Vulnerable reading asks how literary works can be useful as companions to people who suffer; its focus is literature as solace. Questions of why we should turn to Shakespeare to express suffering, and why to poetic literature, are considered. An exemplary reading of Hamlet discusses three levels of vulnerable reading: the play as mirror in which readers can see reflections of their own troubles and gain new expressive possibilities for themselves; the play as training in acquiring a new voice to resist these troubles; and the play as a pedagogy of engagement in dialogue with others in relations of care. Hamlet proclaims that the “readiness is all.” How does the play mentor that readiness?