Hamlet character jug modeled by Michael Abberley and produced by Royal Doulton of Burslem, England, between 1982-1989. Shakespeare's Hamlet remains one of theater's most complex characters. His story has some basis in a twelfth century tale told by the Danish chronicler Saxo Grammaticus in which Amleth, Prince of Jutland, avenges the murder of his father. For Shakespeare, this myth had all the ingredients for a brilliant drama: the primal sins of fratricide, incest and a son's revenge, and the cleansing of a polluted house. Having been murdered by his brother, Hamlet's father appears to his son as a ghost and demands vengeance. Hamlet is hampered, however, by his irresolute, melancholic nature and he counterfeits madness to escape the suspicions of his treacherous uncle. In one memorable scene with the Gravedigger, Hamlet is shown the skull of Yorick, the old King's jester, and comes face to face with the fragility and impermanence of all human feeling. "Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio - Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment?" This difficult, yet brilliant tragedy ends with murder, revenge and Hamlet's own death by the sword. A dagger and skull form the handle of this jug.