Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge
So you know how most people think of Hamlet as a skinny blonde Scandinavian? When Gertrude describes Hamlet as "fat and scant of breath" (5.2.269) during his duel with Laertes, some scholars interpret it as literal. Shakespeare might have made Hamlet rotund. (source)
Shakespeare wasn't the only one inspired by the story of Hamlet. Here's a sampling of take-offs and adaptations: Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead; Paul Rudnick's I Hate Hamlet; John Updike's Gertrude and Claudius; James Joyce's Ulysses; and Disney's Lion King.
Talk about daddy issues: Shakespeare named his son Hamnet. Sound familiar? Sadly, the boy died from the bubonic plague when he was only 11. (source)
Hamlet is the longest of Shakespeare's plays, so it's almost always edited down. There's a popular myth that, unedited, a performance would take five hours. It's not quite that long—but it's pretty close. (source)