Alternative Hamlet script plus lesson plan and detailed synopses of original story and alternative.
This script is a conversational piece between 6 speakers.
And is also available as part of a collection of four (with additional synopses – of the original and alternative scripts):
This text is also available as part of a collection of four:
- Midsummer Night’s Dream
- Romeo & Juliet
Narrator: So, who’s going to tell me what really happened?
Hamlet: What do you mean? Everyone knows it was Claudius who killed my father, then married my mother, stepping into my father’s shoes as both husband and king!
Gertrude: (Sighing) Oh Hamlet! Can you still not face up to the truth? After all that has happened?
Claudius: A pity he couldn’t face up to it before!
Polonius: Just think how many lives that would have saved! Mine for one!
Laertes: And mine, plus my sister’s.
Hamlet: (Sarcastically) And those of my devoted parents? I don’t think so!
Gertrude: Oh Hamlet, what did I ever do to deserve such cruel words? What would your father have said?
Hamlet: Which one? The one you married in such joyful circumstances,… or the other, whom you married in such disgraceful haste?
Gertrude: You know full well, I meant your natural father. He was indeed a fine and noble man.
Hamlet: So why did you swap him for this rogue? This devil? This murderer?
Laertes: You really didn’t think much of your new father, did you, Hamlet?
Hamlet: Huh! And what about yours? Nothing very noble about his snooping around, finding out mischief wherever he could! Just a question of time before that proved his undoing!
Polonius: You really do have the most bitter heart! None of us ever bore you any malice. I do wonder where all that inner poison came from – that so poisoned your soul.
Hamlet: Well, there was plenty of the real stuff around! Like what killed my father, for example!
Claudius: How many more times do you have to be told – it was an accident. There was no foul play.
Narrator: I think we need to look at this pretty carefully, as it is this matter of guilt upon which the whole story hinges. It was always my understanding that Hamlet was the hapless victim, driven by revenge for the murder of his father.
Claudius: But that’s just it! There was no murder! It was all in his head!
Hamlet: Well, you would say that, wouldn’t you?
Narrator: So where is your proof, Hamlet? It had better be good or you’ve got a lot to answer for!
Gertrude: Silence! I won’t have you speak to my son like that. Can’t you see he was totally deranged by grief?
Narrator: Or so he would have us believe. I’m beginning to wonder now.
Polonius: Listen. Nobody is here today to point the finger. This is not a trial. We all know what really happened and we are just here to put the record straight.
Laertes: We have all been through enough. We have all suffered and wish to suffer no more.
Narrator: Well, I must say you’re all staying remarkably calm. You, Claudius – accused of murder, and killed by your accuser. You, Gertrude – accused of betraying your first husband by marrying his brother, thus a party to his supposed foul deeds; and then poisoned by your second husband, even if it was an accident. Then you, Polonius – stabbed by Hamlet, behind that curtain
Hamlet: An accident! But served him right for snooping on me, yet again!