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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Hamletmachine (in German, Die Hamletmaschine) is a postmodernist drama by East German playwright and theatre director Heiner Müller. It is based on Hamlet by William Shakespeare but set during the end of East German Communism. It was written in 1977. Müller later incorporated the text of Hamletmachine into his Hamlet/Machine, combined with his translation of Shakespeare's play.


The play, like Hamlet, takes place in five acts, though the script is highly condensed: the whole text is roughly eight pages long. Moreover, after Act I (which rushes through the first three acts of the original play in a page and a half) the characters depart almost entirely from the original work, actually stepping out of the context of the theater itself in Act IV. The script itself is extremely dense and open to interpretation; recurring themes include Feminism and the Ecology movement.

The play remains Müller's most-often performed and (arguably) his best-known today.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Hamletmachine" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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