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David Garrick, Shakespearean Extraordinaire!
Garrick as Hamlet

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Garrick as Hamlet

David Garrick's most famous role was that of Hamlet, seen here.

Garrick was involved in all aspects of the theater. He even cut lines and edited plays. In Hamlet, Garrick changed the scene in which Hamlet's mother, Queen Gertrude, dies from accidentally drinking poison. Instead, Queen Gertrude exclaims, "Save me from my son!" and swiftly exits.

Click  here to read the scene from the Folger edition. Now Imagine the scene with Garrick's edit. Do you see Hamlet or the King differently in Garrick's version? Is the scene more or less tragic if Queen Gertrude lives?

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J. L. W. Fäsch. Mrs. Hopkins & Mr. Garrick in the Character of Queen Gertrude and Hamlet. Gouache, 18th century.

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