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One of our more famous alumni: Sir J.G, who became a world class actor after attending a Hamlet course.
|So, you think you'd |
like to be Hamlet?
Ever fancied yourself as a bit of a Hamlet? Wanted to strut your stuff around a gloomy Danish castle, annoying your uncle and insulting the king's advisor? Thought of having your school friends murdered in your place or fighting your dead girlfriend's brother in an open grave? Want to muse for hours over the question of mortality and existence and get paid for it?
If your answer to any of these questions is "I'll have to think about it", then you just might have the indecisive qualities necessary to make you one of the growing band of career procrastinators much in demand in the legal profession and local government.
At the Elsinore University of Hamlet we will undertake to train you to fully fledged Hamlet in under a month at very competitive rates. We pledge that you will be able to avenge your father's untimely death in under six weeks - or your money back!!
Still not sure? Excellent! You've obviously got what it takes. But don't just take our word for it. Many of our Hamlets have gone on to achieve stardom not only in local planning authorities and solicitor's offices but on the stage and screen. Lord O gained fame and fortune as the world's leading actor after becoming a Hamlet and went on to marry Scarlett O'Hara. Sir J.G was one of the greatest Hamlets of his or any other generation, and later won an Oscar for playing a butler.
|How to be a Hamlet|
Becoming a Hamlet is very easy indeed, but before we enrol you as a Prince of Denmark and allow you to enter the FREE "Spot the Hamlet" competition, you will need to follow the simple questions below in order to test your suitability for induction into the thrusting world of high quality dithering.
It's very simple to do. Just read the questions below and decide which action you would take. At the end simply add up your score and compare it to the reports written by our especially trained Hamletologians.
1: You think your father is murdered, your Uncle did it and he has married your mother six weeks after your father's funeral. Do you:
A) Run your uncle through with a sabre at the first opportunity?
B) Seek legal advice on the correct procedure to bring about a warrant for his arrest?
C) Do nothing except glower and talk a lot?
2: A ghost has been seen wandering around the ramparts of your family's castle. It turns out to be your father who exhorts you to revenge his "Foul and most unnatural murder". Do you:
A) Immediately kill your uncle and avenge your father, thus bring the play to a rapid conclusion?
B) Seek the veracity of the ghost's words by exhuming your father and checking his ears for poison?
C) Do nothing but talk some more, then pretend to be mad.
3: Your girlfriend is a little strange but certainly no worse than the rest of her family. She obviously likes you a great deal and needs some sort of sign from you that everything will be okay. Do you:
A) Treat her with rough tenderness, make love to her a lot and protect her from all evils?
B) Form a self-help group with her and some other female courtiers in order to better understand each other's feelings?
C) Confuse her totally by never giving her a straight answer and being in turns tender, miserable, cruel and intractable?
4: It's nearing the middle of the play and something has to be done to try and prove your uncle's guilt. Do you:
A) Hold him at gunpoint, stare into his eyes and accuse him man-to-man?
B) Indicate that you are reopening the inquest into your father's death?
C) Have a troop of actors that you once knew when you were at university come and act out a long play with a part of it showing a method of death similar to the one that killed your father, and then watch for your Uncle's reaction?
5: It works! Your uncle is clearly guilty as you and your father's ghost knew. You find him kneeling at prayer, unprotected. Do you:
A) Fill him full of hot lead uttering the immortal line: "There's something rotten in the State of Denmark, and it's you!"?
B) Employ a barrister to see whether the circumstantial evidence you have collated would hold up in court?
C) Do nothing, then go and talk to your mother?
6: Whilst in your mother's bedroom you see someone behind an arras which is a sort of wall drape. You know that it can't be your uncle as you just left him praying and it is more likely to be the old fool Polonius. This is a pivotal moment in your life. Do you:
A) Strategically decide not to kill Polonius for as an intelligent protagonist you know that to do so will both drive your slightly odd girlfriend completely bonkers and add Laertes to the growing band of young men in this play attempting to avenge their father's death?
B) Confide in Polonius as to the possible guilt of your uncle. With him on your side you might be able to reopen the murder enquiry?
C) Recklessly kill the unseen old man and then talk a whole lot more with your mother, exhorting her not to sleep with her husband your uncle, then hide the old man's body not where he eats but where he will be eaten?
7: You are arrested and sent off to England with two old schoolfriends, neither of whom you like very much. Do you:
A) Jump ship and return to Elsinore Castle with a huge quantity of weaponry and lay waste to the castle and its contents, killing your uncle and rescuing Ophelia?
B) Stoically accept your fate and make contact with a distant aunt in Bexhill to put you up for a few years?
C) Trick the English into killing your two old schoolfriends and return, an ambiguously long or short length of time later, to Denmark?
8: You arrive back home to find a grave being prepared for someone neither a woman nor a man, but dead. After a long battle of wits with a gravedigger that was best played by Billy Crystal, you discover that the grave is for your own fair Ophelia who was driven mad by you and drowned herself. The funeral party arrives and you and Laertes get into a scrap. Do you:
A) Kill everyone in sight?
B) Apologise to Laertes for killing his father and being the agent for his sister's death and hope he forgives you?
C) Declare that you did love Ophelia after all -more than Laertes who is, in fact, merely her brother - and that you have been grossly misunderstood and now, near the end of the play, you can reveal that what we were all really confused about was just part of a bigger plan - and that right now it is payback time?
9: Your uncle decides to bump you off during a rigged fencing bout with Laertes. He is planning to kill you with a sword that has been poisoned and in case that doesn't work, he has carelessly left a cup of poison within reach of the queen. How should the drama unfold?
A) Everyone dies except Hamlet, who rides off into the sunset ready to take on a far more worthier foe that Claudius, such as Iago?
B) No-one dies but all agree to sort things out by a system of arbitration?
C) You agree to die but only if Laertes does too and your end is really dramatic and one of the best in Shakespeare?
SO .... HOW DID YOU DO?
Add up your scores and compare with the notes below as I haven't figured out the java scripting that allows you to press a button and have it done automatically.
All or mostly "A's": Oh dear. Been watching a few too many Chuck Norris/Schwartzenegger/Bruce Willis movies, eh? This sort of bold, heroic crowd-pleasing stuff is totally unsuited to life as a Hamlet. To be a Hamlet you need to be "all thought and no action" rather than "all action and no thought". You had better look for a career in garden design, "B" movie action flicks or as Fortinbrass.
All or mostly "B's": Well, you've obviously tried hard but you are a little too sensible and analytical to be able to undertake a sustained career in indecision. Try again next year after practising long pauses and saying whatever comes into your head. But well done anyway.
All or mostly "C's": Congratulations! You have all the skills necessary to become a fully fledged Hamlet. In only six short weeks you will have a wild and contradictory character, be able to talk the hind legs off a donkey and brood for hours in silent introspection. You will find simple decisions impossible to achieve and may get an eight week run with the RSC.
To enrol at the University of Elsinore all you need do is learn by heart the entire text of Hamlet and then present yourself at the university's door in Denmark where you will be required to undertake a simple induction test and also be divested of a vast quantity of cash.
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