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That is, Ophelia is limited to seeing herself through the eyes of others, and men in particular, having achieved no core identity of her own. Her brother Laertes could easily today also be a modern-day "organization man," as could have been his father Polonius before him), that is, listening to higher authority and then acting to please that authority, without thinking or reflecting on the wisdom or efficacy, generally or for himself, of what is being requested or why. Hamlet's indecision is perhaps less stereotypically "modern" (although realistically, it is probably very modern, given the ever increasing complexity of today's society, which make it harder and harder, generally, for average people to make decisions).
here do I fit in? I guess I am "modern" only to the extent that Hamlet as a character is modern; and for those same not very encouraging reasons. Pre-18th century according to Margreta de Grazia…
Grazia, Margreta de. "When did Hamlet become Modern?" Textual Practice.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. In the Norton Anthology of World Literature, Vol. C (Pkg. 1). (Eds. Sarah Lawall et al.). New York:
Norton, 2002. 2828-2918.
Of course, Hamlet would then likely assume the throne, but Hamlet seems to have little interest in ruling, as he scoffs when Guildenstern and Rosencrantz say that it is his frustrated ambition that makes him melancholic. Hamlet is a rational and philosophical individual, hence his constant self-searching about the nature of the ghost, about the possibility of an afterlife that no traveler may return (if the ghost is a devil), but he also emotionally wants to avenge his father's death, as he does believe his father has been murdered. Hamlet's emotions and intelligence are often in conflict, which makes him a less effective 'adventure hero' than the ruthless and cold Fortinbras.
In contrast to Fortinbras, Hamlet has much more sympathy with Laertes' quest to avenge a murdered father, even though he is the cause of the other young man's outrage. Hamlet accidently kills Laertes' father Polonius while Polonius is spying…
Shakespeare, William. "Hamlet." Electronic text available at the Shakespeare Homepage. http://shakespeare.mit.edu/hamlet /' target='_blank' REL='NOFOLLOW'>
Hamlet" by William Shakespeare
The play "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare has a story that revolves around the main themes of revenge and search for the truth. Shakespeare's male characters, in particular, are portrayed somewhat villainously because of the element of revenge inherent in each character's motivations in the play. Among the male characters in the play, the characters of Hamlet, Laertes, and Fortinbras emerge as the most remarkable among the numerous character in Shakespeare's piece. Many characteristics are shared among these three primary male characters. The first characteristic is that they possess the vitality of their youth, and the second one is that all of them face the world in an idealistic and somewhat naive perspective. Their being young, naive, and idealistic are the main reasons why, throughout the play, they have resorted to radical actions and behavior that will cause either their victory or downfall.
This paper will conduct…
Character Analysis." 2003. Available at http://www.geocities.com/julie51903/analysis.html.
Hamlet." 2001. Theatre History Web site. Available at http://www.theatrehistory.com/british/hamlet001.html .
Passage Analysis of Hamlet 5.2." University of Toronto Web site. Available at http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~cpercy/courses/220Passage2Keyke.htm .
Shakespeare, W. E-text of "Hamlet." Available at http://www-tech.mit.edu/Shakespeare/Tragedy/hamlet/full.html .
The play "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare contains a rich diversity of issues and relationships, some of the greatest of which concern those between father and son. These relationships, most notably those between Hamlet and the late King Hamlet, Fortinbras and Old Fortinbras, and Polonius and Laertes, demonstrate a number of significant, unique characteristics as well as several themes that are both timeless and universal.
The first evidence of father/son conversation occurs when the Ghost appears to Hamlet in Act One Scene V. The father's spirit imparts essential information to Hamlet about the circumstances of his treacherous murder at his brother's hands, which in turn precipitates Hamlet's long agonising and plotting. Despite the initial dramatic impact of Hamlet being addressed by a ghost, the conversation reveals that the relationship is effectively typical, in that the father enlightens and guides his son. However, it is also exemplary and exceptional in that…
The Alexander Text The Complete Works of William Shakespeare; Glasgow;
HarperCollins Publishers 1994
Ed. Richard Proudfoot; Hamlet; Arden, 1989
Ed. GH Amiston; Hamlet; Penguin Classics; U.K. 1993
He does however, have a reason for his treatment of these people. In the case of the king's courtiers, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, they can be seen as plotting against Hamlet and being 'two faced' in their treatment of him" (Hamlet).
From the above evidence, it is clear that due to the consequences of the actions of characters, lives are destroyed, which can be seen from the direction of the stage. Along with that, in many of Shakespeare's plays, it is clear that each main character is a symbol and personifies something. A good example of this would be the fact that Hamlet represents the portion of society who an excessive amount of time thinking about matters, which could destroy people's lives if action is put into play. This becomes apparent at the end of the play when many of the characters (including Hamlet) die due to this particular trait. For…
" This madness likely leads to Ophelia's suicide but, consistent with the entire theme of this play, the exact nature of Ophelia's demise is left to speculation.
The fascination with Hamlet is uncanny. hat provides this fascination is the fact that there is always more to what is going on in the play than what actually appears to be. Observers of the play are left with an overwhelming feeling that they do not really understand what has gone on inside the confines of the play or why. As a result, one leaves the play questioning nearly everything. Halmet, the main character, is the personification of this confusion. Throughout the entire play he is plagued by a never ending incapacity to make a decision.
This confusion continues through nearly every character in the play. Claudius is an immoral murderer but, at the same time, he is a fair and competent ruler.…
Collier & Sons. Harvard Classics. Cambridge, MA: Collier & Sons, 1909.
Davies, Michael. Hamlet: Character Studies. Continuum, 2008.
Indick, William. Psychology for Screenwriters. Michael Wiese Production, 2004.
Lidz, Theodore. Hamlet's Enemy. 1990: International Universities Press, n.d.
Hamlet's enigmatic behavior so upsets Ophelia that she drowns herself, making Laertes even more set on revenge. Eventually these two deaths lead to a duel (provoked by Claudius) between Hamlet and Laertes, No one wins.
Laertes kills Hamlet with a poison-tipped sword; Hamlet kills Laertes. Gertrude drinks poison intended by Claudius for Hamlet. Hamlet, dying and seeing his mother already dead, forces the remaining poison down Claudius's throat. Conrad suggests that even with all of his flaws, including extreme procrastination, Hamlet is "essentially courageous" (680). Ultimately then, due either directly or indirectly to Hamlet's failure to act sooner and more decisively in avenging his father's death, everyone, yet no one, is avenged.
The catalyst for the tragic events that take place within Shakespeare's Hamlet is the title character's indecisiveness, leading to an unfortunate series of ill-timed; poorly executed events ultimately resulting in many deaths, most importantly that of Hamlet himself.…
Conrad, Bernard R. "Hamlet's Delay -- a Restatement of the Problem." PMLA, Vol. 41, No. 3 (Sep., 1926) 680-687.
Eliot, T.S. "Hamlet and his Problems." The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism.
London: Methuen, 1922. 74-88.
Lawall, Sarah, et al. "William Shakespeare 1564-1616." The Norton Anthology of World
The film may skip scenes like this, and others, to tell the story more quickly, and arguably more dramatically. This may also be because films are expensive to make, so every omitted scene saves money. Polonius has more scenes in the play than the film. In the play, he is a key character, second only to Hamlet, Gertrude, and Claudius. In the film, he almost seems like a minor character.
The relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia is shown more in the film, possibly because the filmmaker wants to emphasize their romance. In the film, Ophelia and Hamlet are often alone together. In the play they are usually with others: In Act II, again, scenes from the play are shortened or omitted from the film. Scene I of Act II, has an exchange between Polonius and Reynaldo (1-72) then on- between Polonius and Ophelia (74-120). In the film we only see…
Hamlet clearly melancholic view of the future of humanity, although he is capable of acknowledging goodness, as he does when he praises Horatio's character before the play-within-a-play, and he even praises Fortinbras' action in the name of the Norwegian's own father, although it goes against the interest of the Danish state. Finally, Hamlet admits that Laertes has a right to be angry on Polonius' account, as Hamlet's rash actions killed Laertes' father, even while Hamlet strove to avenge his own father. Thus, rather than a desperate view of human morality, Hamlet's inaction seems to arise from a combination of paralyzing depression about the nature of acting in a meaningless world and internal self-doubt. He also has an over-active intellect that enables him to rationalize both the murderous instincts of people going against his own interests like Laertes, and as well as his own revulsion at murder, as when he foolishly…
This explains the indecisiveness of Hamlet to remove Claudius and a strong barrier between Gertrude and Hamlet is made by him so as he will never express his true emotions for her. Hamlet feelings for Gertrude will be disguised by the ones for Ophelia which aren't real as long as Claudius stayed in the way. His original indecisiveness about revenge ultimately grew and he tried to defy his order after a while. hen his mother is killed, then the reason for not killing Claudius disappears and he makes the decision to kill his him and avenge his father. His indecisiveness does cost him his life and that of his mother who was the one reason for his living (Utter 137).
The tragic flaw is of Hamlet is evident in his indecisiveness to take revenge for the death of his father. Hamlet brings up several excuses for not taking action yet…
Burch, R. "I knew Hamlet." Mississippi Review. 29.3 (2001): 43-47
27 April. 2010. < http://www.jstor.org/stable/20132124>
Halliday, F.A Shakespeare Companion 1564 -- 1964. Baltimore: Penguin, 1969
"Hamlet: Themes." The lit Chart Library. 3 Sept. 2008. 27 April. 2010.
Hamlet Annotated Bibliography
Cook, Patrick J. Cinematic Hamlet: the Films of Olivier, Zeffirelli, Branagh, and Almereyda.
Athens, Ohio: Ohio UP. 2011. Print. This book focuses on the many versions of Hamlet that have been made for the silver screen. The play by illiam Shakespeare is one of the most frequently filmed works and each version of the story has a unique perspective. Director, screenwriter, and of course actor each influence the overall position of the film. Each chooses which elements of the story to emphasize and which to underplay. Even films that use the complete text of Shakespeare's work still alter the original by the act of interpretation. By examining each version, focusing on the three four major ones, the author helps explain what was important to the artists and by extension to the audience who would have seen the film.
In the context of a paper, each film would…
Wood, William Dyson. Hamlet: From a Psychological Point-of-View. London, England:
Longmans. 1870. Print. This text was written nearly 150 years ago at the beginning stages of psychiatric and psychological medicines. Yet even from that early time period, psychologists and literary scholars alike were able to view the correlation between the characters in Hamlet and some severe psychological disorders. The author points to several of Hamlet's soliloquies, particularly the famous "To be or not to be" speech wherein Hamlet asks a myriad of hypothetical questions. These questions, Wood argues are actually the basis of all human thought. Everyone, he argues, questions the world and their place in it at some time.
Many critics have questioned Hamlet's mental state, as well as the mentalities of those around him. Of those critics, many have Hamlet not of sound mind. This does not seem to be the case in Wood's piece. Rather, he believes that Hamlet's actions are valid based upon the psychological medicine of the day.
She...handles Rosencrantz and Guildenstern with skill and diplomacy...has the accent of command with her son...witty and perceptive about Polonius...she is not stupid at her job: there she gives out and reserves herself in good proportion." (Pennington 160) Gertrude's performance in the court shows Branagh makes a commitment as a director to giving the female characters of the play individualistic integrity beyond their ability to mirror different Oedipal aspects of the central protagonist's development. "There isn't an iota of sexual energy or tension in Hamlet's confrontation with his mother," unlike Oliver's version, where a bed is featured in the confrontation scene between Hamlet and his mother in Act IV, Scene 3. (Rosenberg, 1996) Julie Christie's Gertrude is morally conflicted about what she has done, and increasingly aware that she might have married a murderer after the confrontation of the closet scene. But Oliver's Gertrude is simply infatuated with her son. She…
Dashille, Chris. "Hamlet." 1999. Cinescene. [26 Nov 2006] http://www.cinescene.com/dash/flicks101999.html
Dawson, Andrew. Hamlet. Shakespeare in Performance Series. General Editors JR.
Mulryne and J.C. Bulman. New York: Manchester University Press, 1995.
Hamlet." Directed by Lawrence Oliver. 1948.
..render up myself...Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night...And for the day confined to fast in fires, / Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature/Are burnt and purged away." (I.5). At first, Hamlet believes the ghost is from Purgatory because of the vividness of these images. Then Hamlet constructs a test for the ghost as he worries: "the devil hath power/to assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps/Out of my weakness and my melancholy, / as he is very potent with such spirits" (2.2). In short, Hamlet begins to doubt the doctrine because the ghost ostensibly from Purgatory has asked him to commit a murder, to kill a king.
Hamlet seldom displays a consistent attitude to Purgatory in the play. In his most famous soliloquy, Hamlet says that death is a place from which "no traveler returns" indicating he doubts the ghost (III.1). Hamlet wrestles…
Felluga, Dino. "Module on Stephen Greenblatt: On History." Introductory Guide to Critical Theory. Date of last update: 2002. Purdue U. 12 Jul 1007. http://www.purdue.edu/guidetotheory/newhistoricism/modules/greenblatthistory.html .
Greenblatt, Stephen. Hamlet in Purgatory. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.
Pettegree, Andrew. "The English Reformation." BBC: History -- the English
Reformation. 1 May 1, 2001. 12 Jul 2007. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/tudors/english_reformation_01.shtml
Hamlet is arguably illiam Shakespeare's most famous of his many still existing plays. Even people who have not read the play know the basic plot of the story. Prince Hamlet of Denmark is in mourning over the death of his father who, as it turns out has been murdered by his uncle so that Claudius can take over the throne and marry the queen, his brothers' widow. Hamlet decides to act crazy in order to determine if his Uncle Claudius is indeed guilty of the act. Over the course of the story, people die and the play's climax is the final duel between Hamlet and young Laertes where both men die as well as King Claudius and Queen Gertrude. There are countless film versions of the play which represent the attitudes and artistic styles of the filmmakers who created them. One of the earlier film versions created by…
Hamlet. Dir. Franco Zeffirelli. Perf. Mel Gibson and Glenn Close. Nelson Entertainment, 1990.
Hamlet. Dir. Kenneth Branagh. Screenplay by Kenneth Branagh. Prod. David Barron. Perf.
Kenneth Branagh and Derek Jacobi. Castle Rock Entertainment, 1996. DVD.
In the challenge, Laertes will put poison on the end of his weapon so that when he slashes Hamlet it will kill him. To guarantee Hamlet's death, Claudius poisons the wine that is set out for Hamlet to drink during the competition. Unfortunately, Gertrude decides to toast Hamlet's success and drinks some of the poisoned wine. Hamlet receives a slash with the poisoned tip. When he realizes that his mother is dying, he figures out that this has been a trap. Hamlet stabs Laertes and Claudius with the poisoned blade and forces Claudius to drink from the poisoned cup. In the end all of the main characters - Laertes, Gertrude, Claudius and Hamlet are dead. Earlier, Ophelia and Polonius died. Horatio is the only character left to speak to Fortinbras as he enters on the bloody scene. Fortinbras is then made the new king.
5. Claudius sets in motion all…
William Shakespeare's play Hamlet puts across a series of concepts related to treachery, honor, and impulsiveness. In spite of the fact that they initially appear to be very different in nature, Hamlet (the central character), and Laertes are more similar than one might be inclined to think. The two are principally concerned about avenging their fathers and believe that nothing can stop them from reaching their goal. In spite of their determination they are both imprudent and this reflects in a series of mistakes that they make in their attempt to accomplish their goals. Anger is one of the principal concepts that influence them in losing control and it is the eventual reason for their death.
Although anger is enough to influence both characters in losing their minds, Hamlet is somewhat different from Laertes because of his tendency to over think each step that he makes. Laertes is prepared to…
Joseph, Bertram, "Conscience and the King: A Study of Hamlet," (London: Chatto and Windus, 1953)
Shakespeare, William, "Hamlet," (Forgotten Books)
Hamlet act3 sene3 Machiavelli chapter 7-15-25-26 Lens Machiavelli concept Hamlet Intro - text author, content, method Paragraph1- Machiavelli concept explain applied hamlet compare Hamlet act3 sene3 Machiavelli chapter 7-15-25-26 work enables misunderstand play's ending significant relevant divergence hamlet Machiavelli Second essay compare Hamlet act 4.
Unlike Prince Hamlet, who is a man who is concerned with the morality of kingship as well as is an aggrieved son avenging his father, King Claudius of Shakespeare's Hamlet is primarily concerned with holding onto his power. Claudius does have some moral qualms about his actions, but not enough to repent. This is seen when Claudius tries to pray for forgiveness but is unable to do so: "O, my offence is rank it smells to heaven" (3.3). However, the political theorist Niccolo Machiavelli would diagnose Claudius' problem as being insufficiently ruthless up to this point in his dealings with his nephew. Claudius…
Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince. Written c. 1505, published 1515. Translated by W.K.
Marriott, 1908 [13 Dec 2012]
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. MIT Shakespeare Homepage. [13 Dec 2012]
Of all the great works of illiam Shakespeare, arguably his masterpiece is Hamlet. It is also perhaps his most famous work. People who have never seen a production or read it still have a vague understanding about the play's basic plot. This is of course the story of a young prince of Denmark who is mourning for his recently dead father, also named Hamlet who may or may not have seen his father's ghost who claims the king was murdered by Prince Hamlet's Uncle Claudius. The uncle has very quickly taken control of the Danish throne and married Hamlet's mother Queen Gertrude. In the five hundred years since it was first written, Hamlet has been analyzed and criticized by some of the top minds in academia, in fields such as English, Psychology, and History. The play is rich enough to lend itself to a wide range of interpretations,…
Childers, Joseph W., and Gary Hentzi. The Columbia Dictionary of Modern Literary and Cultural Criticism. New York: Columbia UP, 1995. Print.
Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretation of Dreams. Tr. James Strachey. Avon, NY, 1965. Print.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. New Haven: Yale UP, 2003. Print.
(arlow 45 -- 57) ("Hamlet")
How should Readers Account for his ehavior throughout the Play?
The way that readers should account for his behavior, is that a series of events began to influence the way Hamlet and the different characters were reacting to a host of events. As the ghost that he saw, caused him to believe that he should do everything to try to avenge the death of his father. This is dysfunctional, in that the majority of people do not let a spiritual being influence their actions in such negative ways. Instead, they will use this to help to motivate them to accomplish a much higher purpose. For example, if Hamlet had decided that he would avenge his father's death by becoming the King one day. He could focus on areas that would help him to live up to the ideals and values that he was known for.…
"Hamlet." Spark Notes, 2011. Web. 23 Aug. 2011.
Barlow, David. Clinical Handbook of Psychological Disorders. New York: Guilford, 2007. Print.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. London: Thompson Learning, 2006. Print.
MLA Format. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/
Ghost of Hamlet and the Sanctity of Death
The play Hamlet occupies such an important and fascinating place in public consciousness and in all of world literature for good reason: it explores some of the most eternal themes that the human condition has ever encountered. The themes presented throughout Hamlet tough upon some of the most timeless issues the human race has ever encountered -- these are themes like love and honor, along with death and eternality, obligation and duty, and most of all, vengeance. While the major characters of the play often visibly struggle with these themes, the minor characters of the play work towards the plays resolution, also not only moving the plot forward, but shedding light on issues that also must be given a longer look. The ghost of King Hamlet functions precisely in this regard and works to remind the spectator and the reader of the…
Shakespeare, W. Hamlet. Retrieved from mit.edu:
http://shakespeare.mit.edu/hamlet /' target='_blank' REL='NOFOLLOW'>
Shakespeare's Hamlet and Herman Hesse's Siddhartha meet the words Eliot's "Little Gidding"
One of T.S. Eliot's most famous poetic protagonists, that of J. Alfred Prufrock, may lament that he is not Prince Hamlet, only a fool like Yorick or Polonius of the tragedy that bears the prince's name. But a closer examination of Shakespeare's play highlights the fact that the noble Prince Hamlet, is not really so noble at all, but begins the play in a state of adolescent moodiness, mourning his dead father, even though in the words of his uncle Claudius "your father lost a father, and your father lost his." Hamlet begins the play, not a young anointed king-to-be but a man angered at the limited, fleshy nature of human existence as well as the dissatisfactory reconstruction of his own family.
Hamlet sees falseness wherever he goes. He sees his mother whom once followed like "Niobe, all…
illiam Shakespear - Hamlet
Hamlet's responsibility for crimes occurring in "The tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark"
"The tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" is one of illiam Shakespeare's greatest works and an inspiration for the world for the last four centuries. The play generates much controversy as audiences are encouraged to get actively involved in interpreting it as a consequence of the multitude of emotions it contains. Considering ideas like blame or responsibility in this play can be a very intriguing act, taking into account the ease with which one can falsely attribute them to a character. hile the easiest thing to do is to believe that Hamlet is to blame for much of the suffering that occurs across the tragedy's duration, the reality is that the play is too complex for that, with the Prince actually being a victim -- he was unable to understand the situation he…
"Hamlet," Retrieved November 26, 2014, from http://nfs.sparknotes.com/hamlet/
trace development Hamlet's Identity play. If choose option, define "identity" clear ways extent
Destroying Hamlet's Identity
The titular character in illiam Shakespeare's well noted play Hamlet has fascinated audiences and literary critics for quite some time. In order to understand his characterization and the development of his identity throughout this work, one must fully understand the situation with which this young man is presented at the outset of the play. Hamlet, after all, is a mere student -- albeit he is also the prince of Denmark. All of a sudden, the young man encounters the ghost of his father, learns that the latter has been murdered, and then is charged with becoming both murderer and avenger by destroying part of his family -- his uncle Claudius. Such a task would be enormous for anyone, let alone a young man recently removed from adolescence. As such, Hamlet has to redefine his…
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. www.shakespeare.mit.edu / 1602. Web. http://shakespeare.mit.edu/hamlet /' target='_blank' REL='NOFOLLOW'>
Ophelia's burial and funeral. At the beginning of the scene, two clowns (gravediggers) make jokes about death and also wonder whether Ophelia was a good Christian woman and worthy of burial in a Christian cemetery. Finally, the two gravediggers make a joke about the "houses" they build lasting "till doomsday," referring to the eternity and finality of death. This message about mortality continues as Hamlet enters the scene and speaks with the gravediggers. Until this point, Hamlet has no idea that it is Ophelia who is about to be buried. When he figures it out, Hamlet goes crazy and professes his undying love for Ophelia. In the final scene of the play, Hamlet confesses to having Rosencranz and Guildenstern killed. Hamlet also tells Horatio that he sympathizes with Laertes, because both Hamlet and Laertes seek revenge for the death of their fathers. Claudius has arranged for Laertes and Hamlet to…
Hamlet and Revenge
Hamlet -- Prince of Denmark -- is considered to be one of Shakespeare's greatest plays. (Meyer, 2002). It is also one of his most complex plays. It is about the evolution of a character within the context of a revenge drama -- that of Hamlet in Hamlet. In keeping with the revenge-theme of this drama, this thesis of this essay will aver that Shakespeare exalts Hamlet as a hero -- justifiably, though within reason. Indeed, Hamlet is a hero. He rights a horrible wrong. The reader of the play hopes against hope that his quest for vengeance is successful. This vengeance takes the form of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. The reader of the play is taken to emotional upheavals when the failure of Hamlet's quest almost becomes a certitude but for a quirk of fate -- the exchange of swords.…
Kyd, Thomas, & Bevington, David M. (1996). The Spanish tragedy. Manchester; New York
New York: Manchester University Press;
Distributed exclusively in the U.S.A. And Canada by St. Martin's Press.
McConnel, Heron. (2001). Hamlet and Revenge. London School of Journalism. Retrieved June 19, 2004, from the World Wide Web: http://www.english-literature.org/essays/hamlet_revenge.html
Hamlet and Horatio
The relationship between Horatio and Hamlet is one based on extraordinary trust and confidence. It is this trust that allows the two to share everything and to not fear being labeled. This is a very important and critical feature of the foundation on which this friendship is based. While there are others who love Hamlet, most of them are quick to judge and label Hamlet. Horatio is not that interested in dismissing Hamlet's actions as acts of lunacy. He is aware of what Hamlet is doing and cares about it despite that. He is genuinely interested in Hamlet's welfare and Hamlet recognizes this. At one point in the play, he praises Horatio lavishly to make it clear that he values their friendship. In Act 3, Scene 2, Hamlet calls for Horatio in his preparation for the play. Horatio is quick to answer his call to which Hamlet…
This sudden tragedy occurs, no less, just as Ophelia is to happily crown the hanging boughs of the tree, which symbolically represents the happy instance that must have occurred just prior to the play's opening -- Hamlet's engagement to Ophelia. As on the bank of the brook, so too with Hamlet -- an "envious sliver broke"; the "rash" and "intruding" Polonius interjected himself and denied Ophelia what her nature so plainly made her for: to love. He teaches her, rather, to doubt and to suspect. Ophelia falls victim to the plague of Elsinore, which may be stated as the conflict between truth and falsehood.
The Man's Nature
Hamlet engages in this conflict in an altogether different manner, however. If Ophelia and Gertrude approach it from the direction of love, Hamlet approaches it from the direction of reason. Gertrude and Ophelia intuit; Hamlet rationalizes. Ophelia, for example, appreciates Hamlet's predicament immediately…
Battenhouse, Roy W. "The Ghost in Hamlet: A Catholic 'Linchpin'?" Studies in Philology vol. 48, no. 2, 1951, 161-192. Print.
Dane, Gabrielle. "Reading Ophelia's Madness." Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, vol. 10 (1998): 405-23. Print.
Garner, Shirley Nelson. "Shakespeare in My Time and Place." Shakespearean Tragedy
and Gender (ed. By Shirley Nelson Garner). Indiana University Press, 1996. Print.
Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: Why Does Death Prevail
William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark begins and ends with death. The play begins with the ghost of Hamlet's dead father, haunting the battlements and urging his son to avenge his foul murder; the play ends with the death of Hamlet himself. The play also famously is driven by a quest for death, namely the desire of Hamlet to avenge his father's murder. But much as Hamlet burns in hatred for his uncle, the play also shows acute consciousness of the fact that violence merely begets more violence. Even though Hamlet's revenge may be justified, particularly after Claudius seeks to take Hamlet's life through secretly poisoning Laertes' sword, the act of murdering anyone, justly or unjustly, will never have a good end. Although the play suggests that revenge may be morally necessary (even Hamlet doubts this at…
Hamlet lives vicariously through the devices that he uses to capture or replay reality. However, those devices actually serve to separate Hamlet from the very world he is seeking to capture. This concept is dramatically displayed by Hamlet's use of headphones. Though headphones generally provide a listener with music or other entertainment, Almereyda's makes it clear that they also serve a secondary purpose: to shut out the external world. Therefore, although Hamlet appears connected all the time, Almereyda makes the point that Hamlet uses technology and technological devices to shut out the other characters in the movie.
While Hamlet's use of the headphones displays his overt attempts to block out society, they are not the only way that technology interferes in interpersonal relationships. In fact, Almereyda consistently has technology, whether the hum of a jet or the ringing of a phone, interrupt human interactions. These constant interruptions cause a variety…
Abbate, Alessandro. "To Be or Inter-Be: Almereyda's end-of-millennium Hamlet."
Literature/Film Quarterly. 32.2 (2004): 82-. Questia.
Almereyda, Michael. "Interview with Michael Almereyda." Popmatters Film. By Cynthia
illiam Shakespeare's Hamlet, there are several distinct characteristics of misery and madness that abound in both Hamlet and Ophelia. Their lunacy each stems from similar sources of grief, but the true evolution of their madness is methodically different due to their gender and their status in Elizabethan society.
Throughout Hamlet, Ophelia appears in a mere five scenes and is only one of two females present in the play and therefore stands not to pose as a prominent member of the play. Ophelia's father, Polonius, whom is the chief advisor to the new King Claudius, and a highly respected man, demands that his daughter tell Hamlet that she can no longer be with him even though she desperately is in love with him.
I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth have you so slander any moment leisure as to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet. Look…
Shakespeare, William. The New Folger Library: Hamlet. New York. 1992
He kills his father as he flees his home and marries his mother after solving the riddle of the Sphinx. His end is inevitable, but Sophocles clearly shows the role negative character traits play in Oedipus' tragedy, while Hamlet's supposedly negative traits of doubt are not necessarily evil.
Thus Hamlet could be classified as a kind of nascent anti-hero, a man who mourns "the time is out of joint/oh cursed spite/that ever I was born to put it right," and never succeeds in 'putting it right' because society offers him only one, ineffective mechanism for pursuing a brutal type of justice (1.5). The failure of heroism to 'put things right' is manifested starkly in Waiting for Godot, where the heroes famously wait for the final 'solution' of the arrival of the presumably heroic Godot, who never comes. These characters are not so much heroes or even anti-heroes -- rather they…
To be honest, as this world, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand." (http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/hamlet/themes.html,2004).
The ghosts symbolize the fear, angst and anger in each of the major character's heart on the play Hamlet. Ghosts are not proven real and nobody can prove the existence of it. Like anger, fear and angst, nobody would ever dare that a person has these feelings in his/her heart. The characters in the play maintain such feelings but nobody has even dared to show up and resolved such feelings. They remained growing and hurting inside each of the character's hearts and minds.
In Hamlet, the characters had no way of turning back. Nobody has even dared to correct the thoughts that have been going through the major characters' minds. To quote:
Let Hercules himself do what he may,
The cat will mew, and dog will have his day." - Hamlet (http://www.hamlet.org,2006)
Analysis of Major Characters. 2004. Sparknotes LLC. [online] available at http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/hamlet/canalysis.html
Bartlett's Familiar Quotations: A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature. 2000. The Literature Network. [online] available at http://www.onlineliterature.com/quotes/quotation_search.php?author=Shakespeare&from=Hamlet
Themes, Motifs & Symbols. 2004. Sparknotes LLC. [online] available at: http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/hamlet/themes.html
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. [online] available at: http://www.hamlet.org/
Characterization of Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet
In illiam Shakespeare's play Hamlet, the character of Ophelia is perhaps the most tragic, as her wishes and desires are constantly sublimated in favor of the scheming characters around her. Essentially she is used as bait for Hamlet, and when her father dies, she is left to her own madness and death (a death whose circumstances leave open the possibilities of accident or suicide). By examining the characterization of Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet, it will be possible to see how the play uses her conversations to heighten the tragedy of her death and subsequently implicate the other characters, and especially Polonius and Gertrude, more fully in her breakdown and death, thus revealing the destructive nature of gender stereotypes and the social roles they reinforce.
Before examining the character of Ophelia in more detail, it will be useful to briefly examine previous critical work on…
Hunt, Maurice. "Impregnating Ophelia."Neophilologus. 89.4 (2005): 641-663. Print.
Peterson, Karaa. "Framing Ophelia: Representation and the pictorial tradition." Mosaic: a Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature. 31.3 (1998): 1-24. Print.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Shakespeare Navigator. 2011. Web. 31 May 2011.
Shakespeare Write Hamlet?
One of the most striking aspects of the play Hamlet as well as the character of Hamlet himself is the play's self-reflective quality. Hamlet is about putting on a play, and not simply the play which Hamlet stages to dramatize Claudius' guilt before the rest of the court. From the very beginning of the play, Hamlet is obsessed with the idea of being versus seeming and what is real and unreal. Alone of all members of the court, including his mother, Hamlet still wears black in mourning for his father and insists that he does so out of real sentiment, saying he does not even know what seems means:
For they are actions that a man might play:
But I have that within which passeth show;
These but the trappings and the suits of woe (I.2).
Hamlet believes that his grief is real, in contrast to the…
Shakespeare's "Hamlet" is perhaps one of the most famous and hotly debated literary artifacts ever written. However, because literary critics and historians have discussed the work so often, it is easy to forget that Shakespeare wrote his tragedy as a play to be performed in the context of an Elizabethan production, to an Elizabethan audience. It is a refreshing antidote to some of more modern textual analysis of this performed text, which views the central character as a kind of an early existentialist, to consider "Hamlet" in light of its original audience.
Stephen Greenblatt's book Hamlet in Purgatory attempts to accomplish this. Greenblatt advances the theory that Hamlet, rather than simply being a tragedy about a man who could not make up his mind, is really about a man wrestling with the shifting religious climate of early Protestant England, a country still in great religious flux. Greenblatt states that for…
Greenblatt, Stephen. Hamlet in Purgatory. New York, 2002.
Greenblatt, Stephen. "Hamlet." Introductory essay to the play from The Norton Shakespeare, edited by Greenblatt, Stephen. New York: Norton & Company, 1997.
Gurr, Andrew. The Shakespearean Stage 1574-1642. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992.
Mullaney, Steven. "Civic Rites, City Sites: The Place of the Stage." From Staging the Renaissance, edited by Kastan, David Scott and Stallybrass, Peter. New York: Routledge, 1992; 17-26.
Yes, the Oedipus complex aspect of Shakespeare it gives us and which in turn invites us to think about the issue of subjectivity, the myth and its relation to psychoanalytic theory. (Selfe, 1999, p292-322)
Hemlet and Postcolonial theory
Postcolonial theory was born as a result of the publication of the famous work of Edward Said, Orientalism (1978). This theory claim that some authors (Paul Gilroy, Achille Mbembe, Francoise Verges, etc.) and that seem so elegant in its formulation, in my opinion raises three fundamental problems: At a time when we are witnessing the emergence of new expressions of colonialism (colonialism, cultural, political and economic globalization, neo-colonialism nestled in the relationship between the hegemonic colonial past and their old colonies, colonialism in disguise that structure the relationship between international institutions and developing countries, institutions from the rest behest of the former colonial powers according to their interests), speak of post-colonial era…
Aragay, Mireia, and Gemma Lopez. 2005. "Inflecting Pride and Prejudice: Dialogism, Intertextuality, and Adaptation." Books in Motion: Adaptation, Intertextuality, Authorship. Ed. Mireia Aragay. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, p201-19.
Aragay, Mireia, ed. 2005. Books in Motion: Adaptation, Intertextuality, Authorship. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, p88-96.
Baetens, Jan. 2007. "From Screen to Text: Novelization, the Hidden Continent." The Cambridge Companion to Literature on Screen. Ed. Deborah Cartmell and Imelda Whelehan. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, p226-38.
Balides, Constance. 2000. "Jurassic Post-Fordism: Tall Tales of Economics in the Theme Park." Screen 4 I .2: p139-60.
Hamlet feels anger toward Gertrude when he finally confronts her about her quick marriage to Claudius. He says:
hat devil wasn't
That thus hath cozened you at hoodman-blind?
Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight,
Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans all,
or but a sickly part of one true sense
Could not so mope. O shame, where is thy blush? (III.iv.86-91)
Hamlet experiences fear when he contemplates suicide in Act 3 Scene 1. His fear is compounded by uncertainty over what to do and doubt over some of the things he has witnessed. All of the negative emotions he has experienced bring him to a moment of fear and he says:
hether 'tis nobler of the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And, by opposing them, end them. (III.i.64-7)
Hamlet feels forgiveness at the end of…
Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark." Barbara Mowat, ed. New York: Washington Square Press. 1992.
The Oedipus complex suggests that every son wants to marry his mother and kill his father -- and that is precisely what Claudius does. "Sex and the life instincts in general are, of course, represented somewhere in Jung's system. They are a part of an archetype called the shadow. It derives from our prehuman, animal past, when our concerns were limited to survival and reproduction, and when we weren't self-conscious" (Boeree 1997). Hamlet's intellect and rationality are suppressed by his philosophical knowledge, as exemplified in his desire to return to ittenberg at the beginning of the play. Claudius, in contrast to Hamlet, takes what he wants. Before he learns of Claudius' crime by the ghost, Hamlet does not seek bloody revenge, or construct a plot like Claudius may have done -- he merely mourns that his mother has remarried and been 'stained.' Thus, Claudius' skillful wielding of power, his open…
Boeree, George C. 1997. "Carl Jung." Updated 2006. 12 Apr 2008. http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/jung.html
Pettifor, Eric. "Major Archetypes and the Process of Individuation." Personality and Consciousness. 1995. 12 Apr 2008. http://pandc.ca/?cat=car_jung&page=major_archetypes_and_individuation
Shakespeare, William. "Hamlet." The Shakespeare Homepage. 12 Apr 2008. http://shakespeare.mit.edu/hamlet
Shakespeare allows us to see Macbeth's good nature, which also illustrates how easily man can fall once he allows his passions to have free reign.
In Hamlet, Claudius is also driven by ambition and he ranks a close second to Iago as men whose hearts are tainted with evil. His ultimate desire is to be king and then to remain king and he will stop at nothing to achieve that goal. Of course, the wicked deed of killing his own brother becomes more grotesque than that of Iago or Macbeth because of the sheer lack of soul a man must have to commit such an act. Claudius admits that he will do what it takes to retain the throne and he resorts to all sorts of dubious behavior to accomplish this. He also asks Rozencrantz and Guildenstern to use their:
To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather…
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. New York: Washington Square Press. 1992.
Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. O'Connor, John, ed. London: New Longman Shakespeare. 1999.
Shakespeare, William. Othello. Kenneth Muir, ed. New York: Penguin Books. 1968.
e know from the text that Ophelia is innocent and there is no reason for Branagh to include this scene in his film. The two films depict the two leading female characters in a very different light.
Both directors illuminated Hamlet in different ways. Once scene that is significantly different in both films is Hamlet's famous "to be or not to be" scene. In keeping with the dark, melancholy mood, Zeffirelli shoots this scene in a crypt with hamlet wondering among the tombs of those who lived before him. This scene is powerful because it places Hamlet in the very place where he contemplates going. As he questions life beyond, he is standing around the remains of those who know exactly what lies on the other side - if only he could speak with them. Branagh's version of the scene shows Hamlet looking in a mirror. Branagh's Hamlet does appear…
Hamlet. Dir. Kennth Branagh. Perf. Kenneth Branagh, Julie Christie, Kate Winslet, and Billy Crystal. Warner Brothers, 1996.
Hamlet. Dir. Franco Zeffirrelli. Perf. Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, and Helena Bonham-Carter. Warner Brothers, 1995.
Irony in "Soldier's Home" -- Irony is a device used by writers to let the audience know something that the characters in the story do not know. There is usually a descrepancyt between how things appear and the reality of the situation. Often the characters do not seem aware of any conflict between appearances and the reality, but the audience or reader is aware of the conflict because the writer has used irony in the story. Whatever the emotion of the story is, irony heightens it.
There is a strong element of irony in Ernest Hemingway's painful story "Soldier's Home." Harold, who served in the Army in World War I on the bloodiest battlefields, comes home too late to be welcomed as a hero. We know he needed to be treated as a hero (because he makes up lies about himself) but the townsfolk and his parents do not. While…
Final Opportunity for Reflection and riting
"Stand and unfold yourself"
This quote comes from Shakespeare's Hamlet. Francisco and Bernardo are two guards standing watch in the middle of the night at the castle Elsinore. This is the second line of the play, spoken by Francisco in response to Bernardo's question of who goes there. It is an important part because it sets the tone for the rest of the play. Much of the story involves secret presences and the knowledge that people are being watched. This happens with Polonius as he is stabbed by Hamlet and with Hamlet when he is being watched by his uncle/stepfather. Uncertainty about being alone and who or what may be around lends to the overall confusion and mania of the characters which invariably leads to the tragedies which each of the characters then experience.
"tis the sport to have the enginer /…
Shakespeare, William. As You like It. 2000. Print.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Pub., 2006. Print.
Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar. Cambridge [England: Cambridge UP, 1988. Print.
He tells Laertes to keep his good friends close to his heart, but Polonius' definition of friendship is not so much of fellowship, but who can prove politically advantageous to the young man.
Two examples of sublime reasoning in the play are when Hamlet says to his old school friends before the arrival of the players that Denmark is a prison, simply because he feels that it is -- in other words, place and quality of place is a state of mind, rather than having an extrinsic reality. and, in regards to the players, Hamlet says they must be treated better than they deserve, in Act 2, because if they did not, who would escape "whipping." However, for faulty logic, Laertes is unparalleled, as he blames Hamlet alone not only for Polonius' death, but for Ophelia's madness as well, and willingly goes along with Claudius' underhanded plans to kill…
Even in Catholic France, the Protestant sentiment that God's grace alone can save His fallen, human creation was evident in the humanist king, Francis I's sister, Margaret, Queen of Navarre's novel when she wrote: "We must humble ourselves, for God does not bestow his graces on men because they are noble or rich; but, according as it pleases his goodness, which regards not the appearance of persons, he chooses whom he will."
Shakespeare's Hamlet is haunted by the ghost of his father from Purgatory. Purgatory was a Catholic concept. But rather than trusting the vision of the divine on earth, Hamlet is suspicious about the ability of fallen human beings to enact justice. Rather than finding good in the face of women, Hamlet sees only evil. "In considering the cultural conditions that allow tragedy to revive, we may also want to consider that the plays occurred in Christian Northern Europe;…
A broader music discourse of English culture of early modern is reflected in the use of music dramatically with unrelenting relations between excess, music and feminine (Dane 435). Christian and platonic thought presents music ideologies which are conflicting and are being contented by the British writers of the early modern: Semantic indeterminacy and sensuous immediacy are presented by music and also the divine order earthly embodiment presented by music. A feminism depiction is seen here whereby the Pythagorean harmony is the positive aspect of music or its masculine aspect and the cultural dissonance is the negative attribute or the feminine aspect. The marginalities are expressed through the singing of Ophelia which is allowed to be not only literal but also dissonance figuratively. Jacobean and Elizabethan stages gender types inspires Ophelia representation. omen's song cultural constructions is problematic through Ophelia singing which lets the 'woman out', her disturbing feminine energy must…
Adelman, Janet. "Man and Wife Is One Flesh: Hamlet and the Confrontation with the Maternal
Body." Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origin in Shakespeare's Plays, Hamlet to The Tempest. By Adelman. New York: Routledge, 1992. 11-37.
Aguirre, Manuel. "Life, Crown, and Queen: Gertrude and the Theme of Sovereignty." Review of English Studies 47 (1996): 163-74.
Dane, Gabrielle. "Reading Ophelia's Madness." Exemplaria 10 (1998): 405-23.
Willlam Hazlitt largely comments on the contemporariness and universality of Hamlet's character: that although Shakespeare wrote the play more than 500 years ago, we have come to know the character of the tragic Prince quite well. Not only because we read about him in school, but also -- and more -- because we know his thoughts as we do our own. (Hazlitt 1900) His sayings and speeches are not only real but are as real as our own thoughts when we ponder and despair over our or others' misfortunes and grief. Each of us becomes Hamlet, in Hazlitt's view, whenever we bear the weight of reflection (Hazlitt), when the sun in us is made dim by "envious mists" in our hearts, whenever the world looks nothing better than a "dull blank," when our love is despised, or when sadness sticks to us and makes our mind sink within. Hazlitt goes…
1. Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Lecture on Hamlet. London:
George Bell and Sons, 1904
2. Hazlitt, William. Lectures on the Literature of the Age of Elizabeth
and Characters of Shakespeare's Play. London: George Bell and Sons, 1900
King or Madman? The Art of the drama in Shakespeare's drama of Henry IV, Part I Henry IV and Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Shakespeare is of course a dramatist, that is, he was an author of plays with fictional characters in them, portrayed by real people known as actors. Yet quite often Shakespeare's fictional characters are themselves 'actors' in their own life stories, creating personas that they play in addition to acting out their true, 'real life' struggles of the plot as defined by the author. For instance, Prince Hal, of Henry IV, Part I and Hamlet are two such individuals -- the first pretends to be a rouge, even though he is really a skillful prince and politician destined to be a king, the second is an avenging son who assumes madness as a truth-telling device, and also as protection for his eccentric actions and behavior in a…
Craig, W.J., ed. "Henry IV, Part I." The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. London: Oxford University Press: 1914; Bartleby.com, 2000. www.bartleby.com/70/. [7 November 2004].
Craig, W.J., ed. "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark." The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. London: Oxford University Press: 1914; Bartleby.com, 2000. www.bartleby.com/70/. [7 November 2004].
King Claudius says this about the title character of "Hamlet." He says this to Laertes, to explain why he has not physically punished Hamlet yet, for the killing of Laertes' father Polonius. Thus, the two must conspire to punish Hamlet via a duel with a poisoned sword, says Claudius, because he cannot offend the queen. This quote shows the king's lying nature, as the king cares less for Polonius than eliminating the son Hamlet, who knows how he came to the throne, and his fears of raising suspicions in the court about his complicity in old Hamlet's death.
2) "You-here? You have the gall to show your face before the palace gates? You, plotting to kill me, kill the king-I see it all, the marauding thief himself scheming to steal my crown and power!"
As his fate closes around him, the king of Thebes "Oedipus" raves in horror at…
3.47-51). hile Ophelia clearly is intelligent enough to take care of herself as well as offer her own rebuttals against the male characters' altogether creepy insistence on controlling her sexual life, she suppresses this intelligence and ability out of deference for her father. Thus, her eventual fall is inevitable and largely her own fault, because by allowing her relationship to her father to overshadow everything else, including her own thoughts and desires (revealed explicitly when she says "I do not know, my lord, what to think"), she sets herself up to be utterly devastated following her father's death (and abandonment by Hamlet) (1.3.104).
The circumstances surrounding Ophelia's death are somewhat murky, as they are only related second-hand via the Queen, and the reasons for Ophelia's madness are only ever truly "explained" by the king. Although Ophelia does state that she "cannot choose but weep" at the thought that her father…
Shakespeare, William. "Hamlet." Shakespeare Navigators. Web. 4 Aug 2011.
Any tells his son to soberly build a garden and home and tend it, which is true on a literal level about keeping a tidy property, and also a metaphor for an orderly and moral soul. Do not rely on another man's goods, he says. Do not fall into debt -- credit card debit or otherwise. Treat elders with respect -- rise when they come into the room. But do not strike back at a brawler, or reveal too much of yourself.
However, this last bit of advice that stresses the need for social decorum that may reveal something unique about Egyptian society. Clearly ancient Egypt was a hierarchical society, and perhaps highly politically charged. Treating one's social better with deference, and not revealing too much of one's own affairs was integral to one's personal and social survival. But although the political atmosphere in ancient Egypt was no doubt very…