The Danish chronicler Saxo's Amled myth lies behind the famous Hamlet by Shakespeare, the story about a hero avenging the murder of his father the king. Saxo depicts Amled as mad - but is Shakespeare's Hamlet mad, or is he playing a role? To test Hamlet, a 'date' is arranged with Ophelia. Hellstenius has chosen to view things from her perspective and the opera begins at the moment when she drowns herself in the stream. We look back at her experiences - falling in love with the unstable Prince Hamlet; her anticipation of becoming a queen; their rendezvous in the forest, her ensuing pregnancy and his betrayal.