Hamnet died at the age of 11 and was buried in the churchyard at Holy Trinity in Stratford-upon-Avon on 11 August 1596.
(See "Connection to Hamlet and other plays" below for a discussion about Hamnet's potential relationship to his father's tragedy, Hamlet.) Hamnet Shakespeare was probably raised principally by his mother Anne in the Henley Street house belonging to his grandfather.
Shakespeare did not write Hamlet right after his son's death, as the novel suggests. Instead, he wrote romps and romcoms: The Merry Wives of Windsor, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It—alongside Henry IV, Henry V, and Julius Caesar.
MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: How much do we really know about the inspiration for one of the most famous plays ever performed? When William Shakespeare sat down to write "Hamlet," his son - his only son, Hamnet - was some 4 years dead. Hamnet Shakespeare only lived to the age of 11.
Hamnet is named after William Shakespeare's only son, who died aged 11 in 1596; a few years later, Shakespeare wrote Hamlet. According to Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt, the names Hamnet and Hamlet were entirely interchangeable at the time, and O'Farrell is interested in determining the connection.
Ophelia (/əˈfiːliə/) is a character in William Shakespeare's drama Hamlet (1599–1601). She is a young noblewoman of Denmark, the daughter of Polonius, sister of Laertes and potential wife of Prince Hamlet, who, due to Hamlet's actions, ends up in a state of madness that ultimately leads to her drowning.
Gertrude and Claudius marry each other while Hamlet is still grieving the death of his father. Even though he does not know the new king is the murderer, Hamlet is explicitly against the marriage for some reason, and he keeps accusing his mother of lust until she regrets her decision.
English adopted “hamlet” in the 1300s from Old French, where hamelet was a diminutive of hamel (village), according to the Chambers Dictionary of Etymology. Chambers notes that hamel itself was a diminutive of ham, a word for home in many old Germanic languages, including Old English.
Hamlet is both a masculine given name and a surname. Derivative versions of the name are Gamlet (Russian: Гамлет), Hamnet in English, and Hamelin in French.
O'Farrell centers her book on two things that we know are true: Shakespeare's son Hamnet died at 11 years old, and Shakespeare wrote a tragedy called Hamlet just a couple years after his passing. (Many scholars believe that the names Hamnet and Hamlet were interchangeable in his era.)
It has since become a standard English proverb. To be, or not to be, that is the question. Spoken by Hamlet during his soliloquy in the nunnery scene. It remains one of Shakespeare's most famous quotes.
'To be, or not to be: that is the question'.
Arguably the most famous quotation in the whole of Hamlet, this line begins one of Hamlet's darkest and most philosophical soliloquies.
“This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
Instead, after realizing that Hamlet's quest for revenge against King Claudius could prove hazardous to her own health — and deducing that she is pregnant with Hamlet's baby — Ophelia fakes her drowning death.
Overview of main characters
Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark; he is son to the late King Hamlet, and nephew to the present King Claudius. Claudius is the King of Denmark, elected to the throne after the death of his brother, King Hamlet. Claudius has married Gertrude, his brother's widow.
In Hamlet each of the three sons (Polonius, Hamlet and Laertes) all experience the loss of their father due to what they deem was an unjust murder. Each son takes revenge in an alternate way, some more severe than others.
While she lives in the same patriarchal society that demands that she subjugate herself to her father and her brother until she is married, Ophelia has fallen in love with Prince Hamlet. There is strong evidence that she has even had sexual relations with him.
Some see Ophelia's death as an accident; others see it as a suicide resulting from the accumulation of a series of unfortunate events: her rejection by her boyfriend, her father's murder, and her possible pregnancy.
Hamlet shows throughout the play that he is really in love with Ophelia. One piece of evidence showing that Hamlet really did love Ophelia is when he tells her, “I did love you” (Act 3 scene 1 line 126). Hamlet confesses that he truly loved her, but then goes back on his word and says he never loved.
Common Questions About Hamlet
Hamlet is not a true story. It is a work of fiction inspired by the tale of the mediaeval Danish ruler, Amleth, from Gesta Danorum a 1200 AD history of Denmark by historian Saxo Grammaticus.
Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare around 1600, is a tragedy that explores themes of friendship, madness, and revenge.
After the death of her husband, Queen Gertrude quickly marries Claudius, her late husband's brother. She demonstrates that she never did truly love her husband, but rather that she only wanted to remain in her powerful position and have a male figure to depend on.
In Laurence Olivier's film adaptation of Hamlet, Gertrude drinks knowingly, presumably to save her son from certain death. If she drinks on purpose, then she's the self-sacrificing mother Hamlet has always wanted her to be.