She is the girl who will be queen: Ophelia, daughter of Denmark’s lord chancellor and loved by Prince Hamlet. But while Hamlet’s family stab, poison or haunt one another, Ophelia plans a sensible rule, one filled with justice and the making of delicious cheeses.
Even if she has to pretend to be mad to make it happen, Ophelia will let nothing, not even howling ghosts, stand in her way. This is Shakespeare’s play, but with what might also have happened behind the scenes.
And this story has a happy ending.
Australian children’s laureate, Jackie French, has produced another readily accessible, modern adaptation of a work of Shakespeare, this time Hamlet.
Ophelia, the daughter of the Lord Chancellor, is pre-ordained by the ghost of the murdered King Fortinbras to one day become the Queen of Denmark. She believed this would occur if she married Prince Hamlet. But when his father, King Hamlet, is poisoned and Prince Hamlet’s uncle Claudius marries the Prince’s mother and takes the throne, where will this place Prince Hamlet?
Much has changed and is still changing in their kingdom. Prince Fortinbras, the son of a King murdered before King Hamlet took the throne, is lurking over the border. Will he seek to reclaim the throne?
Ophelia must bide her time if she is ever to fulfil her destiny. This story, as with all of Shakespeare’s plays, is filled with love, murder, ghosts and intricate plots and sub-plots and is an accessible and engaging introduction for those new to the story.
Reviewed by Rob