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Hamlet Analysis

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Hamlet Analysis
This is a play by William Shakespeare who was a writer that lived around 1564 and
1616 and is widely known for his best work as an English poet, actor, and playwright. This
author is famous worldwide and commonly known an exemplary writer in the English language
and the best dramatist of all times. Shakespeare occupies a unique position in the literature
world, no writer whose play was written in the early 17th centuries and late 16th century can
compare the performance of their work to his. Several years after his death his literary work is
still performing very well and are now being read more frequent in more countries than ever
before. Some of his work includes hamlet, merchant of Venice, King Lear, Othello and Macbeth
and many others. What he got is influence writing from the work of other writers, what he heard
and the challenges that he faced throughout his life. He has also inspired the problems that the
community often encountered what he had people on the street talking about and by nature and
most of his work mentioned nature such as birds more than any other writer.
You cannot talk of Shakespeare work without mentioning Hamlet which is a play
borrowed from an ancient Scandinavian tale, and it is his most extended play which is considered
the most influential and powerful works of the world’s literature. Hamlet by Shakespeare is still
one of the most debated and being talked about piece of writing that has ever been written and is
a wonderfully written book that entails so many literary elements and motifs throughout the play.
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It begins in a mysterious way that helps set the pace for the rest of the book. It talks about an old
king of Denmark who had died and returned in the form of a spirit to inform his son who was
known as Hamlet of what had caused his death. The prince embarks on avenging his father’s
death who was murdered by his uncle although he appears to be depressed and as well as being a
coward. Eventually, he finds himself questioning his actions such as revenge hatred and revenge
that he has towards his murderous uncle. He then opts to fake insanity to make people believe
that he is harmful as he loses his determination (Gorfain & Phyllis, 1998, pg. 152-172)
The author portrays four central themes to the audience and the writers to help them
understand the play. The first item is mortality where the writer begins with the complexities that
are in life and death of the king, who was murdered. After the king's death Hamlet is seen to be
thinking a lot about the meaning of life and how life eventually always come to an end, he even
goes as far as contemplating on committing suicide. More questions about this emerge the scenes
progresses, and Hamlets believe that dying is not bad but what he is afraid of is the afterlife and
that is what stops him from taking his own life even though it has always crossed his mind. At a
point in the movie Hamlet wishes that his, “flesh” would melt and, “dissolve” (Thiher, 39). Also
though many questions emerge, concerning suicide and death after eight of the nine characters
loses their lives and still they are left unanswered even as the story ends no solution is found.
Another theme that the writer is trying to portray in the play is madness. This subject of
insanity is depicted through Hamlet whereby the author shows us that he is sane throughout the
story but decides to act like an insane person to make people believe that he is crazy and cannot
harm anyone. In a real sense, he is trying to investigate his father’s death and his uncle
involvement in the murder. Acting as a crazy person further his pretending to be mad further
cause him to lose a grip on his reality and later becomes violent when he feels he is under a lot of
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pressure and stressed up. Hamlet’s mental state shows the ambiguity in the play in that he is in
his right mind but he opts to fake insanity ( Bloom, 45).The crazy thing is that he only becomes
insane after he speaks with the ghost of his father which in itself sounds crazy.
Further, Shakespeare presents another theme on women; the play Hamlet talks about
the presence of only two women who eventually die this is to indicate social commentary.
Hamlet is portrayed not to trust women even though he cares for them he acts suspiciously while
around them. He also gets pissed off after believing that his mum Gertrude remarried because he
did love his previous husband as much as he thought. In short in Hamlet Shakespeare women are
viewed to be a disappointment and as human beings who cannot be trusted. These are evident
when Hamlet opinions his mum as a disappointment and even start judging Ophelia who he was
interested in, and after his madness, he tends to believe that she is in cahoots with Claudius,
Polonius, and Gertrude. The theme of women shows that women in the play are viewed as
powerless, untrustworthy, and judged and the story does not consider gender equality.
Another aspect portrayed in the play are symbols, It contains a lot of symbols which
have different meanings. An example is the Ophelia flowers that choose to give to various people
after her father’s sudden death that makes her lose a grip. The act of handing over the flowers is
a symbol, like in the case of Laertes the flower she gave her symbolized resemblance and was
initially worn when going to the weddings and funerals, she further gives his brother a flower
that represents grief and Claudius flower represents ingratitude, deceit, and flattery. There is also
the appearance of the Yorick’s skull at the end of the play which symbolizes death and how it’s
inevitable and that death is an equalizer regardless of one's class. It appears at the end of the
story when a tragedy is about to strike, and most of the significant characters are most likely
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going to meet their deaths. It is also evident that death occurs from the beginning of the play up
to its end with the opening being the king.
Like much other literary work that made use of supernatural in the play, Shakespeare
Hamlet is no exception. It starts in the middle of the night which traditionally is believed to be
the appropriate time for supernatural creatures to appear. That is the time that Hamlet fathers
ghost chooses to show itself, these indicate that everything is not ok and it even goes further to
trigger Hamlet to take action and revenge his father cruel death.
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Bloom, Harold. William Shakespeare. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2010.
Gorfain, Phyllis. "Towards a Theory of Play and the Carnivalesque in Hamlet." Shakespeare
and Carnival. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 1998. 152-176.
Thiher, Allen. Revels in Madness: Insanity in Medicine and Literature. 2004: University of
Michigan Press, Michigan.

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