Hamlet as a Morality Play

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Shakespeare’s plays are made up of different themes and concepts that are debated and discussed by critics. Although thoroughly argued, there is never a way to prove that a work of literary criticism is completely correct because there is no way to verify it. However, through close readings and detailed research, critics have found evidence from the text that they can use to support their claims. One of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, Hamlet, is revolved around the Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius, who committed a sin when he poisoned Hamlet’s father, who is also Claudius’ brother. Claudius also married Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, soon after he killed Hamlet’s father. In the beginning of the play, every character is unaware of Claudius’ sin and it is not until Hamlet’s father appears to him as a ghost that Hamlet thinks that Claudius could be the possible murderer of his father. Claudius’ sin is the foundation of the play because it is a domino effect for all of the other instances that take place throughout the play. Claudius’ sin, in addition to Hamlet’s actions towards vengeance, are responsible for fueling the debate between critics on whether or not Hamlet is considered a morality play. After reading three literary criticisms by different authors, the concepts that make up a morality play such as the importance of a character to regard human morality when making a decision, the three stages of morality and the revelation of an important message to the audience, are all evident in the play Hamlet, which qualifies it as a morality play. From the 1400s to the early 1500s, medieval morality plays in England were considered “the struggle between vices and virtues” (Potter 7). Morality plays had specific purposes during the time period from where they originated. According to Robert Potter, a morality play involves “a concept…represented on the stage by a central dramatic

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