When was Hamlet written, and did it refer directly to any particular historical person, family, or event? One man says it was written in 1603, two years later than popularly believed, “after the death of the Bard’s own father and after James I took the throne,” meaning it points directly to the King of England who succeeded Elizabeth I in March 1603.
But Jonathan Bate says that solves nothing and would have raised the ire of the queen, Anne of Denmark. Was Shakespeare trying to poke her in the eye by suggesting there was something rotten about her home country? (via Prufrock News)