Hamlet: Prince of Pigs by Sarah Boxer


What, another Hamlet? There must be a zillion already: Slang Hamlet, First Folio Hamlet, Compressed Hamlet, No Fear Hamlet. Into this field, Sarah Boxer tosses Hamlet: Prince of Pigs, a Tragicomic. It's Shakespeare with funny animals! Hamlet is a little pig, a little ham. Hamlet's Uncle, Claudius, the murderer, "the bloat king," is a big fat pig. Hamlet's mother, Gertrude, is a pig with lipstick. Ophelia is a cat because cats don't do well in water. Ophelia's father, Polonius, and brother, Laertes, are cats too. The gravediggers are dogs because dogs love to bury bones. The players are mice because the play they're in is titled "The Mousetrap." The sentries are rats because, well, rats look handsome in helmets. You'll see that Hamlet: Prince of Pigs has been stripped of all fat. And tragedy minus many words is comedy. A pared-down Hamlet is a funny Hamlet.

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