Nutshell Summary
Ian McEwan

Everything you need to understand or teach Nutshell by Ian McEwan.

  • Nutshell Summary & Study Guide

Nutshell Overview

Nutshell is a novel by the award-winning author of Atonement. Nutshell is a modern retelling of the events leading up to William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, with a twist. This version of Hamlet is narrated by an unnamed in-utero child, who acts as the Hamlet character. While in the womb, the narrator can hear his mother, Trudy (parallel to Hamlet’s Gertrude) and his uncle (parallel to Claudius) plot his father, John’s (parallel to King Hamlet) murder. Prior to the events of the novel, John and Trudy were happily married, until the marriage fell apart, causing Trudy to fall into the arms of Claude. Throughout the novel, the narrator cannot act while Claude and Trudy formulate, carry out, and attempt to get-away with the murder. The novel also includes the existential and philosophical wonderings of the somehow incredibly well-read and clever unborn child. Nutshell is full of constant references to the source material while asking the question, what does it mean to “be”?

Study Pack

The Nutshell Study Pack contains:

Nutshell Study Guide