Author(s): JOHN UPDIKE


Gertrude and Claudius are the "villains" of "Hamlet: " he the killer of Hamlet's father and usurper of the Danish throne; she his lusty consort, who marries Claudius before her late husband's body is cold. But in this imaginative "prequel" to the play, John Updike makes a case for the royal couple that Shakespeare only hinted at. Gertrude and Claudius are seen afresh against a background of fond intentions and family dysfunction, on a stage darkened by the ominous shadow of a sullen, erratic, disaffected prince. "I hoped to keep the texture light," Updike said of this novel, "to move from the mists of Scandinavian legend into the daylight atmosphere of the Globe. I sought to narrate the romance that preceded the tragedy."


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"Shakespeare's plays have had many offshoots. "Gertrude and Claudius", though, stands in a class of its own: a superlative homage from one imaginative veteran to another.""--The Sunday Times "(London)

"[A] pearl of a book . . . a game for real stakes . . . Updike has used Shakespeare to write a free-standing, pleasurable, and wonderfully dexterous novel about three figures in complex interplay.""--The New York Times Book Review"
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"A living, powerfully physical work . . . Updike is a superbly skillful writer.""--The Wall Street Journal"

General Fields

  • : 9780449006979
  • : Random House USA Inc
  • : July 2001
  • : 208mm X 141mm X 16mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paperback
  • : 813.54
  • : 224