DATING HAMLET by Lisa Fiedler


Ophelia’s Story
Age Range: 14 & up
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The author of several “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and “Mary Kate and Ashley” titles converts Shakespeare’s play into a frothy tale of colluding lovers with more than revenge on their minds. The plot follows its Elizabethan model reasonably closely—except that Hamlet’s gotten further with Ophelia than even Polonius suspects, both Ophelia (who sees the dead king’s ghost even before Horatio does) and her brother Laertes are in the know about Hamlet’s feigned madness, and with Ophelia supplying the necessary potions, everyone’s death except that of Claudius (and Polonius, but see below) is faked. In an artificial mix of antique and modern language—“I prefer we talk not on your nation of frailty and women, sir. In fact, I warn thee—go not there”—Ophelia recounts machinations of her own in support of Hamlet’s as she struggles, meanwhile, to fend off the leering advances of Horatio, Claudius, the guard Bernardo, and even, latterly, Fortinbras. Except for the jocular grave digger, who turns out to be Ophelia’s true father, all of the men here are such creeps that even Hamlet just seems the best of a bad lot. Consequently, despite sending the joyfully reunited lovers off at the end to Verona to visit Hamlet’s school buddy Romeo, Fiedler hasn’t transformed Tragedy into Romance, but into a heavy-handed tract on the battle of the sexes. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-8050-7054-0
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2002


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