MAYBE SHAKESPEARE NEEDED A COMPLICATED BLOODBATH AT THE END OF “HAMLET”. When I was in my early teens, I went to see the Oscar-winning movie The Bridge on the River Kwai. Without having seen any spoilers, I still knew that the movie was going to end one way or another with that bridge blowing up. After three hours of tension, the movie needed a climax to get the audience to leave the theater (at that time you could enter and leave a movie whenever you wanted).
After the wonders of the first part of “Hamlet”, Shakespeare needed a tour de force to end the play with a satisfied audience. Brecht’s premise is that Shakesperare should have removed all but one of what Brecht considered “out takes”. Instead Shakespeare incorporated all of the possible “out takes” to achieve the complicated final scene.