Hamlet Essay

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The drama of Hamlet's struggles which reveals core universal human themes and values makes Hamlet a text which is still relevant today. Discuss how this is achieved through time, place and characterization and any other techniques. William Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1600) explores the difficulties that arise from the quest for justice as a result of the corruption in an individual’s society, as well as the tragic hero’s own procrastination and the deception of the surrounding people. These ideas introduce the popular, conventional revenge tragedy form and through the character of Hamlet, Shakespeare examines Renaissance Humanism beliefs regarding the morality of man. It is through the use of dramatic techniques and characterisation that Shakespeare shows how these themes have transcended through time and are still present within modern society. The ability to carry out justice is often hindered by the corruption present in one’s own environment. From Act One, Shakespeare already establishes Hamlet as a character who is bound by a duty to “revenge his [father’s] most foul and most unnatural murder”. The negative diction of “unnatural” and “foul”, coupled with the repetition of ‘most’, highlights the corruption present within Elsinore. Additionally, the presence of Hamlet’s father in the form of a ghost symbolises a disruption in the great chain of being. As his only son, Hamlet is therefore expected to resolve the injustice in Elsinore. Unlike conventional revenge tragedies, Hamlet is able to restore order by killing Claudius, as the audience is aware Claudius is the epicenter of corruption in Denmark. This is highlighted in the continuous allusions to the imagery of decay, rottenness and poison which highlight the instability of the state, “an unweeded garden that grows to seed things rank and gross in nature”. The extended metaphor expresses the rapid spread of

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