Ophelia as Shakespeare’s Character of the Tragedy

Ophelia’s situation in Shakespeare’s Hamlet not only invokes pity in the reader but also provides an example of the nature of men and women and accentuates Hamlet’s tragic flaws. Shakespeare so beautifully links the female with the liquid, insanity, and frailty through this character that we often fail to realize the underlying message he intended … Read more

The relationship between Hamlet and His Gone Father

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, a story grounded in worldly issues like morality, justice, and retribution, begins in a very otherworldly way: the appearance of a ghost desiring vengeance from beyond the grave. The supernatural confrontation between Hamlet and the ghost of his father is perhaps the most important scene in the play, however, as it not … Read more

The Good, the Bad, and the Tragic: Morality in Hamlet, The Once and Future King, and Oedipus

We face moral dilemmas every day of our lives—whether it’s giving money to a homeless man or taking a peek at a peer’s chemistry test. Fortunately, the stakes aren’t high. The tragic figures of Hamlet, The Once and Future King, and Oedipus experience moral quandaries, too; only these characters struggle instead with violence, murder, and … Read more

Deceit and Catches in "Hamlet" Tragedy

When Hamlet’s father orders him to kill Claudius, Hamlet’s reaction is one of questioning and disbelief. While he feels strongly about the murder of his father and yearns to discover the killer, he harbors suspicions about the truth behind the ghost’s jarring indictment of his uncle Claudius. So, Hamlet decides to put on a play: … Read more

The Tragedy of Hamlet and “A Doll’s House

There is no doubt that William Shakespeare and Henrik Ibsen are two of the most if not the greatest authors who ever walked the earth. Considered to be among the most influential and powerful works in the world of literature, ‘Hamlet’ by William Shakespeare and ‘a doll’s house’ written by Henrik Ibsen both incorporate the … Read more

The Signs of Psychological Disorders of Polonius in The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, a Play by William Shakespeare

The Psychological Health of Polonius In The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, several characters exhibit the signs of possible psychological disorders, such as Prince Hamlet, Ophelia, and Polonius. With Polonius, Shakespeare seems to characterize a sneaky, untrustworthy snake of a man. Upon further inspection, however, it seems likely that Polonius suffered from one or … Read more

The Use of Catharsis in the "Hamlet" Tragedy

Critic Northrup Frye has evaluated Hamlet as a play without catharsis, a tragedy in which everything noble and heroic is smothered under ferocious revenge codes, treachery, spying and the consequences of weak actions by broken wills. While the play deviates from the traditional definition of catharsis as given by Aristotle in Poetics” through pity and … Read more

Hamlet’s Depression and His Implicate

In his famous speech, “I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth[…]” (II.ii.280), Hamlet illustrates an Elizabethan fusion of medieval and humanist ideas, perhaps lost on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern but not on E.M.W. Tillyard. Tillyard, in The Elizabethan World Picture, says that “what is true of Hamlet on man is … Read more

Hamlet and Its Foul Ghost

Shakespeare has always been able to create characters richly dichotomous in nature. In “Hamlet, Prince of Denmark,” the portrayal of the ghost of Hamlet’s father vacillates through the play from Hamlet’s uncertainty of whether “it is an honest ghost” (144, l.5) or “a goblin damned” (40, l.4). In one sense, the ghost is honest in … Read more

Interpretative Impacts in Shakespeare’s ;Hamlet;

“For there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so” (2.2, 249-250) From the start of Shakespeare’s Hamlet it is clear that much of the action is cerebral. The play never escapes the confines of Hamlet’s head. One is never sure if Hamlet’s madness is actual or contrived, or if his mother’s … Read more

Hamlet as a Model of a Person

Harold Bloom asserts that “Our ideas as to what makes the self authentically human owe more to Shakespeare than ought be possible…” (15). If this is true, then the Prince of Denmark himself in Shakespeare’s Hamlet is the epitome of humanity in his perceptions of mankind and mankind’s unavoidable perversion of nature, and in his … Read more

Hamlet: Do Tragedies Exist Without Catharsis?

“Hamlet is a tragedy without catharsis, a tragedy in which everything noble and heroic is smothered under ferocious revenge codes, treachery, spying and the consequences of weak actions by broken wills.” In truth, this statement is not a legitimate contention. The Aristotelian definition of “catharsis” is the purging of emotions of pity and fear that … Read more

Gertrude as a Conflicting Fidelities Portrait

Women living in Elizabethan times, although more liberated than medieval women, were still expected to do their husband’s will and obey at all times. In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Queen Gertrude begins the play acting as a typical Elizabethan woman. She sits beside her new husband, Claudius, and reiterates each statement he makes. Further into the … Read more

Faked Madness of Hamlet

Shakespeare’s Hamlet has often been considered one of the most intriguing and problematic plays of the English language. Among the many questions that Hamlet raises, lies the subject of whether or not Hamlet actually becomes insane. Using extensive evidence from the text and scholarly criticism, it can be efficiently argued that Hamlet does indeed maintain … Read more

Reason in Comparison with Conscience: Stoicism

In Hamlet, the philosophy and ideas of Stoicism make their appearance onstage and shape the themes and dialogue of the play. Stoicism, which praises the superiority of reason and civilization over the more base element of emotion, is the backbone of much of the conflict in Hamlet. Hamlet’s dedication to his Stoic beliefs ends up … Read more

Existentialism as a Part of Hamlet

“This above all, to thine own self be true” (1.3.88). As Polonius offers this advice to his departing son Laertes, he also states one of the defining principles of the philosophical branch known collectively as existentialism. A paradigm firmly rooted in the individual experience, existentialism champions responsibility and states that man is nothing but the … Read more

Vengeance and Its Consequences in the Tragedy

“Hamlet challenges the conventions of revenge tragedy by deviating from them” (Sydney Bolt, 1985) The typical Elizabethan theatre-goer attending the first production of ‘Hamlet’ in 1604 would have had clear expectations. The conventions of Elizabethan revenge tragedy were already well established, drawn initially from the Senacan model of revenge tragedy, which combined bloody and treacherous … Read more

How Does Hamlet Disrupt Himself?

Alone in his childhood home, his father buried and his mother married to another man, Hamlet laments, “O that this too too sullied flesh would melt, thaw and resolve itself into dew” (1.2.129-30). Hamlet brings up suicide early in Act I and ponders it throughout the play. He not only considers the idea, but intentionally … Read more

The Guiltiness of Hamlet’s Mother Gertrude

Elizabeth Fowler Drama Essay / Eng 113-700 April 28, 2006 In William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” Queen Gertrude’s culpability of King Hamlet’s death has been the subject of much debate. Although her guilt or innocence in this matter is arguable, her culpability of many other deaths is also a subject worth investigating. Queen Gertrude is a woman … Read more

The First Tragedy’s Soliloquy

Hamlet’s soliloquy in Act 1 Scene II is his first of the play and, as a consequence, allows the audience to see his inner thoughts for the first time. The subjects of this soliloquy are numerous: his father’s death, his mother’s response to this death, his mother’s remarriage to his uncle and Hamlet’s own sense … Read more

The Kite Runner and Hamlet

The Kite Runner is a book written by Khaled Hosseini in the year 2003. The author of the book is an Afghan-American who tells the story of Amir who is a small boy from the district of Kabul. The novel exposes many themes based on the Afghanistan customs and cultural practices. The book has many … Read more

The Justification of Revenge and Unwillingness of Hamlet to Avenge His Father’s Death

Introduction The theme of revenge keeps recurring in William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. Most of the revenge missions that different characters in the play undertake end up in tragedy. Although Hamlet, the main character, contemplates revenging his father’s murder, he considers the tragedy that will result from his actions and therefore, he tries to rescind his … Read more

Hamlet and Its Duplicity of Morality

The author Izaak Walton noted, “The person that loses their conscience has nothing left worth keeping.” The characters in Hamlet constantly struggle with the power of their consciences, as they are tempted to satiate their innermost desires. Hamlet, the prince of Denmark, is the epitome of the power of conscience in the play. Although at … Read more

The Concept of Insanity in Macbeth and Hamlet

Hamlet and Macbeth are two of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays. Each share not only fame, however, but format: Both feature main characters with tragic flaws that become their demise. In the cases of Hamlet and Macbeth, this flaw is madness. Whether their insanity is feigned or unfeigned, it plays a key role in their … Read more

The Question of Hamlet's Madness

Insanity is defined as doing something over and over again and expecting a different outcome. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the young and not fully mature Hamlet might be thought of as insane. However, although he says and does things that are out of the ordinary, he is not doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome. It … Read more

Hamlet: The Significance of Playing

In his powerful play, “Hamlet,” William Shakespeare utilizes the theme of playacting as a medium through which Hamlet can make political statements, as well as shield himself in supposed madness. Hamlet uses plays to not only inform Claudius that someone knows his secret, but also as a way to maneuver through different situations, so that … Read more

Ophelia Redetermining. Gender and Insanity of Society

I. Introduction Past critics have deemed Ophelia an insignificant and marginal character in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, functioning only to further define Hamlet. One such critic, Jacques Lacan, interprets Ophelia as a mere object of Hamlet’s sexual desire: she is essential only because she is inextricably linked to Hamlet. Literary criticism denies Ophelia a story and purpose … Read more

Hamlet: Thinking and Ideas as Inaction in the Tragedy

“Understanding kills action.” With these three simple words, Nietzsche explains the idea behind Shakespeare’s development of the acting of thought as inaction, and also the reason that Hamlet hesitates for over 3000 lines of blank verse and prose to avenge the murder of his father. The motif of delay and inaction as thought can be … Read more