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Anton Karidian performs the role of Prince Hamlet in 2266.

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark was a play written by the Human playwright William Shakespeare in the early 17th century. A tragedy, it is one of Shakespeare's more well-known plays.


The play dealt with a young Danish price, Hamlet, whose father had recently died. He plots revenge when he learned that his father's brother and mother have been having an affair, and arranged for the death of Hamlet's father. Hamlet's revenge was fatal, not only to his uncle and mother, but ultimately to himself as well.

When humans joined the interstellar community, the play—along with Shakespeare's other works—became known to other races in addition to humans, such as the Klingons and Vulcans. (TNG episode: "Hide and Q")


In 2153, Captain Drennik quoted from Act One, Scene Five to Jonathan Archer, "There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy." (ENT episode: "Cogenitor")

In 2240, Amanda Grayson brought 10-year-old Spock to Minneapolis on Earth to meet his aunt Doris Grayson and cousins Lester and Jimmy. Being unable to relate to the boys, Spock read Hamlet instead. (TOS novel: Planet of Judgment)

in 2264, actor Cockspur recited his own translation into Federation Standard of Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy at the performance aboard the worldship by Amelinda Lukarian's vaudeville troupe. The director of the Klingon Empire's oversight committee and the other Klingon audience members reacted with overwhelming enthusiasm to Cockspur's performance. (TOS novel: Enterprise: The First Adventure)

In 2266, the Karidian Company of Players acting troupe performed Hamlet aboard the USS Enterprise while en route from Planet Q to Benecia. (TOS episode & novelization: The Conscience of the King)

In 2267, after a battle with a Klingon warship, Spock quoted Hamlet to Kirk to explain why the Klingons attacked them despite overwhelming odds and for little gain: "We go to gain a little patch of ground/ That hath in it no profit but the name. Witness this army, of such mass and charge,/ Exposing what is mortal and unsure/ To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,/ Even for an eggshell." (TOS novel: The Vulcan Academy Murders)

In 2269, Commander Katalya Tremain was familiar with Hamlet. She teased Leonard McCoy about her not opening up to him, that doing so would be as if Hamlet killed Claudius in the first act. (TOS novel: Vulcan!)

Later on that year, James T. Kirk considered Enowil to be like Hamlet, "but mad north-northwest," from Act 2, Scene 2. (TOS novel: Trek to Madworld)

In 2270, while thinking of Garth of Izar and Ron Tracy, Kirk quoted from Act 3, Scene 1 to José Mendez, "Madness in great ones should not unwatched go." (TOS novel: Garth of Izar)

In 2273, Kirk reflected on his reputation for being impulsive, and thought he solved problems more like Hamlet. Meanwhile, while considering the disposition of the dead on Yonada, Christopher Lindstrom was reminded of Hamlet, quoting from Act 4, Scene 3, "A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm." (TOS novel: Ex Machina)

When Spock was recovering from his return from death in 2285, Leonard McCoy quoted Shakespeare by saying, "Angels and ministers of grace, defend us," when informed that Spock had programmed the HMS Bounty's computers for time travel by memory. Spock not only correctly identified the quote as coming from Hamlet, but even specified that it was from Act 1, Scene 4. (TOS movie: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

In 2293, After Chancellor Gorkon had proposed a toast to The Undiscovered Country, Spock identified the reference as being from Hamlet, Act Three, Scene One. General Chang recited the famous line from that scene, "taH pagh taHbe" in Klingon. ("To be or not to be"''). (TOS movie: The Undiscovered Country)

In 2364, when Q quoted from Macbeth about the ignobility and fragility of humanity, Jean-Luc Picard angered Q by responding with Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2, "What a piece of work is man. How noble in reason. How infinite in faculty. In form, in moving, how express and admirable. In action, how like an angel. In apprehension, how like a god." (TNG episode: "Hide and Q")

In 2366, on the planet Rampart, William T. Riker quoted Act 3, Scene 2 of Hamlet to Picard as a test. Riker said, "To hold, as t'were, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image." Picard, who owned a copy of the complete works of Shakespeare, covered his ears, revealing that his mind had been brainwashed to reject literature. Later, after his memories and personality had been restored by Amoret, Picard provided the subsequent line from the play, "...and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure." (TNG novel: Gulliver's Fugitives)

In 2366, when Data was presumed dead, Picard opened Hamlet to a page Data had bookmarked from Act 1, Scene 2 and quoted, "He was a man, taken for all in all. I shall not look upon his like again." (TNG episode: "The Most Toys")

Kathryn Janeway once saw Hamlet performed by Vulcans. (VOY novel: Incident at Arbuk)



Fictional characters of film, literature, television and stage theater
The Adventures of Captain Proton series Captain ProtonChakChaoticaChef HenryFolkeConstance GoodheartBuster KincaidPhredThe President of EarthQueen FemsSandorSatan's Robot
Alice in Wonderland series AliceBandersnatchCaterpillarsCheshire catThe DormouseThe Mad HatterThe Playing CardsQueen of HeartsTweedledumTweedledeeWhite Rabbit
The Avengers: Steed & Mrs. Peel Emma Peel Barbarella Barbarella Beowulf Prince BeowulfFreyaGrendelHrothgarUnferth
Bewitched Endora The Boomer Diaries DiraniVallejo Buck Rogers series Buck Rogers
Casablanca Rick Blaine Works of Raymond Chandler Philip Marlowe Works of Max Allan Collins Nate Heller
Dixon Hill series AlvaDan BellSlade BenderArthur Clinton BradleyJessica BradleyJimmy CuzzoSilent ForresterDixon HillJohnnyHaircut LapinskiFelix LeechMadelineMcNarySharon McNaryMarty O'FarronNailsNicky the NoseCyrus RedblockRexRuby
Don Quixote Don Quixote Flash Gordon series Flash GordonMing the Merciless Forbidden Planet Robby the Robot
Works of C.S. Forester Horatio Hornblower Gulliver's Travels Lemuel Gulliver Gunsmoke Miss Kitty
Works of Dashiell Hammett Sam Spade Hotel Royale Ali BabaMickey DRitaRoyale assistant managerRoyale bellboyRoyale croupierTexasVanessaZiggy
Indiana Jones series Indiana Jones MacGyver series Angus MacGyver Rambo series John Rambo
Robin Hood Robin HoodFriar Tuck Works of Benny Russell The BorgKirkPicardBenjamin SiskoVenusian firebeast
Works of William Shakespeare Caliban • The CapuletsHamletLaertesPoloniusRomeo and Juliet • The MontaguesOpheliaShylock
Sherlock Holmes series Irene AdlerSherlock HolmesLeStradeJames MoriartyJohn Watson
Works of Mickey Spillane Mike Hammer Works of Mark Twain Huckleberry Finn The Wizard of Oz series Dorothy GaleScarecrowTin man
Other characters of fiction AmoretBlutoBoromirBr'er RabbitElvis ColeCommando CodyCount DraculaFaustThe FlintstonesFrankenstein's monsterCowboy RalphSub-MarinerSupermanThor
Selected works of William Shakespeare
All's Well That Ends WellAs You Like ItHamletHenry VJulius CaesarKing LearMacbethThe Merchant of VeniceA Midsummer Night's DreamOthelloRomeo and JulietThe Taming of the ShrewTimon of AthensTwelfth Night


The Klingon Language Institute has translated Hamlet, and have offered it for sale to the general public as The Klingon Hamlet (ISBN: 0671035789)

External links