Ambiguity In Hamlet

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ENG3UE-02 | Ambiguity Creates Doubt in the Nobility and Intentions of Characters in Hamlet | | Wenche Cui 10/25/2011 Word Count: 1554 | As a parent or teacher, educating children on morals is a difficult thing to do without the help of fairy tales, fables, and bedtime stories. Something these stories all have in common is that there is usually one “big bad wolf” and the rest of characters are pure-hearted people with good intentions. Take the beloved tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves for example. Only the queen is evil; the hunter, prince, dwarves and princess are all portrayed as noble people. Even after the queen has done so much to try to harm the princess, Snow White does not wish any ill on her evil stepmother. There are countless examples of these noble characters who do not seem to sin at all in their fictional lives. Even during the Elizabethan era that playwright William Shakespeare lived in, people were taught that protagonists are righteous heroes that serve justice. They are often victims of misfortune who manage to overcome hindrances to achieve happiness in the end, teaching readers valuable morals. Now looking at Shakespeare’s Hamlet, first published in 1603, it seems to follow a similar structure up to a certain degree. The major antagonist, King Claudius, causes misery for the principle characters by committing a foul crime. The hero, Prince Hamlet, is a victim of events that he does not have control over. However, Hamlet differs from other stories because in the end, most of the main characters are dead; there is no happy ending for the protagonist. Upon closer inspection, noticeable flaws exist in almost all of the key characters. As a major playwright of the time, Shakespeare wanted to defy the common conception and stereotype that all main characters have justified, virtuous intentions. This play is also different
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