Hamlet: Heaven in Hopes or Death of the Death Itself?

A common interpretation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, based on the widely read Folio edition of the text, is that the titular character is motivated by darkness, exhibiting depression and suicidal tendencies. The young prince often refers to suicide, and his soliloquies contain language that indicates that thoughts of death and suicide heavily impact his mentality. However, … Read more

Female Characters of "Hamlet" Composition

A statistician would balk at the idea of analyzing women in Hamlet: as there are only two members of the fairer sex in the entire cast, surely any observations drawn are unreliable. However, when approaching Hamlet, it is best to remember that numbers and statistics can never fully explain the motives of people who are … Read more

“ACT”: The Theme of "Acting" in Hamlet

Beginning with Hamlet’s encounter with his father’s ghost, Shakespeare introduces a line of “action” which his hero then follows throughout the narrative. From missed opportunities to sporadic bursts of movement and progression, Hamlet initially struggles with his stagnancy in change and his reluctance to challenge the present and the secure. Much of his inhibition stems … Read more

Reasonable Waiting or Unjustified Delaying?

The central conflict in Shakespeare’s Hamlet is between the title character’s high moral standards and his quest for the truth. Arising from this conflict is what many would agree is the quintessential problem of the play: Why does Hamlet delay in avenging his father’s death? There is no doubt that he does in fact delay, … Read more

The Collapse of Relationships in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ted Hughes’ Birthday Letters, and Ian McEwan’s Atonement

Expectation My Great-Aunt Melon gave me a lime green shirt with a bedazzled pickle splashed across the chest for my fifteenth birthday. It also rained. I wasn’t shocked or sad at all. It had rained on my birthday every year for the past fourteen. Mom even said there was a thunderstorm the day I was … Read more

Hamlet, the Machiavellian Prince: An Exploration of Shakespeare’s Use of Machiavellian Politics

Shakespeare’s Hamlet is not simply a morality play surrounding a grief-mad prince; it is a complex study of political maneuvers as described by Machiavelli. “The rules of this politics, Machiavelli’s political science, then, are the choreographed moves, countermoves, and tricks that bring to life the actions of the successful new prince and others.”(Tarlton, 8) Many … 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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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 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

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

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

Hamlet and revenge

In Shakespeare’s play, the protagonist, Hamlet, is faced with the mission of avenging his father. He decides to act mad as part of his plan to kill Claudius and avenge his father. As the plot of the play rises, his madness becomes more and more believable. The readers know that Hamlet is acting mad because … Read more

A Method in Hamlet Madness

In Hamlet, Shakespeare brings together a theme of madness with two characters, one truly mad, and one only acting mad to serve a motive. We can see this point through two characters namely Hamlet and Ophelia. The madness of Hamlet is frequently disputed. Ophelia’s breakdown and Hamlet’s brand of insanity argue for Hamlet having a … Read more