Rock ‘n Roll Hamlet

We finished Act 3 the other day. All the kids were disturbed by Hamlet’s turn on Ophelia, but they were not really prepared for his tirade against Gertrude.

We get to the point, after Polonius is dead, when Hamlet sees his father and does an abrupt switch from madness to docility (“How are you, mother?”) and then one student starts singing, “You look like an angel, walk like an angel, talk like an angel, but I got wise… you’re the devil in disguise…”

I think I said something like, “You know, Hamlet does need a little more Elvis.” She looked at me, bemused, “I didn’t even know I was singing it out loud…” I said, “That’s OK. I don’t know which is more exciting: that I know the songs my students sing in class or that there are still teenagers who like AC/DC and Elvis!”

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