446 years ago today, on 24 July 1567, Mary Queen of Scots was forced to abdicate her throne, and her 13-month-old son James became King James VI of Scotland.
|Mary and her son James|
Mary had led an eventful life, full of drama, and the two years before this moment were some of the most dramatic.
|Mary, in 1559|
|Murder of Rizzio|
There was also suspicions that the real father was James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell. It would certainly make sense. Why would she name the child James and not Henry, after Lord Darnley?
He was crowned in the Church of the Holy Rude, in Stirling.
|Church of the Holy Rude|
|Is the murder of Hamlet's father in the garden based on the murder of Darnley (top right)?|
|Is King James the real Hamlet?|
If Hamlet is a portrait of James, then is the play asking a question: will James possibly be driven mad by the ghost of his mother?
Is there something of Mary Queen of Scots in the story about another Scottish Queen, Lady Macbeth? Is the character of Macbeth meant to suggest Bothwell?
|Are Mary and Bothwell the real Macbeths?|
If Mary is Lady Macbeth and James is Hamlet, then it would suggest that Shakespeare saw with his own eyes how rotten the state of England was, when James became King of England in 1603.
I explore these questions in my version of Hamlet, and will explore them further in my upcoming version of Othello.
David B. Schajer
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