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John Updike   In the vein of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, John Updike explores the story of Shakespeare's Hamlet by imagining the story from the perspective of Queen Gertrude. Following Gertrude from girlhood up to the beginning of the Hamlet narrative, Updike blends historical source material with a plot of his own devising to create an entirely new Gertrude. Not at all the scheming regicide of Shakespeare's drama, she emerges as a sort of pre-feminist heroine, trapped in a rigid patriarchal society, and struggling to be heard by her aloof husband and son.  
 
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