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Have you seen the movie Last Action Hero? It’s the one with a magic ticket, Schwarzenegger, and homage to everything action movies used to be. If you’re not familiar with it, I would very much recommend it.

It’s not really the whole I want to write about here. It’s actually just one sequence near the beginning of the film that kind of sparked my inspiration. Bored while watching 1948’s Hamlet in class, the protagonist fantasizes about Schwarzenegger’s character, an action hero, actually playing the prince of Denmark. Needless to say, Schwarzenegger Hamlet is not as indecisive as Shakespeare’s prince and even uses a machine gun to solve problems in the state of Denmark. Who wouldn’t want to see that version of Hamlet?

However, I thought about taking the story in a bit of a different direction. What if Schwarzenegger played an old Hamlet? This Hamlet would still delay his revenge, but he would postpone it so much that all members of the court against whom the prince plotted died of natural causes or old age. Hamlet is alone in his castle, contemplating how his indecisiveness led to him losing the one act that gave him sudden purpose in life. The only task he has is to constantly defend Denmark from Norwegian attacks led by Fortinbras, who, although also old, has never given up on his quest. Finally, Hamlet realizes that he cannot fight off waves of Norwegian army and remain a recluse in his melancholy and lack of agency. So, then we get Hamlet from Last Action Hero, the one that fights, delivers great one-liners, and doesn’t play fair.

This idea that I have had for a while was based on the fact that The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is such a well-known story, but it has never truly been approached from a more parodistic perspective. This would not be a complete parody, but it would point out some of the issues the titular character struggles with, and his reasons for it. The best part of such great stories is that they encourage reinventions. This is just a direction I thought would be fun, and I am sure you also have had yours.

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