Iin Hamlet, which ''dozen or sixteen lines'' of The Mousetrap do you think Hamlet had a hand in writing?Iin Hamlet, which ''dozen or sixteen lines'' of The Mousetrap do you think Hamlet had a hand...

Iin Hamlet, which ''dozen or sixteen lines'' of The Mousetrap do you think Hamlet had a hand in writing?

Iin Hamlet, which ''dozen or sixteen lines'' of The Mousetrap do you think Hamlet had a hand in writing?

Asked on by candace-mc

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

What a fun question!  I adore conjecture like this!  Well, first I would suggest that Hamlet created the “fun” title of The Mousetrap which is a take on The Murder of Gonzago, of course.  We know this because Hamlet specifically approaches the players with the latter title while taunting Claudius with the former.

Further, I completely agree with _______________ about the lines of the Player Queen being written by Hamlet.  And as further evidence, I just want to put forth the line immediately following the quote put forth by the previous editor:

Player Queen:  None wed the second but who killed the first.

Hamlet:  [Aside] That’s wormwood.

Seeing the wormwood is known as an incredibly bitter herb, and seeing that Hamlet chooses this exact moment to throw the audience one of his famous “asides,” I believe this is proof enough that those are the very lines he has written.  The parallel to his exact situation is too exact to be otherwise.

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Hamlet wrote the part about the king and queen in order to vent some of his own frustration and let his mother know how he feels about what is going on. The play within the play is a very creative way for Shakespeare to branch out, and also add dramatic tension. It was a tactic he liked to use.
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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Of course, we are not told what lines in particular that Hamlet wrote, but my own personal thoughts are that he added some of the lines that the Player Queen utters to her husband regarding her faithfulness and devotion to her husband. This seems to me to be too close to the actual situation regarding Gertrude and Claudius to be chance, as it relates so perfectly to the love that Gertrude showed to Hamlet's father and then the swiftness with which she remarried. Note what the Player Queen says:

O confound the rest:

Such love, must needs be treason in my breast:

In second husband let me be accurst,

None wed the second, but who kill'd the first.

The Player Queen goes on to stress her faithfulness and the eternal nature of her love for the Player King. This finds an obvious and precise parallel in the situation with Hamlet's parents, and the way that he asks his mother what she thinks of the play after this scene would suggest that these are the lines that Hamlet added.

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