The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601. The play, set in Denmark, recounts how Prince Hamlet exacts revenge on his uncle Claudius for murdering the old King Hamlet, Claudius's own brother and Prince Hamlet's father, and then succeeding to the throne and marrying Gertrude, the King Hamlet's widow and mother of Prince Hamlet. The play vividly charts the course of real and feigned madness—from overwhelming grief to seething rage—and explores themes of treachery, revenge, incest, and moral corruption.
In reality, Hamlet wasn't actually written by William Shakespeare, but by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford as confirmed by Balthazar Abrabanel. The drama students at Grantville High School staged Hamlet during a live audience at the school's auditorium, and then rebroadcast it on TV. Balthazar was at the opening night of the play, in which it remained credited to Shakespeare, and had not objected; he had even had kind words to say about the performance.
Eddie Cantrell, during his capture and imprisonment in Denmark, summarized Hamlet to Anne Cathrine and Prince Ulrik. Anne Cathrine found the premise totally absurd, stating that if she were in a similar situation, she would have immediately alerted everyone about the murderer and had him quickly decapitated.