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Read Hamlet

  • to
  • Greenlake Library

    7364 E Green Lake Dr N, Seattle, WA (map)

    47.681260 -122.326930

  • "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."

    You have been watching events unfold around the castle of Elsinore for some time now - sometimes it feels like a few weeks, sometimes years. Sometimes you see things through a veil, a fog, from a distant place of pain. But when twilight falls, everything shines in high relief. You are there and that veil is swept away.

    "What art thou that usurpest this time of night, 
    ... by heaven I charge thee, speak."

    Your son Hamlet has returned from his studies abroad, to an environment both familiar and alien. You want to tell him that you have seen Ophelia reading and rereading his letters. You want to tell him that perhaps her father Polonius is a good councillor, if not a good listener. And that her brother Laertes could be an ally, not an obstacle.

    "I am thy father's spirit, 
    Doomed for a certain term to walk the night..."

    But when you see your son, beyond the veil, your immediate urge is to reach through and grab his arm and make him acknowledge what has happened to you. Your death, your betrayal, the fact that no one sees what truly occurred, becomes more of an obsession every day.

    "Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder."

    While you lived, you couldn't see how consumed your brother Claudius was with his envy of your power and his desire for your wife, Gertrude. Now, since he dropped that poison in your ear, you can't stop watching how he has acted to take everything that was yours.

    "Murder most foul, as in the best it is, 
    But in this most foul, strange, and unnatural."

    But there are rules to this half-life after death. And you cannot reach through to Hamlet. Instead you pace here upon the ramparts of your castle each night, willing him to come to you, so you can finally be seen. And heard.

    And be revenged.

    "The time is out of joint. O, cursed spite, 
    That ever I was born to set it right!"


    We begin with assigning parts, then we'll read the first half of the play. After taking a break, we'll read the second half of the play, and then those that are interested can stay for a discussion. 

    This is a library reading, so we'll be in the meeting room of the library. 

    Feel free to bring food and non-alcoholic drinks. 

    Please try to become familiar with the play ahead of time, whether that means reading the play, watching a production on stage or on film, or reading a summary. 

    Try to bring a copy of the play as well, whether a paper book or an electronic version. If you can't find a copy, contact the host and we'll see if we can find an extra. 

    Don't forget to update your RSVP if you find that you won't be able to make it.

    Be decisive and come start the New Year with Hamlet!  We look forward to reading with you!


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  • Nancy L.

    Many years ago I saw a production of Hamlet with Paul Jones in the title role. The gentleman shaking the maracas in this video :)

    1 · Yesterday

    • Scott D.

      Ha! Maybe not as incongruous a career shift as it may seem- I can see where being a rock almost-star would be a good background for playing Hamlet.

      1 · Yesterday

    • Nancy L.

      He was actually quite good -- he was a cheeky, playful, insolent Hamlet, very physical and high-energy.


  • Scott D.

    Bravo Kristin! love your writing- very evocative, very thought-provoking.

    2 · November 16

  • Paul K.

    I greatly value this 'essay' from you, Kristin! I think this is the ghost's perspective Shakespeare may have intended us to include in our imaginings. Thanks!

    2 · November 17

Want to go?

Join and RSVP

19 going

  • Kristin
    Event Host

    "I like this place, And willingly could waste my time in it." - Celia, As You Like... more

  • erik B.

    I've always loved Shakespeare. I've visited and seen the bard's plays in... more

  • Joe

    I've taught college Shakespeare. Would like to meet others who share this interest.

  • Rena B. +1
  • Nancy L.

    The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, Are of imagination all compact

  • Roberta M.

    Hi All, I'm a former member of the Second City in Chicago, have taught improv at Cornish College... more

  • Leslie S.

    "For women are as roses, whose fair flower, Being once display'd, doth fall that very hour."

  • Margret

    Have read Shakespeare growing up in German-- part of that culture, just like Goethe-- later... more

  • Jim W.

    I enjoy reading plays aloud. I'm a theatre buff (OSF, ACT, SRT, etc.) Shakespeare and modern plays.

  • Donna

    I was a theater major in college and have been away from the stage for a long time. Shakespeare...­ more

  • Scott D.

    There's no better way to learn this material than reading it aloud, and in the company of such... more

  • Barbara

    Favorite Shakespeare play: "Hamlet" ... more

  • Paul K.

    "He had the ability to put himself in your place, and then--to speak. Sympathetic...­ more

1 not going

(See all)
  • Margaret

    Seattle native; grew up studying ballet and piano at Cornish; in my 20's studied acting and... more

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