For years, he was reared in the comfortable shadow of a father figure, biding his time until the kingdom of the Super Bowl would be his. But that father figure, much beloved by the people, did not leave in peace. The memory of King Hamlet's abbreviated greatness still haunts Rodgers. The presence is almost spectral.
Hamlet's rival to the throne of Super Bowl greatness is a cunning, spiritually bereft man with strange sexual proclivities. He says all the right things, but words without thoughts never to heaven go, Claudius.
The two protagonists are competing for the fickle prize that once belonged to King Hamlet and has since gone to bed with Claudius. She has neither loyalty nor discretion, but her blessing can mean the possession of a kingdom. Gertrude had barely slipped from King Hamlet's grasp before she pledged herself to Claudius.
Just when young Hamlet needed a strong female presence to fortify his mind and spur him to the crown, he found nothing but a pale, wilting flower. Though attractive at times, Ophelia utterly lacked the inner mettle needed to prepare Hamlet for the final conquest.
Along the way, a fat blowhard inserts himself in the middle of the clash between Hamlet and Claudius, talks too much, and pays the ultimate price. For his machinations, Polonius was treated to a sudden death.
And then there's a pair of bumbling idiots, a moronic duo who provide some comic relief but are, in the end, merely ridiculous. Nobody is quite content until the final proclamation:
Hamlet's best friend and touchstone is a more sensible, even-keeled sort. He's highly intelligent and loyal to a fault, and can only hope that some of his wisdom rubs off on the mercurial heir. Thrift, thrift Horatio! And hope never to utter words like these:
In any world, there are downtrodden men without glory or distinction. They exist to fill a necessary role in society, but are largely looked down upon, forgotten, or mocked. Still, their position at the bottom of the social ladder provides them with a certain perspective, and as such they're prone to insightful witticisms about their betters. In some ways, their judgment is final.
Gravedigger: What is he that builds stronger than either the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter?
Other: The gallows-maker, for that frame outlives a thousand tenants.
Gravedigger: And when you are asked this question next, say “A grave-maker.” The houses that he makes last till doomsday.
Set eyes upon a one-time member of the king's court, a former big shot. Now he's nothing but a decaying jester, and all you ever see of him is a skull.
We can't forget the passionate, virile Laertes, a hot-blooded and skillful youth who will be tricked by Claudius into bringing about Hamlet's downfall.
Finally, in the wreckage of the kingdom, a young conqueror from a foreign land will arrive to claim the crown for himself, and there it will stay for centuries and centuries.