Act IV, Scene 6: “Another Room in the Castle”
Summary: Horatio got a letter from Hamlet and reads it aloud: On his way to England they were attacked by pirates, and Hamlet ran onto the pirate ship alone to attack them. Seeing Hamlet’s crazy eyes must have convinced the pirates to give up the attack, but they kept Hamlet as a prisoner, though they treated him well, and now Hamlet wants Horatio to come to him.
Reaction: I’m surprised pirates are in this, but not surprised that Hamlet fits in with them. He seems the type pirates would like–crazy and inclined to violence.
Prediction: Hamlet gives up his plans for revenge and takes up a life pillaging on the high seas…just kidding.
Why This Book Is a Classic: It can get away with having a scene consisting only of a man reading a letter on stage to random sailors who probably had no interest in what it said (or already knew, since they were supposed to take Horatio back with them).
Why a Modern Audience Might Like It: Pirates! Anything with pirates is golden–just ask my preschoolers.