“The Hamlet” Play by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s Hamlet is the tragic romance of the 12th century hero, Prince Hamlet who was the lawful successor to the throne of King Hamlet in Ellsinore Castle in Denmark. King Hamlet’s sudden death made his widow Gertrude, the Queen of Denmark, and within two months of the king’s death she married his brother Claudius. Suspicions were let out concerning King Hamlet’s death; Claudius made a story that a serpent had stung the deceased King.

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But young Prince Hamlet had suspicions that Claudius himself was the serpent. Shakespeare has portrayed Prince Hamlet to be in complete dejection and gloom and has used a ghost to support his story. The King’s ghost reassured his son that Claudius was his murderer, who wanted to usurp the throne of Denmark. Thus, the Prince’s life took a sad turn and he was thirsty for revenge.

The major theme of the story has shown Hamlet to be mad to avenge his father’s death. The Prince’s erratic behavior worries Claudius and Gertrude and they appoint his friends to spy on him when Polonius declares that Hamlet might be in love with Polonius’s daughter Ophelia. With the help of some visitors, Hamlet enacts the death of his father and succeeds in proving to the reader that Claudius is guilty, who in return banished Hamlet to England where his death awaited him.

In confrontation with his mother, the prince accidentally killed Polonius, which drove Ophelia to her death. In the mean time her brother Laertes, upon Claudius’ instigation agrees to kill Prince Hamlet while fencing, with the poisoned epees but Laertes dies first. Claudius mixes poison in the Prince’s drink which upon his refusal to have was drunk by the Queen who died a slow death. Hamlet stabs Claudius with the poisoned sword and makes him have the fatal drink. He dies and so does Hamlet since he was also hurt by the poisonous sword during the fight. Thus, the Norwegian Prince Fratinbras took over the empire.

Shakespeare describes the character of Hamlet as a gloomy and depressed who was extremely cynical and sardonic. He hated his uncle Claudius because he was responsible for his father King Hamlet’s death. Hamlet was full of hatred for his mother as well because of her sexuality since she married Claudius immediately after the King’s death. Hamlet was an intellectual person but was extremely indecisive and uncertain. His impulsive, irrational and unreasonable acts often created problems for him.

The author has given an impersonal account of all characters and has crafted the characters as being pushed by the storm of revengeful emotions for one another. According to Hamlet himself he was a philosophical, thoughtful and a normal person who was a student in a University. He loved his father and hated his mother since she married his uncle Claudius who killed the King. He was in love with Ophelia and considered only Horatio as his close friend.

He was a cynical person so he found faults in every person around him. Others considered Hamlet to be erratic, melancholic, mad, disturbed, depressed, troubled, full of hatred for the world and cynical. His mind starts playing games with him since all he thinks of is ways to avenge his father’s murder and kill Claudius. He had begun to loose his senses under this stress. All he wanted was revenge and had become unreasonably harsh.

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Hamlet is a tragedy and it’s a true depiction of how things can go wrong unexpectedly even when we do not call for them. Life is uncertain and fate plays strange games with us. There is a lesson to be learnt from this story that murder, hatred, feuds and revenge brings all to a dead end that is destruction and death.

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