I said no political humor, but from time to time I’ll let in some social satire like this. I don’t think I’ll add to it here, though. This strip is too wordy already.
Okay, Rob, I in no way disagree with your social satire… This comic was, in fact, pretty awesome. That said, there’s one point here where I’ve got to question your concept of justice. Or maybe your literary interpretation. Or maybe your fictional professor’s literary interpretation. Yeah. One of those.
(SPOILER WARNING: Casual reader, if you haven’t read or seen Hamlet, and think you might want to, you should, for your own good, piss off NOW. Just saying.)
Okay, of the nine people who die in Hamlet…
Hamlet’s father was definitely murder. Not much controversy there, unless someone wants to take a “the ghost wasn’t really a ghost” interpretation.
Hamlet wasn’t specifically trying to skewer Polonius through a curtain, but he was damn well trying to skewer *someone* through a curtain. If the killer were anyone besides the crown prince, I don’t think any court in the world would fail to convict for at least second degree homicide there.
Ophelia pretty clearly offed herself. We might agree Hamlet deserves to get punched in the face for that one, but I grant you, no death was inflicted except by the poor girl who received it.
I’m sorry, but even if you’d give the King of England a pass on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (and, really, what kind of sick asshole kills people just because “this guy who’s sort of my friend asked me to”?), Hamlet totally set them up to get kacked. He, at least, committed two murders there, a possible insanity defense notwithstanding.
Gertrude was an accident, but it was part of a murder attempt on Hamlet. I say innocent bystanders still count as murder, but I’ll grant you there are arguments for manslaughter.
Laertes was a total accident. On that one, Hamlet and Claudius could both totally plead “what the fuck”, and least in any court where I was on the jury.
Claudius was a flat-out angry stabbing. A totally *justified* flat-out angry stabbing, mind you, but still, in the strictest technical sense, a deliberate homicide. I’m guessing he was your second murder.
And, of course, I think we’d agree Hamlet’s death was pretty clearly murder, and not the nice between-friends kind.
So, I count one suicide, one manslaughter, one borderline murder/manslaughter, and six murders. Now, I’m not saying any one of those would get called what they are in a modern American court, particularly considering every single one of the perpetrators is both a politician *and* a celebrity; I’m just saying, I had to take issue with your professor’s initial body count.
Sorry about the essay, but it happens I watched “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” for the first time two days ago (which, by the way, is *awesome*), so the senseless-death-density of Hamlet was kind of churning in the back of my mind already. And I’d be all for reading some good counterarguments, if you (or anyone else) disagree.
OH. MY. GOD. why didn’t I think of that?
Got a free 92 minutes? Watch Mystery Science Theater 3000 riff Hamlet. It’s a dreary, stifling film of the play produced for German TV around 1962, and even if you consider lampooning Shakespeare total anathema, you’ve gotta watch this.
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