Tuesday, June 1, 2010

William Shakespeare | Hamlet | 1602

Dear Hamlet,

Lots of people think you're a melancholy genius, like Coleridge and Goethe. Those narcissistic Romantics. And Wilson, Knight, god, those critics with their death-infected imaginations! But I know better: you're angry, confused, and you have an adolescent obsession with sex. You try to fix everyone's sexual morals, talk circles around everyone and you never listen to other people. You try to make sense of life. You also dismiss my entire gender. But I forgive you, because you have good reason to be pissed off. Plus you're kind of charming in your rage. I do have a soft spot for intellectual bad boys.

But seriously, I do want an explanation. Several. What's with this daddy worship? I want to shake you every time you start talking like him. Is it really about revenge, or are you just mad at your mother? On the subject, are you in love with your mother? Aren't there any other cougars around court? Where does Ophelia come into this? It's 3 a.m., and I've exhausted just about every possibility there is, short of asking you why. I should be sick of you, studying you all these months, but you still make me laugh with your puns and mockeries (That scene with Polonius? Priceless), and your death still grieves me every time. And I still have no answers.

Let's get this straight: you are not all that. But that's why I like you: you're as screwed up as any one of us. The Romantics made you the Edward Cullen of the 19th century, but I never bought it. (In my mind's eye, you're David Tennant.) I suspect that in real life you would infuriate me a lot and make sexist/smutty jokes all the time, but you'd still be a very charming and witty piece of work. I have to write an essay on you now (How about you come over instead? We'll have lots of fun punning together). Is there any way you could not die? I'd like you to be my jig-maker.

Thou hast cleft my heart in twain,
Florentyna Leow