wished to marry
After saying it with flowers
She commited hari-kari

Hamlet, Hamlet, there's no messin'
Hamlet, Hamlet, Learned his lesson
Hamlet, Hamlet, Yorick's crust
Convinced him that men, good or bad,
At last must come to dust

Then Laertes lost the place and was
Demanding retribution
But the king said, keep the head and
I'll provide you a solution
And he arranged a sword-fight with
The interested parties
With a blunted sword for Hamlet and
A sharp sword for Laertes

And to make things double sure
The old belt and braces line
He fixed up a poison sword tip and
A poisoned cup of wine
And the poisoned sword got Hamlet
But Laertes went and muffed it
Cause he got stabbed himself and he
Confessed before he snuffed it

Then Hamlet's mummy drank the wine and
As her face turned blue
Hamlet says, "I quite believe
The King's a baddy through and through
Incestuous, treacherous, damned Dane
He said, to be precise,
And made up for hesitating by
Killing Claudius twice

He stabbed him with the sword and forced
The wine between his lips
Then he said, the rest is silence
And he cashed in all his chips
They fired a volley over him that
Shook the topmost rafter
And then Fortinbras, knee-deep in Danes
Lived happily ever after

Hamlet, Hamlet, end of story
Hamlet, Hamlet, very gory
Hamlet, Hamlet, I'm away
If you think this is boring
You should read the bloody play


Tragedy Notes:

The protagonist is destroyed by a defect (tragic flaw) in his/her character or circumstances around him/her.
Shakeseare's tragedies are:
Titus Andronicus
Romeo and Juliet
King Lear
Julius Caesar
Antony and Cleopatra
Timon of Athens

Tragic Hero
A noble person who is destroyed because of a tragic flaw or circumstances that overpowers him or makes him incapable of dealing with the situation

Revenge Tragedy
The hero must get the villian back for wrongs committed but dies in the process

The Five Act Formula
This follows the plot line for short stories: Act I is the exposition, Act II is the rising action, Act III is the climax, Act IV is the falling action, and Act V is the resolution.


Study Questions & Ways to Look Smarter in Class
These are plot level questions only

Act I (Exposition and narrative hook)

scene i -

* Shakespeare gives an allusion to Julius Caesar, a play he wrote only two years prior to Hamlet. This kind of shameless plug happens two more times in the play!

* Fortinbras (the kid version) and Hamlet (the kid version) are mirrors - two characters that have many similarities. To begin with, both had their fathers murdered. Both are children of kings but were passed over for the throne in favor of their uncles. Hamlet, however, is passive and indecisive. Fortinbras is ready for action and is a take charge kind of guy.

1. Why are there so many guards on duty?
2. Why is Fortinbras upset with Denmark?
3 . Who do Barnardo and Marcellus tell about the ghost?
4. What prevents the ghost from talking?

scene ii -

* Claudius uses 1st person plural pronouns (we, our) because kings always speak of themselves in plural since they represent the entire kingdom.

5. Who just recently got married?
6. Why is this odd (two reasons)?
7. Laertes wishes to go to ______.
8. Why does Claudius chide Hamlet?
9. What does Horatio tell Hamlet?

scene iii -

10. What does Laertes tell Ophelia about Hamlet?
11. What does Polonius order Ophelia to not do?

scene iv -

12. Why does Horatio tell Hamlet not to follow the ghost?

scene v -

13. According to the ghost, who killed King Hamlet and how?
14. When Hamlet is to get revenge, he must not _________.
15. Hamlet makes Horatio, Bernardo, and Marcellus swear to not tell anyone what has happened and to not ___________.


Act II (Rising Action)

scene i

1. What does Polonius ask Reynaldo to do?
2. How does Hamlet act with Ophelia?
3. According to Polonius, why is Hamlet crazy?

scene ii

* When Hamlet encounters Polonius and talks as if he is insane, he calls Polonius a "fishmonger." In Shakespeare's day, the literal meaning was a fish seller, however, the slang meaning was a pimp. If you take it this way, Hamlet possibly knows that Polonius is using his daughter to catch Hamlet.

* The story of Pyrrhus and Hecuba that the player recites for Hamlet come from Virgil's Aeneid. This is symbolic doubly so -
1. Pyrrhus could be like Claudius, a ruthless murderer of someone's father, or 2. Pyrrhus could be like Hamlet, a son who feels bound to avenge the death of his father.

4. Why has Claudius asked Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to come to Elsinore Castle?
5. What news from Norway does Voltemand bring?
6. What news does Polonious give Claudius and Gertrude?
7. What plan does Polonius have?
8. What does the line, "I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw," mean?
9. What idea does the arrival of the players give Hamlet?

Act III (Climax)

scene i

* Claudius, in his first speech of this scene, reveals that he does not truly believe Hamlet is insane.

* Hamlet's famous, "To be, or not to be" soliloquy is not technically a soliloquy since Claudius and Polonius are there, hiding. This is much like the Juliet balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet since Juliet reveals her thoguhts, thinking that she is alone, but Romeo is really listening to her. In this case, we can still trust Hamlet's speech since he is unaware that anyone is listening.

1. Does Gertrude approve of a Hamlet/Ophelia relationship?
2. In Hamlet's "To be" speech, he is considering ______.
3. Hamlet tells Ophelia not to believe ________.
4. Does Claudius agree with Polonius that Hamlet is mad out of love?
5. Polonius wants to spy on Hamlet again when Hamlet talks to __.

"Get thee to a nunnery" - Dante Rossetti's view of Hamlet and Ophelia

scene ii

* Hamlet gives the players elaborate stage directions that really do not contribute to the plot. Shakespeare is probably poking fun at the directors of plays who do not give the actors enough "wiggle room" on stage.

* Polonius gives us another Julius Caesar plug.

6. To whom does Hamlet confide his plans of the play?
7. What is the name of the play? What name does Hamlet give it?
8. How does Claudius react to the play?
9. Hamlet leaves to speak to ________.

scene iii

10. Claudius is using Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to send Hamlet to _______________.
11. Hamlet does not kill Claudius because Claudius is _____.

scene iv

* Hamlet and Gertrude's dialogue is a form of Greek drama dialogue called stichomythy. This is a form where alternate lines are spoken byother characters. This doesn't last long since Gertrude gets scared and begins to called out, "Help!"

* Note how in Act I, everyone present could see the ghost, not just Hamlet. How might that knowledge change this scene?

12. Who is hiding in the queen's chambers?
13. Who does Hamlet think he is killing behind the curtain?
14. What can Hamlet see that Gertrude cannot?
15. Hamlet tells Gertrude he must go to _______
16. What does Hamlet take from the room?


Act IV (Falling Action)

scene i

* Gertrude becomes a stronger character in this scene, since she keeps her promise to Hamlet. In the earlier scene, Hamlet tells her that he is only pretending to be mad, but she should not tell anyone that he is really sane.

* There are major similes in this scene:
1. The madness of Hamlet is compared to a stormy sea.
2. Claudius compares his nice manner toward Hamlet to someone who has neglected to give medical help to a person with a "foul disease."
3. Hamlet's madness is compared to a vein of gold in a mine.

1. Does Gertrude tell that Hamlet killed Polonius?
2. What are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern told to find?

scene ii

3.Can Rosencrantz and Guildenstern find out from Hamlet where the body is?

scene iii


scene iv


scene v


scene vii

Don't sit too close to the edge, Ophelia! Was she pregnant? Read this interesting essay. Scroll down to see a famous painting of a drowned Ophelia and the interesting background to the painting.


Act V (Resolution)

scene i


scene ii

Symbolism of Ophelia's Flowers


















Flowers are very symbolic. Since Shakespeare mentions many flowers by name, we should look into their significance:

First, check the flowers she gives away in act Act IV scene v:

Rosemary Rememberance
Pansies Thoughts
Fennel Flattery
Columbine cuckoldry, disloyalty
Rue sorrow and repentance
Daisy innocence
Violet faithfulness

Here are the flowers around her as she drowns:


The Hamlet Test:

You will have to memorize Some or all of the "To be or not to be" soliloquy for a section of the test worth 15 points.

For 20 points (encompassing 5 points extra credit) learn lines 56 - 90
For 15 points - 56 - 85
For 12 points - 56 - 76 (stop at "bodkin?")
For 9 points - 56 - 69
For 7 points - 56 - 65
For 4 points - 56 - 60
For 1 point - line 56

One of the test questions (an essay question at that), is:

Is Hamlet mad or is he just acting insane? Give evidence from the text to support your answer.

I expect this answer to be a full essay, not just a paragraph. You may want to use the following information to help get you started:

The YES, HE IS MAD side:
Hamlet appears to act mad when he hears of his father’s murder. At the time he speaks "wild and whirling words." [Act I, Scene v, lines 127-134]

Hamlet’s behaviour throughout the play, especially towards Ophelia is very erratic.

He professes to be the only one who truly loves her, during the fight with Laertes in Ophelia's grave, but he tells her that he never loved her, when she returns his letters and gifts.
His mood changes abruptly throughout the play.

He jumps aboard a pirate ship without anyone to back him up.

He jumps into Ophelia's grave, and fights with Laertes in her grave.

He has Rosencrantz and Guildenstern killed, even though they were not part of his revenge-against-his-father's-murder plan.
He alone sees his father's ghost in his mother's chamber. Every other time the ghost appeared someone else has seen it. During this scene he finally shows his madness, because his mother does not see the ghost. [Act III, scene iv, ~ line 105]

He has violent outbursts towards his mother.

Hamlet tells Laertes that he killed Polonius in a "fit of madness". [Act V, Scene ii, lines 236-250]

He kills Polonius and will not tell anyone where the body is.

The NO, HE IS SANE side:
Hamlet tells Horatio that he is going to "feign madness," and that if Horatio notices any strange behaviour from Hamlet, it is because he is putting on an act. [Act i, Scene v, lines 166-180]

Hamlet's madness only manifests itself when he is in the presence of certain characters. When Hamlet is around Polonius, Claudius, Gertrude, Ophelia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, he behaves irrationally. When Hamlet is around Horatio, Bernardo, Francisco, The Players and the Gravediggers, he behaves rationally.

Claudius confesses that Hamlet's "actions although strange, do not appear to stem from madness." [Act III, Scene i, lines 165-167]

Polonius admits that Hamlet's actions and words have a "method" to them; there appears to be a reason behind them, they are logical in nature. [Act II, Scene ii, lines 206-207]

Hamlet's madness in no way reflects Ophelia's true madness, his actions contrast them.
Hamlet tells his mother that he is not mad, "but mad in craft." [Act III, Scene iv, lines 188-199]

Hamlet believes in his sanity at all times. He never doubts his control over psyche.

All of the above information came from:


Honors - it would be good for you to know what the famous quotes listed on this page mean and who said them as well as what the flowers symbolize.


The Klingon Hamlet

"You have not experienced Shakespeare, until you have read him in the original Klingon." Thus speaks Chancellor Gorkon, in the film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. For some viewers the line produced hearty chuckles and knowing nods. Among others it served as inspiration...
- from the Foreword

For too long, readers throughout the Federation have been exposed to The Tragedy of Khamlet, Son of the Emperor of Qo'nos, that classic work of Klingon literature, only through inadequate and misleading English translations. Now at last, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Klingon Language Institute, this powerful drama by the legendary Klingon playwright, Wil'yam Shex'pir, can be appreciated in the elegance and glory of its original tongue.

This invaluable volume contains the complete text of the play, along with an English translation for easy consultation and comparison. In addition, an incisive introduction explains the play's crucial importance in Klingon culture, while copious notes illustrate how the debased English version diverges from the original, often distorting and even reversing the actual meaning of the verses.

Khamlet, the Restored Klingon Version, is a work that belongs in the library of every human who hopes truly to understand what it means to be Klingon.


Will The Real Hamlet Please Stand Up?

This play, like most of Shakespeare's works, was a story already in existence, Shakespeare just spruced it up a bit (a lot like how Disney makes their movies). Hamlet is no exception.

The real Hamlet may have been a bloke by the name of Amlethus, a prince written about in Historia Danica by Saxo Grammaticus (cool name). This was written in the 1200s and is based more on legend than history.

In 1576, François de Belleforest, wrote Histoires Tragiques. This is probably the work that Shakespeare was probably the most familiar. Belleforest pulled from the story of Amlethus and has the names of the characters that Shakespeare uses in his play. The difference in the two is that everyone knows that Claudius killed King Hamlet (according to Claudius, King Hamlet was about to kill Gertrude). Prince Hamlet pretends to be mad so that Claudius won't kill him. Claudius is trying to prove that Hamlet is really sane so that he can kill him in good standing (bad to kill crazy people, you know).


This is a small picture of The Globe Theatre. Click on it to see the image larger.

The above image came from a brochure for the Globe Theatre America located in Alexander Mills, NC. However, there is no web address for this place and every link I follow to it or to a page about it in the Rutherford County tourism department end up broken. I wonder if it still exists. Does anyone out there have information for me? Let me know: marcus.alford@dpsnc.net.


Click to see larger view.


The following comes from Wikipedia. You can click the link and read the full article:

Layout of the Globe
The Globe's precise shape and size have been pieced together by scholarly inquiry over the last two centuries. The evidence suggests that it was a three-story, 100-foot wide, open-air amphitheater that could house around 3,000 spectators. In one of Shakespeare's plays (the history Henry V), it is referred to as "this wooden O" and on a woodcut of London, it appears round. On this basis, some assume the building was circular, while others favor an octagonal shape. Archaeological evidence suggests the playhouse had twenty sides.

At the base of the stage, there was an area called the 'yard' where people (the "groundlings") would stand to watch the performance. Around the yard were three levels of seating, which were more expensive than standing: the first two were called the Twopenny Rooms and the top level was called the Penny Gallery.

A rectangular stage platform thrust out into the middle of the open-air yard. This stage measured roughly 40 feet wide and 30 feet deep. On this stage, there was a trap door for use by performers to enter from beneath the stage; the area beneath the stage was known as the 'cellarage'. There was a second trap door in the back of the stage that was used for the same purpose. Often the area beneath the stage is also called 'hell,' since supernatural beings such as the ghost in Hamlet enter and exit the stage from this area.

On two sides of the stage were large columns supporting a roof over a portion of the stage. This ceiling was called the 'heavens', and was probably painted with images of the sky. A trapdoor in the heavens enabled performers to 'fly' or descend using some form of rope and harness.

The back wall of the stage consisted of three doors on the first floor and a balcony on the second. The doors entered into the 'tiring house' (backstage area) where the actors dressed and awaited their entrances. The balcony housed the musicians and could also be used for scenes requiring an upper space, such as the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet. In addition, it could be used as the 'Lord's Room', where higher-paying audience members could pay to be seated -- more to be seen than to see the play, since they would have been behind the performers.

The first Globe burned to the ground in 1613, apparently by flaming material expelled from a cannon used for special effects during a performance of Henry VIII that ignited the thatched roof of the gallery. It was rebuilt immediately, this time with a tiled roof, and reopened in July of the following year.

Like all the other theatres in London, the Globe was closed down by the Puritans in 1642. It was destroyed in 1644 to make room for tenements. Its exact location remained unknown until remnants of its foundations were discovered in 1989 beneath Anchor Terrace on Southwark Bridge Road. There may be further remains beneath Anchor Terrace, but the eighteenth century terrace is listed and may not be disturbed by archaeologists.



Elizabeth Siddal posed for this picture by John Everett Millais in the early 1850s. He was one of the Pre-Ralphaelite Brotherhood, a group of painters that tried to reformt he art standards during the Romantic/Victorian period. While she was in the tub of water, one of the lamps that was being used to keep the water warm blew out. Millais, who was so intent on his painting, failed to notice this. Siddal did not complain. As a result, she got very sick and never completely recovered. She had health problems for the rest of her life. Millias paid her doctor bills, but only after Elizabeth's father threatened him with legal action.

It took Millais four months to paint the background. It was not an easy process, but since the Pre-Ralphaelites were determined to be "true to nature," he endured it all the same.

The flowers in this picture are symbol. The willow is symbolic of forsaken love. The nettle shows pain. The daisies show innocence. The poppy means death.

Here is what is written on Shakespeare's tombstone:

April 1564 - April 1616

Shakespeare was very concerned about people moving his bones (a common practice to make room for fresher dead people. He was buried 17 feet deep to make it harder for anyone to remove him.

Better than any Darth Vader figure... Sure to be all the rage this Christmas!

For all you Monty Python fans out there. . .

The title to Monty Python's Episode 43 is Hamlet and is all about Hamlet being sick and tired of people wanting him to repeat famous lines from the play. Since the skit becomes extremely dirty, I will not post the transcript here. You can, with parental permission of course, find the transcript easily online.

xxxxx xxxxx

I have no idea what this is all about...


The rest is silence...