of the plot action follows Shakespeare's closely. It is, however, devoid of all literary merit.
To sum up: the story of Hamlet was taken by Belle-Forest from Saxo's chronicle. Shakespeare received it either from Belle-Forest, direct, or from an earlier unknown publication of the translation of Belle-Forest of which the Hystorie of Hamblet is a later edition, or he founded his play on an earlier tragedy which was probably by Thomas Kyd. The traces of Senecan influence in Shakespeare's Hamlet are due either to this earlier play or to the general and common influence of Seneca upon Elizabethan tragic playwrights.