Denmark has a long-standing feud with neighbouring Norway, in which King Hamlet slew King Fortinbras of Norway in a battle some years ago.
Intellectual, self-reflective, alienated, and seemingly paralyzed by doubts about both himself and the circumstance in which he is called upon to act as an agent of revenge, Hamlet has come to be considered the quintessential modern hero.
For the subject of his drama, Shakespeare turned to a story already popular in English theaters; at least two earlier productions of the sad tale of the Danish prince had appeared in London playhouses.
Most of these were bloody spectacles in which almost every character dies in the final act. The body-strewn stage in act 5 of Hamlet continues this tradition, as does the central action of the drama: The central dramatic interest in the play is the character of its hero.
The prince feels he must delay his revenge, however, until he is certain Claudius is guilty. Much is made of the mother-son relationship; Hamlet spends considerable time trying to convince his mother that she has made a mistake in marrying Claudius. Only when she finally comes to accept his view that the new king is somehow guilty does Hamlet decide to act.
His decision is precipitated by several other actions as well, most notably the efforts of his supposed friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to have him killed.
Many critics have observed that Hamlet is really too sensitive to effect the revenge that he intends. He is by nature melancholic, possessing a fatalistic disposition that borders on the suicidal. His most famous soliloquy focuses on the virtue of ending his life.
Viewing the world as a place where things are seldom as they seem, he spends a good portion of his time trying to sort appearance from reality. He invents various devices to help illuminate the truth, such as his elaborate arrangement for a dumb show that will re-create the murder of his father in the presence of Claudius to try to make the king reveal his guilt.
Hamlet is not satisfied simply to take vengeance on his uncle clandestinely; he wants Claudius to admit his guilt. Early in the play, his inactivity can be attributed to his lack of assurance that Claudius is guilty.
Were he to kill the new king without justification, he would be seen as no better than a murderer himself, and no good would come of his action. Such casuistry has been reason for several critics to claim that Shakespeare is simply drawing out the drama until the final catastrophe.
By the final act, Hamlet has become totally fatalistic. In the final scene, all of the principals meet their end—and almost all by some mischance of fate.
Despite the resounding encomium pronounced over the body of the slain prince, the bleak ending offers little encouragement for an audience who has witnessed this great tragedy.
Surprisingly, however, the ending seems justified, in that order has been restored to the Danish kingdom, although won at a terrible price.
Such is the lesson of most great tragedies, and Hamlet ranks with the very best examples of the genre.An Overview of the Story and Reasoning Behind William Shakespeare's Play "Hamlet" 2, words. 5 pages. An Essay on William Shakespeare's Hamlet as a Tragedy.
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- The State of Mind of Hamlet The Elizabethan play The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark is one of William Shakespeare's most popular works.
One of the possible reasons for this play's popularity is the way Shakespeare uses the character Hamlet to exemplify the complex workings of the human mind. View Essay - Hamlet Essay from ENGLISH LA 10 at Lester B. Pearson Senior High School. Hamlet Essay In the play Hamlet written by William Shakespeare, adversity plays an enormous role in constructing.
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An Analysis of the Theme of Vengeance in the Tragedy of Hamlet by William Shakespeare. 1, words. 3 pages. The Effects of Rage in Hamlet by William Shakespeare. 1, words. 3 pages. An Analysis of the Tragey of Hamlet in William Shakespeare's Play "Hamlet" The Dilemma in the Play, Hamlet by . The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, often shortened to Hamlet (/ ˈ h æ m l ɪ t /), is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare at an uncertain date between and Set in Denmark, the play dramatises the revenge Prince Hamlet is called to wreak upon his uncle, Claudius, by the ghost of Hamlet's father, King Hamlet.
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