Sons of Anarchy: Series Influenced by Shakespeare, Creator Says


Sons of Anarchy: They say that nothing is created, everything is copied. And in the case of the series by motorcyclists group Sons of Anarchy, this is partially true. While the characters’ turbulent journey is an original story, the author drank from the fountain of none other than William Shakespeare. To be more exact, in the tragedy of Hamlet.

Who admitted the inspiration was the creator of the series, Kurt Sutter, who even put a quote from the play in the end credits. The series aired between 2008 and 2014, and was responsible for elevating the FX channel’s status as one of the top in the United States.

Hamlet’s plot is one of revenge. The young prince of Denmark, Hamlet, speaks to his father’s ghost, who tells that he was poisoned by his uncle Claudius so that he could marry Hamlet’s queen and mother, Gertrude. Hamlet then plots his revenge, while apparently going mad, especially when interacting with his mother, friends and ex-lover Ophelia – until the famous and tragic end.

Check out the similarities between Sons of Anarchy and Hamlet below.

almost everyone dies

Even knowing the tragic ending of the main characters in Hamlet, it’s still worth watching the play and reading the book. The same can be said of the Sons of Anachy series. Even though most of the main characters are predicted to have a tragic fate, it’s still amazing to watch the events unfold.


Hamlet x Jax

Jax Teller is the replacement for Hamlet, as the son of former Sam Crow president JT Teller, who was killed in a motorcycle accident. JT’s death was orchestrated by Clay Morrow, current president of Sam Crow – the Claudius of the series. Clay also marries Jax’s mother and JT’s widow Gemma Teller – Gertrude.

While it is not known whether Gertrude was involved in the death of Hamlet’s father, in Sons of Anarchy, Gemma did intrude into JT’s planned death.

The quote from Hamlet used at the end of the series states that he can doubt everything but that he loved. Sutter wrote on his Twitter account that he wanted to use the phrase because “he felt it allowed people to have their own opinions about Jax’s life and fate”, and that asking questions about it “was the point”.

Just as many centuries later, people still ask questions about Prince Hamlet’s life and fate, so must Jax’s story: Was he evil? Noble? Tortured or torturer? The answers are up to each viewer!

Love in Sons of Anarchy

The Ophelia of the series is the character Tara Knowles, the great love of Jax Teller. As in Hamlet, the couple had a past together. She returns to Jax’s life years later.

In Season 6, Tara suffers a fate similar to that of Ophelia, but at the hands of someone close to her. Tara’s death comes shortly after Jax takes revenge for her father’s death, causing him to suffer an even worse loss.

The tragedy of Sons of Anarchy continues into Season 7, culminating in one of the most dramatic endings in television history, with a little more action than the Hamlet ending.

Is that you? Had you ever noticed the similarities between Hamlet and Sons of Anarchy? Let us know in the comments!


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