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Be gay and stay in Wittenberg: The moral of Hamlet

By   —   March 9, 2020   —   in Culture

It seems like everybody and their dog has an opinion about Hamlet and what this play all means.

Lord knows people write theses, dissertations and lec­tures about it. Anyone who’s gotten this far in academia has probably read it either for a class or due to peer pressure.

(Yes, peer pressure. My high school had a very toxic literary culture surrounding Hamlet and, on more than one occasion, some people bullied — not me, definite­ly not me at all, nope, who would do that? — others into reading it.)

It’s safe to say people ha­ven’t shut up about this play since my man, Willy Shakes, published it in 1603. And the analyses and commen­taries have been great, don’t get me wrong. It’s a warning tale against procrastination, a novel testament to what it means to be fundamentally human, an exploration of the moralistic divide between the self and state.

I’ve heard it all, but I think people have really missed out on a very key possibility — what if Hamlet just stayed in university and went on cute dates with Horatio instead of screwing everything up back home in Denmark?

I think this is a very valid hypothesis, mostly because it solves literally all of the play’s problems. I mean, Hamlet Se­nior is still dead and Claudi­us gets away with murdering him. But hey, Hamlet finds a new daddy in Horatio and Gertrude still has a man in Claudius.

Also, for the killjoys who are saying Hamlet and Hora­tio weren’t dating — it’s ba­sically accepted among fan forums that they’re in love, at least in the abyss of very serious, very legit English academic society — and I’m rolling with it for this partic­ular argument.

Say what you want about ei­ther character’s sexuality, but when Hamlet literally died in Horatio’s arms, Horatio sobbed and threatened sui­cide because a world without his dear prince was too horri­ble to live in. So chew on that.

Anyway, the iconic funeral/ wedding/Hamlet’s-temper-tantrum scene happens soon after Horatio confirms all the ghostly stuff is totally legit, and further supports my hy­pothesis. Claudius tells our protagonist to maybe just chill a little — “Your dad’s dead, yeah it sucks, but he ain’t coming back anytime soon. Please be okay with me having sex with your mom.”

After Hamlet cries about it a little, Horatio rushes in and the sweet prince is absolutely delighted to see his boyfriend. As you all know, a bunch of shit proceeds to happen. Some were less moral than others — couldn’t Hamlet have at least pulled that arras back to make sure he was stabbing the right guy? Geez.

Everything ends with pret­ty much everyone dead and Fortinbras storming the castle and becoming the new king of Denmark. Horatio’s left be­hind to tell Hamlet’s story. It’s all very sad.

So I’m just saying, Hamlet should’ve just stayed in Wit­tenberg and used his mouth for something other than the long-winded soliloquies ev­eryone is so tired of hearing.

The rest doesn’t have to be silence, Hamlet! It can be gay!

Eunice-Grace Domingo

Graphic: Yashica Bither

hamlet hottakes literature play shakespeare theatre
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