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Hamlet
The Character of Hamlet shows many sides of his character depending on whom he is talking to. He can evoke pity, sympathy or laughter. How well do you feel his character suits the stereotype of a protagonist in a revenge play? And how would the audience Over the past four hundred years Hamlet has become the most frequently performed play of all time. Its popularity is global and it appeals to audiences of all ages, young and old. 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. Delay was one of the key conventions of a revenge tragedy that Shakespeare inherited; if the Prince had carried out his father's ghostly image's instructions straight away then 'there would have been an End of our Play'. The complexity of Hamlet's thoughts and the ambiguous actions carried out by him, brought Hamlet a 'life-like' identity that could not be summed up. Through out this piece of work I will produce a critical analysis of Hamlet as a character and whether or not he resembles a stereotypical protagonist within the revenge play. Gorboduc is thought to be the first English tragedy. The King of Britain divides his realm between his two sons. The two sons start fighting and the eldest is killed. Their mother loved the eldest more and chose to revenge his death. This unnaturally cruel act lead to a rebellion, this resulted in the deaths of both the King and Queen. Nobles kill the rebels and a civil war breaks out because of confusion for succession to the thrown. Like Hamlet, this follows the same themes of a tragedy. The revenge plot results in a great loss of life which in turn all resulted from a small...
pages: 6 (words: 1621)
comments: 0
added: 10/25/2011
“Give thy thoughts no tongue… Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice… For the apparel oft proclaims the man… Neither a borrower nor a lender be… This above all, to thine own self be true" These famous lines of Shakespeare’s Hamlet are one of the most quoted lines of all Shakespeare’s work. They ring true for us even today, and are still in our minds. These lines are important to the character development of Polonius. To Polonius, his public image is the most important thing. By giving Laertes the guidance and wise words, he appears to be a loving, caring father, who looks out for his children. But in reality, however, Polonius is just working for his own interests – he wants to control his public image. By saying these things to Laertes, he is trying to control Laertes, who, being his son, affects his image. Furthermore, in Act two, Polonius sends Reynaldo, a spy, to gather information about Laertes. This is another image of Polonius trying to control his son. This also portrays the lack of trust that Polonius has for people, as well as the fact that he doesn’t respect others – he doesn’t respect Laertes’ privacy. Another character trait that these lines bring out in Polonius is that he is a hypocrite. He tells his son how to behave, but then doesn’t even behave that way himself. For example, on line 80 of scene three, Polonius tells Laertes, “Thou canst be false to any man". This proves that Polonius is a hypocrite because Polonius is false to many men numerous times in the play. One example of this is in Act III Scene IV where he was listening in to Hamlet’s conversation with Gertrude prior to being stabbed by Hamlet. The wise words of Polonius relate to life in our time too....
pages: 2 (words: 538)
comments: 0
added: 12/11/2011
Hamlet is fundamentally a play about seeking the truth. The opening scene is a miniature play which introduces the questions that will have to be answered throughout the rest of the work. Barnardo asks, "Who's there?" and is answered by Fransisco with, "Nay, answer me. Stand and unfold yourself" (1.1.1-2). The entire plot is encapsulated in these words, with Hamlet struggling to know who is really standing across from him, and with his own unfolding of himself to the audience. Thus Hamlet will seek to know the truth about whether the ghost is really his father while simultaneously trying to figure out who he himself is as a person. The ghost presents a figure of antiquity that contrast strongly with the more modern Denmark ruled by Claudius. Barnardo comments, "Looks it not like the King?" (1.1.41), responding to the image of Old Hamlet as the old warrior, wearing complete armor and holding a truncheon. In fact, we are told he looks the same as when he defeated Old Norway. Even the language of the ghost relies on mythology to compare things, "I find thee apt, / And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed / That rots itself in ease on Lethe wharf" (1.5.31-33). This conflict between the new world which has defeated the old world is made clear by Hamlet, who comments, "That thou, dead corpse, again in complete steel" (1.4.33). Later this contrast will come across even more clearly, in the choice of armor and weaponry. Whereas Old Hamlet appears wearing full armor, the new weapons will be the rapier and the fencing armor, showing how combat is made in sport rather than in war. Claudius represents the voice of this new society; he is the perfect new politician and stands in contrast to Old Hamlet. This is evidenced...
pages: 4 (words: 892)
comments: 0
added: 12/17/2011
Hamlet Production: Hamlet Date: 30th September 04 Venue: RSC Director: Michael Boyd Hamlet: Toby Stephens Designer: Tom Piper Claudius: Clive Wood Sound: Andrea Cox Polonius: Richard Cordery Fight Director: Terry King Gertrude: Sian Thomas Costume: Emma Williams Ophelia: Meg Fraser SET – TOM PIPER The set was made of wood; giving the audience the feel that the entire play was a natural sequence of events. All the wooden boards were moulded together with no breaks to give the impression of a continuous semi circle. All the doorways were created out of the same material so from first glance the audience was not able to see where the actors would appear from. This added an element of tension as the audience did not know where the cast would appear from. Furthermore, the size of the doors meant when opened it had a great impact on the stage. One large set of double doors at the rear (large group entrance e.g during the court) 2 full height doors either side of the double entrance and 5 slit windows. Behind these doors was a corridor created by wood stained the same colour as the rest of the set, this gave the impression live existed beyond the stage. A trapdoor was down stage left which was used in a number of scenes. During the gravedigger scene it was used as a grave. Ghost scene, the ghost fell into it as if he was falling into his grave and then down into hell. During the scenes with Fortinbras extra dramatic impact was required. All the doors were opened and the black backdrop that remained throughout the play split in half horizontally exposing a white brightly lit cyclorama. This showed the audience that Fortinbras was thus the hope for the future and reminded the audience of the theme of politics as being the centre for the production. ...
pages: 8 (words: 2131)
comments: 0
added: 08/04/2011
Hamlet's first soliloquy in Act I, scene ii, lines 133-164 is a passionate and startling passage that strongly contrasts to the artificial dialogue and actions that he portrays to his uncle Claudius throughout the remainder of the play. This soliloquy serves to reveal Hamlet's melancholia and the reasons for his dispair in an outpouring of anger, disgust, sorrow, and grief through which he explains how everything in his life seems futile and miserable. He mourns the death of his father, is sickened by his mother's marriage to his uncle, and also feels extremely miserable about the entire situation with regards to the value of his own life. Hamlet is so grieved by his father's death, that he too wishes to die. He feels as if he is a defiled person stating that "O, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into dew" (I.ii.133-134). He seems to hope that if he was to die, then he would become cleansed and pure as the dew cleanses the earth at the dawn of day. He wants to break out of the captivity of his flesh as a "spiritual release" of sorts. Shakespeare juxtaposes this notion with the term "Everlasting" (I.ii.135) making his body posses a state of permanence something that is everlasting compared to breaking down into the dew that he wishes to become. Hamlet also realizes that committing suicide would be considered a sin in the eyes of the "Everlasting" God (I.ii.135) who with his "canon 'gainst (self slaughter!)" (I.ii.136) would prevent him from reaching heaven. Shakespeare also uses metaphors for Gertrude, by stating that she is "an unweeded garden That grows to seed." (I.ii.139). This can be seen in many ways, one of which is the possibility that Hamlet is portraying his mother as a sort of Virgin...
pages: 4 (words: 872)
comments: 0
added: 11/27/2011
In William Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, The Ghost is a character that does not spend much time on stage but has a very meaningful position in the play. During the course of the first act, I learned that The Ghost looks very much like Hamlet's dead father. "In the same figure like the king that's dead." (p.2) By the end of the first act, Hamlet finally meets with this ghostly being and during Hamlet's encounter with The Ghost, Hamlet learns that this creature is his father's spirit. "I am thy father's spirit, Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night." (p.23) Hamlet also learned that his uncle has murdered his father. "The serpent that did sting thy father's life Now wears his crown." (p.24) As I studied the character of The Ghost, I questioned myself whether or not it was good or evil. When The Ghost first appears on stage, Shakespeare describes what He is wearing. "Such was the very armour he had on When he the ambitious Norway combated." (p.3) One point that Shakespeare does not set across to the reader is the relationship he had with Hamlet. Before The Ghost even tells Hamlet what has happened to his father, he mentions the word revenge. "So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear." (p.23) With this quote I can conclude that Hamlet's father was a very selfish and determined man. When The Ghost speaks with his son, Shakespeare does not give any sort of stage directions for how The Ghost should act. However, in my mind, I think of The Ghost as very determined and all he wants is to get his point across. The age of The Ghost is hard to determine because there is no reference to how old Hamlet is or even Gertrude. King Hamlet's family was...
pages: 3 (words: 590)
comments: 0
added: 12/23/2011
Shakespeare's Hamlet is a complex play where many themes are intertwined – themes that are essential to the development of the play. The issue of death and disease, both physical and emotional is very prevalent throughout the duration of the play, as well as fate and divine providence. The play also questions madness and whether it can be feigned, as well as corruption and its moral implications. Of course, who could forget the famous 'To be or not to be' soliloquy, where Hamlet not only questions life and death, but many of life's other uncertainties as well. Undoubtedly, the most essential theme in the development of Hamlet is revenge and question 'Does revenge pay?' Revenge is a frighteningly bloodthirsty emotion, which causes people to act blindly and without reason. Revenge is a theme that is cleverly built upon throughout the extent of the play; with it being the driving force behind two of the main characters in the play. The play is introduced by the appearance of the ghost of Hamlet's father in the first scene, which automatically gives the impression that something is amiss. This is later clarified by the statement that "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark" (Act1 Scene 4 Line 90). The ghost emerges before Hamlet and insinuates that his death was not as innocent as it may seem. The ghost urges Hamlet to "Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder" (Act1 Scene 5 Line25) and informs him that "The serpent that did sting thy father's life now wears his crown "(Act1 Scene5 Line 38). This appears to indicate that Hamlet's father's death was actually murder, and that the deed was committed by King Hamlet's brother, Claudius, who had now taken over as King of Denmark. The Ghost taunts Hamlet, telling him that it is part of...
pages: 6 (words: 1527)
comments: 0
added: 10/14/2011
In Shakespeare's play Hamlet, the theme of distrust lays in all four corners of this dwelling through the presence of eavesdropping. This sly way of spying allows the characters to foil each other's plots, and discover hidden secrets. It also raises the question about the strength of relationships between people within the castle. This theme of eavesdropping is a reoccurring one in most of Shakespeare's plays, as well as modern day life. This method of obtaining knowledge about someone else's plans defies morality and weakens any bond of trust formed within Hamlet's home. Secrets are supposed to be kept, but when eavesdropping is present, it becomes virtually impossible. Hamlet's family and piers have considered him insane within his house. He is suffering from internal struggles about his father's death, and the task he has been given. Hamlet has been instructed by the ghost of his late father to avenge his death by killing King Claudius. This is what brings mistrust and eavesdropping into the picture. Claudius has suspensions about Hamlet's peculiar behavior, and has summoned his school chums, Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, to spy on him. Before they even start their expedition of eavesdropping, the King and Polonious have already made plans to hide being a wall hanging during Hamlet and Ophelia's exchange of love gifts. King Claudius is determined to discover an alternative motive to Hamlet's madness besides depression. When Hamlet meets up with his school buddies, they inform him that the players are coming, so Hamlet organizes a plan to catch the King and know if he is the one who killed his father. This starts Hamlets deception, but his actions are to figure out if King Claudius is the foul in the flock. Although eavesdropping may not be present here, Hamlet is more or less eavesdropping on the reaction...
pages: 5 (words: 1233)
comments: 0
added: 11/03/2011
Appearance vs. reality in Shakespeare's Hamlet is a jaded yet common theme. This play is teeming with characters that play their roles behind a veil of duplicity. They often appear to be one way when they really are something entirely different. The most evident player in this game is our beloved Hamlet. He mourns so deeply the death of his father and hatred for his mother's ignorance that he appears to be quite insane, when in reality he uses this false madness as a decoy to avenge his father's wrongful murder. Another prime example is his love for Ophelia. He is so hurt by her avoiding him that he uses it to advantage, pushing her away as if in hatred in order to preserve and protect her feelings. He uses his erroneous madness to manipulate and deceive the other characters when in reality he is utilizing an ingenious method of carrying out his master plan. He plays his part incredibly well, through his fake disease he is able to convince Polonius and Ophelia that his reason for the madness is his un-dying love for Ophelia. He accomplishes not only that but is also able to catch Claudius during the play plagued by guilt. Hamlet is extremely tainted by his role for revenge, but his illusionary madness allows him to accomplish his task. –"I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king and queen molt no feather. I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises, and, indeed, it goes heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'er hanging firmament, this majestical roof, fretted with...
pages: 4 (words: 981)
comments: 0
added: 12/25/2011
Over the centuries, many writers, thinkers, and students have studied the works of William Shakespeare. One of the most analyzed plays in history is Shakespeare's tragedy, Hamlet. The most common topic of scrutiny is Hamlet's insanity. Is Hamlet's madness a reality, or is it actually a clever the clever plan he leads us to believe it is? This ambiguous play allows the reader to pass his or her own judgment on Hamlet's mentality, which in turn causes much confusion as to what the correct diagnosis is. As the reader puts the pieces together and begins to unfold the true feelings and actions of Hamlet, it becomes obvious what the truth is. Hamlet's "antic disposition" is a reality, and his rationalization for his "mad" behavior is nothing more than a clever deceit. Each character has his or her own account of Hamlet's mentality, and for the reasoning behind his behavior. All agree that he has gone insane, but the verdict on why varies for each character, depending on their relationship with Hamlet. "Characters tried to explain Hamlet's "antic disposition" by means of associating to thwarted ambition, heart breaking anguish, and denied love. In the workings of their thoughts, the characters inadvertently reveal something about their own desires, emotions and experiences to the reader." (Lenmann) Gertrude's reason for Hamlet's insanity is almost ironic, because although she draws near to the truth, her explanation receives no real attention. Gertrude claims that she is sure it is his father's death and her hasty marriage to Claudius that caused Hamlet's strange behavior. "Gertrude is the expression of what most modern observers, and some Elizabethan audiences, would have seen as the natural reason for Hamlet's antic disposition, and would have expected that the characters would come to see this and take some steps to resolve the problem. However,...
pages: 13 (words: 3320)
comments: 0
added: 11/26/2011
Arguably the best piece of writing ever done by William Shakespeare, Hamlet the is the classic example of a tragedy. In all tragedies the hero suffers, and usually dies at the end. Othello stabs himself, Romeo and Juliet commit suicide, Brutis falls on his sword, and like them Hamlet dies by getting cut with a poison tipped sword. But that is not all that is needed to consider a play a tragedy, and sometimes a hero doesn't even need to die. Making not every play in which a Hero dies is considered a tragedy. There are more elements needed to label a play one. Probably the most important element is an amount of free will. In every tragedy, the characters must displays some. If every action is controlled by a hero's destiny, then the hero's death can't be avoided, and in a tragedy the sad part is that it could. Hamlet's death could have been avoided many times. Hamlet had many opportunities to kill Claudius, but did not take advantage of them. He also had the option of making his claim public, but instead he chose not too. A tragic hero doesn't need to be good. For example, MacBeth was evil, yet he was a tragic hero, because he had free will. He also had only one flaw, and that was pride. He had many good traits such as bravery, but his one bad trait made him evil. Also a tragic hero doesn't have to die. While in all Shakespearean tragedies, the hero dies, in others he may live but suffer "Moral Destruction". In Oedipus Rex, the proud yet morally blind king plucks out his eyes, and has to spend his remaining days as a wandering, sightless beggar, guided at every painful step by his daughter, Antigone. A misconception about tragedies...
pages: 4 (words: 945)
comments: 0
added: 09/08/2011
Claudius' Interaction with other Characters in Hamlet by Shakespeare Claudius is shrewd, conniving, deceptive, and dishonest. The relationships between Claudius and other characters in Hamlet, ultimately conclude in the type of person Claudius is. He is manipulative with his skillful use of language to other characters in the play. Claudius' love for Gertrude may be sincere, but it is more probable that he married her for personal gain of the throne. For example, when Polonius was murdered, Claudius makes a remark that he is in danger, though he did not remark that Gertrude was in danger, although she was in the same room as Polonius. Claudius' mounting fear of Hamlet's insanity leads him to greater pre-occupation. He uses Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to watch Hamlet, suspicious in his actions and madness. Also, he and Polonius use Ophelia to spy on Hamlet. He makes a remark that the great ones must be watched. Altogether in the end, he is distrustful of Hamlet's madness, and deports him to England to be killed. Manipulation is greatly used in interactions between Laertes and Claudius. Claudius convinces Laertes that Hamlet stands at the root of his troubles. Conclusively, Claudius wants Laertes to murder Hamlet for him. Claudius' craftiness and deception, in association with other characters, is decisive in his own downfall. The king is killed by Hamlet, and is ultimately defeated by his own cowardly scheme. Hamlet Sr. & Jr. versus Claudius The characters of both Hamlet Sr. and Hamlet Jr. can be seen as foils for Claudius. They both seemingly represent opposites of him. In the majority of plays, including Shakespearean works, there is always a good and evil character. In Hamlet, Hamlet Sr. and Hamlet Jr. stand on the good side, while Claudius stands for evil. Throughout the play, Shakespeare makes this contrast very vivid. Evidently, since the play begins with Hamlet...
pages: 6 (words: 1411)
comments: 0
added: 12/18/2011
Shakespeare has created a character in Hamlet that has intrigued literary aficionados and critics for 400 years. A look into the depths of Hamlet shows a character so psychologically complex that no one has created a character to rival him yet any one of us could relate to his feelings, perception and dilemmas. The journey through the intellectual yet simple, courageous yet impotent and complex yet incredibly common character of Hamlet is fascinating to say the least. Intelligent and philosophical, Hamlet is first portrayed as the only person grounded in reality. Hamlet mourns the death of a father while everyone around him is in denial. Of his own mother, who married his uncle Claudius within a month of his father's death, he says: "O God! A beast that wants discourse of reason, Would have mourned longer." And to his friend Horatio he sarcastically states: "the funeral bak'd meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables" Grounded in many years of philosophical teaching, Hamlet was trained to take the throne of his father, King Hamlet. One can surmise that he spent many hours working on self-control and quick decision making in the face of chaos. Analyzing each situation so as not to make a rash mistaken decision, pondering the choices and acting only when absolutely sure, Hamlet was untrained and unprepared to contemplate the revenge for the murder of his father. His entire life spent preparing to deal through issues with fairness, taught a Christian's unfavorable view of revenge. He is now faced with a dilemma. It is really not a good versus evil dilemma, it is good versus good. The justification for revenge exists, while the justification for mercy exists. Hamlet as a deer caught in headlights is unable to move. Contemplating his situation so intensely, he is frozen in indecisiveness. Even when the opportunity presents itself as...
pages: 8 (words: 2102)
comments: 0
added: 10/26/2011
Harold Blume said it best when he said, "Hamlet is deaths ambassador to us." Throughout Hamlet, we have the images of death, decay, rottenness, and corruption pressed upon us. The imagery corresponds with the plot of the play perfectly, all culminating with the gravedigger scene. The corruption images illuminate the actions of the people in Claudius' court, beginning with Claudius' own actions. The beginning of the play lets us know that it is winter with Fransisco's statement that it is "bitter cold" (1.1.6) This may be an allusion to death in itself - things are dead in winter. The guards speak of the ghost and we know right away that we have a supernatural theme, as well as a theme of death. In act 1 scene 2 we get the impression that King Hamlet has been gone for a while. Gertrude is already re-married and is happily out of mourning clothes. Gertrude even tells Hamlet, who is in full black mourning clothes, to cheer up. Good Hamlet, cast thy nightly colour off, And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark. Do not for ever with thy vailed lids Seek for thy noble father in the dust: Thou know'st 'tis common; all that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity. (1.2.68-73) Hamlet does not feel that it is time for him to shed his wretchedness just yet. The impression given is that it has been a long time scince the death of the old king and only Hamlet still clings to his memories and grief. After everyone leaves, however, we find out all the sordid details about the new King and Hamlet's mother. Hamlet begins the rottenness imagery right away when he compares the world to "an unweeded garden that grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature posses it merely." (1.2.135-6) He is utterly despondent...
pages: 6 (words: 1633)
comments: 0
added: 11/29/2011
HAMLET - Essay About the Tragedy In Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the death of a character becomes a frequent event. Although many people lose their lives as a result of their own self-centered wrong-doing, there are others whose death are a result of manipulation from the royalty. This is the case of Polonius' family. The real tragedy of Hamlet is not that of Hamlet or his family but of Polonius' family because their deaths were not the consequence of sinful actions of their own but rather by their innocent involvement in the schemes of Claudius and Hamlet. The first character to die in Hamlet is Polonius. Although Polonius often acts in a deceitful manner when dealing with Hamlet, it is only because he is carrying out plans devised by the king or queen to discover the nature of Hamlet's madness. Being the king's Lord Chamberlain, it is his duty to obey the king and queen's wishes and it is this loyalty that eventually proves to be fatal for him. An example of hoe Polonius' innocent involvement with the royalty results in his death can be found at the beginning of Act III, scene iv, when Hamlet stabs him while he is hiding behind the arras in Gertude's room. This shows how Polonius, a man unaware of the true nature of the situation he is in, is killed by a member of the royalty during the execution of one of their schemes. This makes Polonius' death a tragedy. The next member of Polonius' family to die is his daughter Ophelia. Ophelia's death is tragic because of her complete innocence in the situation. Some may argue that Polonius deserves his fate because of his deceitfulness in dealing with Hamlet while he is mad, but Ophelia is entirely manipulated and used by Hamlet and the king...
pages: 4 (words: 896)
comments: 0
added: 12/12/2011
Psychological Estrangement In Shakespeare's "Hamlet", the main character, Hamlet, is burdened with attaining revenge on his murdered father's behalf from the king of Denmark, King Claudius. In attempting to kill Claudius, Hamlet risks enduring estrangement occurring within himself at multiple psychological levels. The levels of estrangement that risk Hamlet's psychological sense of identity are religious estrangement, moral estrangement, estrangement from countrymen, estrangement from his mother, and estrangement from women in general. Hamlet feels self-actualized from following basic religious principles of living. This is shown by Hamlet's refusal to commit murder thus preventing Hamlet from committing suicide at a time when he felt like doing so to avenge his father's death because both murder and suicide are considered sins (Cahn 97). " To be, or not to be, that is the question:/ Whether' tis nobler in the mind to suffer/ The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune/ or to take arms a sea of troubles…", (Act III, I.) Hamlet is questioning if it is worth living in such misery or not as everyday he is burdened with trying to avenge his father's death. At this stage Hamlet is suicidal and risks himself being estranged from his religious principals as he begins to think of suicide. If Hamlet were to kill Claudius, he would be violating a central religious principle against murdering another human being. Both suicide and murdering King Claudius would make him feel guilt at having violated religious coda, thus representing estrangement at the level of his religious consciousness (Knight 14). As Hamlet has the duty to avenge his father's death by killing his father's murderer, the King, Hamlet risks estrangement at the religious level. Hamlet is also principled in a moral sense. To kill a king would mean violating his internal conviction against committing crimes that might harm the hierarchical order of a state's...
pages: 6 (words: 1560)
comments: 0
added: 10/06/2011
The madness of Hamlet is one of the most oft-debated aspects of William Shakespeare's Hamlet. Was Hamlet really mad, or was he feigning madness the entire time as part of his plan to kill Claudius? Through Hamlet's conversations with Horatio it is seen that he plans to pretend to be mad, but his actions later in the play call the reality of his madness into question. After finding out that Claudius killed his father, Hamlet vows revenge. In order to further this plan, he tells Horatio he will put on an "antic disposition". The first explanation for Hamlet's strange behavior is spurned love. Ophelia tells the story of how Hamlet came to her looking very disheveled, and simply ran his hand down her arm, stared at her, and left. Polonius immediately reasons that love for Ophelia has made Hamlet mad and tells the king of his discovery. Polonius decides to test his theory and plants Ophelia in the path of Hamlet, before speaking to Hamlet himself. When speaking to Polonius, Hamlet sounds mad, although Polonius does admit "Though this be madness, yet there is some method in't". Hamlet's ranting may sound mad, but he uses this conversation to warn Polonius to keep his daughter away from the king ("the sun") as well as to insult him. These veiled insults and warnings seem to suggest that his madness is a façade. Also, when speaking to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet drops some of the mad characteristics he displays with other characters, and tells them that "I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw". He then proceeds to quote a large portion of a monologue he had heard some time before when the players arrive on the scene. He also shows complete lucidity when speaking...
pages: 5 (words: 1231)
comments: 0
added: 12/11/2011
In life, the death of a loved one or the occurrence of a devastating natural disasters are both tragic events that could institute a change or turning point in one's life. Similarly, in Shakespeare's masterpiece Hamlet, tragic events serve as catalysts for turning points to occur. The death of Polonius, Claudius' murder of King Hamlet, and Hamlet's visit to the graveyard shortly after Ophelia's demise, are all tragic events that also act as major turning points in the story. In the play Hamlet, Polonius' death is a turning point. This event spurred two major happenings in the play: Ophelia's lunacy and Laertes' secret return from France to avenge his father's death. First, for Ophelia, the loss of Polonius, along with grief from Hamlet's rejection, became too much for her to bear. The combination of these two events eventually drove Ophelia to madness. King Claudius spoke of Ophelia's madness and the cause of it although he blamed it solely on Polonius? death. King: O, this is the poison of deep grief; it springs All from her fathers death poor Ophelia, Divided from herself and her fair judgment, Without the which we are pictures, or mere beasts: Last, and as much containing as all these. (Act 4, Scene 5, lines 74-5, 82-5) He later continued his speech, telling of Laertes' secret return from France to obtain revenge. King: Her brother is in secret come from France Feeds on his wonder, keeps himself in clouds. (Act 4, Scene 5, lines 86-87) Polonius' death caused his son Laertes to return from France to avenge his father's death. Laertes returned and also demonstrated his loyalty to Polonius, saying he would get revenge at any cost. Laertes: How came he dead? I'll not be juggled with; To hell, allegiance! Vows, to the blackest devil! Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit! I dare damnation: to this point I stand, That both worlds I give to negligence, Let...
pages: 4 (words: 1071)
comments: 0
added: 10/26/2011
In the past women have played a small role socially, economically, and politically. As a result of this, many works in literature were reflective of this kind of role for women. In Shakespeare's Hamlet the women in the play are the primary influence for the actions of many other characters. Gertrude, Hamlet's mother, and Ophelia, Hamlet's love, did affect many of the decisions and actions carried out by Hamlet. Gertrude influenced Hamlet a lot throughout the play. Hamlet was very angered by his mother's remarriage to his uncle. He also felt betrayed by Gertrude for marring so early after her husband's death. Hamlet could not accept this, describes King Claudius as "My father's brother, but no more like my father, than I to Hercules: within a month, ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears had left the flushing in her galled eyes, she married." (Act I, Scene II, Line 153) When Hamlet said "Frailty, thy name is woman" (Act I. Scene II. Line 146) it showed his extent of anger because he makes a generalization that all women are weak including the woman he loves most, his mother. As a result of his mother's actions, Hamlet takes revenge against Claudius for the death of his father. Claudius had to kill his brother to become King and marry Gertrude. Therefore, Gertrude is a significant part of the plot for this play. Another significant female character is Ophelia, Hamlet's love. Hamlet's quest for revenge interferes with his relationship with Ophelia. There is much evidence to show that Hamlet loved her a great deal, but the presence of his madness drove her to her death. One of the strongest things he did to show his feelings for Ophelia is the poem he wrote her, "Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun...
pages: 3 (words: 713)
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added: 01/11/2012
Hamlet one of Shakespeare's greatest plays, where the young prince of Denmark must uncover the truth about his fathers death. Hamlet a play that tells the story of a young prince who's father recently died. Hamlets uncle Claudius marries his mother the queen and takes the throne. As the play is told Hamlet finds out his father was murdered by the recently crowned king. The theme that remains constant throughout the play is appearance versus reality. Things within the play appear to be true and honest but in reality are infested with evil. Many of the characters within the play hide behind a mask of falseness. Four of the main characters that hid behind this mask are Polonius, Rosencrantz (Guildenstern), the king Cluadius. From behind this mask they give the impression of a person who is sincere and genuine, in reality they are plagued with lies and evil. There appearance will make it very difficult for Hamlet to uncover the truth, the characters hide behind. Polonius the kings royal assistant has a preoccupation with appearance. He always wants to keep up the appearance of loving and caring person. Polonius appears like a man who loves and cares about his son, Laertes. Polonius speaks to his son with advice that sounds sincere but in reality it is rehearsed, hollow and without feeling. Polonius gives his advice only to appear to be the loving caring father. The reality is he only speaks to appear sincere as a politician, to look good rather then actually be good: "And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. Farewell; my blessing season this in thee!" Act 1 Polonius gives his son Laertes...
pages: 7 (words: 1675)
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added: 10/26/2011
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