Shakespeare’s Hamlet was dated wrongly

Jan 3, 2017 17:40 IST

A new research reveals that ‘The Tragedy of Hamlet’, a popular play written by William Shakespeare was dated wrongly.

The research claims that the final version of the play actually came 2 years later than the assumed date, as a result of which scholars overlooked the message that was hidden in it for centuries.

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According to the popular belief, Shakespeare wrote Hamlet in early 1601, at a time when Queen Elizabeth I still sat on the throne. However, the researchers now claim that Shakespeare did not release the final version for another two years and that he may have used it to flatter the newly crowned King James I in 1603.

The researchers claim that Shakespeare would have started working on the play right after the coronation of James I, following Queen Elizabeth’s death. In fact, to support their theory researchers point out that the play’s ending which saw dead Norwegian King’s son Prince Fortinbras take over the throne after the death of the entire royal family was intended as a direct parallel to the coronation of James I, who also assumed power after Elizabeth’s death.

According to Gary Taylor, a research professor at Florida State University in the United States of America, the transition from the old regime to new regime brought on by Prince Fortinbras of a neighbouring country in the play seems to be an intentional reference to James VI of Scotland taking over as King James I of England.

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