The Death of Hamnet and the Making of Hamlet

"Writing a play about Hamlet, in or around 1600, may not have been Shakespeare's own idea. At least one play, now lost, about the Danish prince who avenges his father's murder had already been performed on the English stage, successfully enough to be casually alluded to by contemporary writers, as if everyone had seen it or at least knew about it. Someone in the Lord Chamberlain's Men, with an eye on revenues, may simply have suggested to Shakespeare that the time might be ripe for a new, improved version of the Hamlet story." -- Stephen Greenblatt

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