A “Personal” Hamlet?
The immense capacity of Hamlet, its copiousness and fertility and exuberance, not to mention its psychological intensity, tempts critics to personalize the play. Shakespeare’s only son, Hamnet (Hamnet and Hamlet were variations of the same name) died in 1596, aged only eleven.
IT IS HARD NOT TO SEE SHAKESPEARE DEALING WITH THE DEATH OF HIS SON IN SOME RESPECT IN THE FAMILY DRAMA HAMLET …
The play not only adapts literary sources but also capitalizes on Shakespeare’s own life and Stratford upbringing.
In 1597, Shakespeare renewed his commitment to Stratford and bought New Place or “The Great House”, the second largest house in the town.
… AN ENORMOUS DWELLING WITH TWO GARDENS, TWO BARNS, AND TEN FIREPLACES.
It would be Shakespeare’s home until he died. He had also recently acquired his coat of arms (which were gratifyingly bestowed upon his father). So family concerns were uppermost in his mind.