I'm not feeling terribly witty today ("But Regina," you say, "when has that stopped you from posting before?"), but luckily my good friend Greg from Art History, LOL also peruses the Wiki, and has some thoughts on Hamlet. And considering that he played Guildenstern-- oh yes he did-- he is an expert on the subject.
"It's 4:30 on a Tuesday, so I am surfing the Wik. And I've looked at the origins of Hamlet before, but today I just really, really read it. I noticed a few things of interest!
1. The names are WAY better. Gertrude is Gerutha. Claudius is Feng. Old Hamlet? Horvendill! Other notables? Former King RORIK SLENGEBORRE! (I guess he's the Fortinbras analog...)
2. The first half sounds pretty close to the play: king is slain by jealous brother, jealous brother marries queen, pissed off son concocts a plan of faked madness, and is shipped off to England before coming back and killing people. But, then there's this whole part that, uh, I don't quite remember. Amleth/Hamlet marries the English princess, kills the ENTIRE court of Denmark by getting them drunk and pinning them down with a burning tapestry, demands the people make him king, goes back to England for his wife, kills HER father, hops up to Scotland to win the heart of the Scottish queen, takes them both back to Denmark, and dies in battle with the young Fortinbras analog.
Um. Is this the plot of Hamlet 2? I didn't see it."
[Ed. note: No. The plot of Hamlet 2 involves Jesus, a time machine, and a gay men's chorus, wrapped up in a package of gratuitous nudity and satire of the Inspirational White Teacher Helps Urban Minority Teens trope. In other words, it's better than anything Shakespeare ever wrote or thought about writing. Although I admit it could have benefited from a burning tapestry.]
"3. The article contains the phrase: '[he] sent Amleth as proxy wooer for the hand of a terrible Scottish queen Hermuthruda, who had put all former wooers to death'. Proxy wooer? It doesn't get much better than that."
I am changing every username I have to proxy_wooer.