Hamlet is not written in English. Instead, Shakespeare’s working knowledge of French produces what I call a French English dialect in the three Hamlet texts. My thesis argues that two French language sources influenced Hamlet: the Amleth myth as translated by François de Belleforest and Les Essais by Michel de Montaigne. I begin by establishing extant scholarship on the relationships between Belleforest’s tale, Montaigne’s essays, and the Hamlet texts. My first chapter considers the French text of the Amleth narrative alongside the Hamlet texts. The second chapter considers the history of Montaigne’s essays being mediated in Shakespeare studies by John Florio’s English translation in 1603. I address ways in which this mediating text is an inadequate source for the three Hamlet texts. Referring to the short essay “De l’Âge”, I show how source study can produce an alternative chronology for Hamlet. In the middle two chapters of my thesis I use ideas about diachronic and synchronic source study to inform my analysis of the shared philosophical concerns between Montaigne and Shakespeare’s respective texts. The third chapter focuses on each text’s interest in philosophy and repentance, exploring how Montaigne’s discussion of those ideas can be found in the different Hamlet texts. The fourth triangulates ideas about faith, fellowship, and doubt, comparing Shakespeare and Montaigne’s synchronic responses to early modern concerns about classical and Christian fellowship. My final two chapters argue that Montaigne’s ideas about textual and editorial fragmentation can also be located in the Hamlet texts and their critical history. In my fifth chapter I compare Montaigne and Shakespeare’s use of terms like “pieces”, “patches”, “shreds”, and “flaps”, and how they capture ideas about the fragmentary nature of theatre. My final chapter then develops from their shared terminology about fragmentation to the editorial practices that frame any reading of their texts. Using Montaigne’s own editorial theory, I suggest that the Hamlet texts can be productively read as essays. Each of my comparative chapters draws attention to the borders between languages and texts. By redefining Shakespeare’s language in Hamlet as French English, I ask how readings of Hamlet might change if divorced, or at least estranged, from English and Englishness.