Hamlet: The Novelization (Digital Download)
Imagine Shakespeare not just as eloquent verses, but as an adrenaline-charged, heart-pounding narrative! Dive into the turbulent world of Denmark's royal halls, where Prince Hamlet's burning thirst for revenge sets the pages ablaze.

While the majestic theatrics of Shakespeare's plays spellbind audiences on stage, the printed word can sometimes dim that sparkle. What if you could experience the full grandeur, emotion, and intensity of "Hamlet" in the form of a contemporary novel?

This unique adaptation transforms the classic into an accessible and compelling novel, retaining its dramatic core while employing modern language and captivating narration. Traverse the treacherous path of Hamlet as he confronts deceit, plots, and the ghost of a past that refuses to fade.

Journey through Shakespeare's timeless tale in a fresh format that promises to enthrall both new readers and seasoned Shakespeare enthusiasts. With this novelized "Hamlet", Shakespeare's genius becomes a vivid and exhilarating adventure, waiting for you to turn the page. Dive into the madness, the passion, and the genius, and let this reimagined masterpiece sweep you off your feet.






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Chapter 1            

The night laid a chill over the Danish city of Elsinore. Francisco stood watch in front of the castle gate and employed all his military discipline to keep his heavy eyelids from shutting. It’s this same discipline that has kept his senses sharp for so many years, allowing him to hear now the sound of soft footsteps approaching from the thick forest that surrounds the castle. He placed his hand on his sword and a voice spoke out from the direction of the footsteps.

            “Who’s there?”

            “No- you answer first. Identify yourself.”

            “I am an officer in the king’s court.” Francisco recognized the gruff tone.

            “Bernardo, is that you?”

            “Yes.” Bernardo stepped forward, out of the darkness of the forest and into the light of the lone, standing torch behind Francisco. Like Francisco, Bernardo also had his hand on his sword.

            “You’re late for your shift,” Francisco said as they both released their grip on their weapons.

            “It’s only twelve o’ clock. Go to bed already, Francisco.”

            “Yes. It’s cold and I’m sick of it.” Formally relieved, Francisco let his tiredness and the elements get to him, closing his eyes as he raised his hands near the fire to warm them.

            “Have things been quiet during your guard?”

            “Quiet as a mouse.”

            “Good night then. If you see Horatio and Marcellus, tell them to hurry up.”  As Bernardo finished his sentence, the forest again let out the rustling of quick footsteps.

            “I think I hear them now,” Francisco said. Again, the two soldiers found themselves reaching for their swords. “Stop! Who’s there?”

            Understanding their mistake, the footsteps slowed down.

            “We are friends,” said one voice.

            “And we work for the Dane,” said another. Out of the shadows stepped the owners’ of the voices- Horatio and Marcellus respectively with their hands above their heads to make clear they were no danger. The two guards relaxed again, even though their bodies throbbed lightly with the adrenaline brought on by the sudden arrival.

            “Be on your way then,” Francisco said.

            “Goodbye, soldier,” said Marcellus, a fellow infantryman. “Who has relieved you?”

            “Bernardo took my place. Good night.” Francisco turned and headed towards the barracks.

            Marcellus stepped forward to greet Bernardo. “Hey! Bernardo!”

            Shaking Marcellus’ hand, Bernardo turned to Horatio. “What? Is that you Horatio?”

            “A part of me is here,” said the low voice.

            The two new arrivals stepped forward to be closer by the fire. Illuminated by the torch’s light, Horatio’s face was clear for all to see. The 29 year old man wore an expression of constant curiosity, as if whatever he was looking at was the most interesting thing or person in the room. The bushy mustache on his face- a trend among the students in his college- was the same light brown, almost orange color as the hair that extended to his neck on his head. Even under the thick coat he wore, it was easy to tell Horatio had a slight build. This is due to fact that he could be more often found reading a book than honing his fencing skills with the younger scholars of his school.

            “Welcome, to both of you,” Bernardo said.

            “Has that thing appeared again tonight?” Marcellus asked Bernardo.

            “I haven't seen anything.”

            “Horatio doesn’t believe me,” Marcellus said as he nodded his head to the young scholar, “says it is all in my head. We have seen the ghost twice, so I invited him to stand guard with us tonight. If the apparition comes, he will see for himself.”

            “Nonsense. It will not appear again,” replied Horatio.

            “Let’s sit down and we will tell you,” said Bernardo, “although you are skeptical, what we have seen the last two nights.”

            “OK, let’s sit. I will listen to Bernardo’s story.” The three men find places among the stumps and make themselves comfortable.

            “Last night, about one o’clock, with the light from that star in the west, Marcellus and I-” Bernardo stopped as suddenly all three men saw emerging from the trees a figure.

            “Be quiet,” said Marcellus as they all stood up. “Look, here it comes again!”

            “It looks just like the dead king,” said Bernardo.

            “You are smart, Horatio, speak to it.”

            “It does look like the king; doesn’t it, Horatio?” asked Bernardo.

            “It does, and I’m both scared and curious,” said Horatio as he removed his hat with trembling hands.

            “It acts like it wants to say something,” said Bernardo.

            “Ask it something, Horatio,” said Marcellus as he pushed him forward.

            Horatio stepped forward slightly. The shadowy shape stood just outside the reach of the torch's light, though close enough that it was obvious the figure was armed with sword and wore armor. “What are you out at the time of night ready for war and resembling the dead king of Denmark?” Only the sound of a small breeze rustling branches answered him, as the shape remained silent. “In the name of God, say something!”

            “It is offended,” said Marcellus.

            “See, it’s going away!” said Bernardo as the dark form turned around and headed back into the thick of trees.

            Horatio's curiosity grew stronger than his fear and emboldened him to speak out “Wait, stay. Speak! I command you to speak!” The effort was useless though. The armored figure disappeared of the forest.

            “It’s gone and would not say anything,” said Marcellus.

            “What do you think now, Horatio?” asked Bernardo. “You look a little pale and scared. You think it’s more than some fantasy?”

            Horatio took a deep breath and continued staring into the forest. “I swear, I never would have believed if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.”

            “Doesn’t it look like the king?” asked Marcellus.

            “I know that armor as well as I know myself. He wore it during the battle with Norway when he killed the Polacks on their sleds. So strange.”

            “This is the second time at this very hour that it has walked around like a soldier.”

            “I don’t know what this means, but I have a funny feeling something is going to happen in our country.”

            “Okay, let’s sit down and talk about what is going on,” said Marcellus. Again, the three men found places among the stumps, but this time they weren't as comfortable. “Why do we stand guard every night, and why are cannons being made? Why are we buying foreign weapons and ships are being built every day of the week. Do you think something is about to happen?”

            “I think I know,” said Horatio. “As you know, the king, who we just saw in his ghostly form, was the enemy of Fortinbras Sr., the king of Norway. Fortinbras dared the king to a duel and was killed by the seemingly valiant Hamlet Sr.. According to a signed contract, Fortinbras Sr. forfeited his land, as well as his life, to his conqueror. Our king had signed a similar contract. Now, his son, the young Fortinbras, seeks revenge and the return of his father’s land. He has commissioned the help of some lawless men. I think that is the reason for the frenzy of activity, including our watch and the procurement of weapons.”

            Bernardo recognized the sense in Horatio's words. “I think you’re right. That explains why the king, responsible for these wars, comes walking around in his armor on our watch.”

            “There is definitely trouble brewing.” Horatio thought back on his studies, trying to remember if he had ever heard of something like this happening. “Even in the great city of Rome, before the murder of Julius Caesar, the dead arose from their graves and walked the streets, speaking gibberish. There were other signs and omens, too, like shooting stars and solar eclipses. The fates are warning us.” The sound of footsteps approaching from the forest was heard again. “But wait! Here comes the ghost again!”

            The sound of armor clanging slowly got louder. “I’ll go to it, even though I don’t want to,” Horatio told his companions. Then yelling out into the forest, he said  “Stay, ghost. If you can, speak to me. If there is anything I can do to ease your pain, tell me. Or, if you know something that would help our country, please speak. If you have some hidden treasure here on earth, which makes you uneasy, let us help you.” The sound of a rooster crowing echoed from somewhere in the village. “Stay and speak!”The steps continued on though, not heeding Horatio's command. “Stop the ghost, Marcellus.”

            “Should I hit it with my sword?” asked Marcellus, his hand already on the hilt.

            “Yes, if it doesn’t stop.”

            Suddenly, the figure appeared out of the forest. “It’s here!” yelled Bernardo. But just as quickly as it exited the darkness, it receded back into it.

            “It's gone,” said Marcellus. “We shouldn’t have used force on the ghost of the king. Anyway, it is an apparition and can’t be touched. We were stupid to think otherwise.”

            “It was about to speak when the cock crowed,” said Bernardo.

            “And then it started to act scared like someone guilty of a crime,” said Horatio. “I have heard when the cock crows, a sign that day is approaching, ghosts must return to where their spirits are confined. We just saw that for ourselves.”

            Marcellus remembered a similar tale and spoke up, “It also started to fade when the cock crowed. Some say, at Christmas, the rooster crows all night long, and ghosts, fairies, and witches are too fearful to work, because the time is so sacred.”

            “I have heard that, too, and partially believe it,” said Horatio. “But, the morning is near, and I think we should tell Hamlet what we have seen. The spirit does not know us, but I bet my life, he will speak to him. Do you agree we should tell Hamlet about the ghost?”

            “Let’s do it, and I know where he is this morning, a most convenient place,” said Marcellus.
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