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My friends call me Elldee. And breaking the half century mark has been highly motivating: happy wife, mother, writer, teacher, day dreamer.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Narrative Mode #9: Shakespeare's HAMLET as a narrative plot

Following the Hamlet narrative brings a lot of tension and mystery to the piece.  The complex changes in the character make for a dramatic, dark plot line.
  • The main character (we'll call him Fred) suffers the loss of someone important in his life and learns through unlikely or supernatural means that it was caused by someone close.  
  • Fred is conflicted by his loyalty to those close to him and the fact that he also blames them for the tragedy. This gives you plenty of room for contradictory qualities in the character because there is the constant question of madness.  
  • Fred's desire for revenge, as well as making it public who is responsible, exacerbates his loss of control over his own life and injures others.  And he drops further into madness or perhaps it is all a ruse to flush out the perpetrator.
  • Anger and jealousy are driving forces. 
  • An innocent person suffers, and Fred is so involved in revenge, he considers the injury (mental anguish and later a possible suicide) just collateral damage, which supports the belief that he is going mad.
  • Death is an important feature: death of those important to Fred or who were the cause of the tragedy.  This could be modified to be death of a relationship, death of faith, or death of hope.  But destruction of Fred's sense of right and fairness is essential.
  • With Hamlet, his efforts to get revenge ended in the death of his mother, his uncle (who killed his father), his girlfriend, her father and brother and Fred himself. 
 The Little Handbook of Narrative Frameworks available on Smashwords and Amazon.
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