Few authors have had such an impact on the literary world as Shakespeare. In fact, one of his most iconic plays, Hamlet, has inspired many retellings. One of these is The Lion King. Here are 4 of my favorite novels.
Retelling #1: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard
If you are aware of this satire, you also know it is a play. A play that focuses on two minor characters of Hamlet: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
But, living as two minor characters in the hopeless tale of Hamlet is not an easy road. Follow Tom Stoppard’s witty writing, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern to inevitable tragedy.
Retelling #2: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
This retelling of Hamlet is set in rural Wisconsin. Raised in a family that breeds dogs, Edgar Sawtelle, born mute, is ready to carry on family tradition. But, when tragedy occurs, he is forced to take a journey he never would have wanted.
He is forced to come of age in the wilderness, with only three dogs for company. This retelling is a tribute to both the original Shakespeare tale and to the American legacy.
Retelling #3: Nutshell by Ian McEwan
Hamlet, told from the perspective of a fetus. Yes, you heard me correctly! A fetus is the narrator of this novel, set in 2015.
Trudy lives with her husband’s brother. And, together, they create a plot of deceit and murder. Against who, you may ask. The fetus’s father, Trudy’s husband.
The poor fetus is witness to it all in this retelling.
Retelling #4. Ophelia by Lisa Klein
In Hamlet, Ophelia is seen as a woman pulled to madness. But, what if that wasn’t the whole story?
In this retelling, Ophelia is a strong-willed heroine. The love between Hamlet and herself grows in secret. But, once tragedy hits Denmark and Elsinore Castle, she makes a plan to escape. This retelling is full of Shakepearan wit.