Horatio: Loyal Friend of Hamlet and Nutshell
This chapter considers two modern novels as adaptations of Hamlet. Horatio: Loyal Friend of Hamlet by Richard Coen (2006), as the title suggests, presents the story from the point of view of the arch-rationalist Horatio, though even he encounters irrational emotions by falling in love. Ian McEwan’s (Nutshell. Jonathan Cape, London, 2016) is an experimental novel which undoubtedly will find an enduring literary status into the future. Hamlet is copiously referenced in the novel and provides its title, ‘I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space […] ’. It is a creative rewriting of the play, drawing on the black wit in Hamlet itself, as well as on the play’s emotional substructure as a murder mystery.
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