The Comedy of Hamlet
from the Point of View of the Two Gravediggers
Original composition: Spring 1987. Revised: Spring 1999.
In Rick Moranis' 1983 movie Strange Brew, Moranis retells Shakespeare's Hamlet. The plot of Strange Brew is nearly identical to that of Hamlet, and the parallel is strengthened by key names and events taken directly from Hamlet. At first glance, one might still dismiss Strange Brew
as a purely farcical creation, but closer study reveals Moranis' understanding of literary types and patterns. Moranis morphs his rendition into a comedy (in the literary sense of the word) through plot mimicry, shifted point-of-view, archetypal patterns, character types and displacement.
A Rotten Plot
A Play on Plays
Drowning in Madness...or Beer
The full text of this essay is also available.