Horatio stared at him. The flickering light of the candles in the dark draughty room made the prince’s face almost demonic. Through the cloverleaf window in the stone wall Bernardo saw one distant star. Then it went out.
Hamlet was staring back at Horatio.
At last Horatio said, ‘We think we saw your father.’
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Hamlet’s father, the king, has died, and Hamlet’s mother has quickly remarried, to the new king, Hamlet’s uncle. But Hamlet has been visited by the ghost of his father, who claims he has been murdered and urges Hamlet to take revenge.
This is not a new story – it is, of course, a retelling of the famous play by Shakespeare. Master writer John Marsden remoulds the story staying true to the plot of the play but rediscovering the characters, giving them depth, and retouching the events to give them further layers. Fans of the play will not feel cheated by the changes, but will rather be delighted by the interpretation, whilst those new to the play will enjoy the story for its own sake.
Hamlet, by John Marsden
Text Publishing, 2008