According to Shakespeare's text, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, has reached the age of 30 and is a grown man. I suppose the author should know how old his own characters are, but I've always thought that what the Bard really crafted is a canny, dead-on portrait of a boy at least a decade younger.
Hamlet is hyper-sensitive to slights to his nascent manhood. He is utterly self-absorbed, chafes at authority and is clueless about women. He runs hot one minute, cold the next. In other words, an adolescent.
If you go Hamlet runs at the Shakespeare Theatre, 450 Seventh St. N.W., Washington, through July 29. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Wednesdays; 8 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sundays. $19-$76.25. 202-547-1122 or shakespearedc.org.