‘Shakespeare’s Hamlet continues to engage audiences through its dramatic treatment of struggle and disillusionment.’ In the light of your critical study, does this statement resonate with your own interpretation of Hamlet? In your response, make detailed reference to the play. Shakespeare’s Hamlet engages themes of death, madness, loyalty and corruption which help engage the audience through the dramatic treatment of struggle and disillusionment. Although the text is set during the Elizabethan period, it still maintains textual integrity which means audiences are still engaged by its meaning today. The struggle to act upon his father’s murder is a key factor in Hamlet’s disillusionment with the world.
In the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, soliloquies are used to move along the plot of Hamlet, not only by the protagonist Hamlet, but other characters as well. Within these soliloquies there appears to be a common thread within the soliloquies in the soliloquies in Act two scene two, Act three scene one, and Act three scene three, all of them endure a change or exposition in character in Hamlet or Claudius. These soliloquies act to expose a change in their character. These soliloquies will then in turn impact the plot of the play and how the character acts. It provides the story with a point to change character smoothly to the audience and add dimension to the character creating very static characters.
The Mode of Tragedy Complicated by Satire in Hamlet Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare, is a play which portrays tragedy beginning in prosperity and ending in misery. Shakespeare illustrates tragedy though the isolation of the hero, Hamlet not being a well developed or realistic character allows himself to be laughed at. Indeed, the mode of tragedy is complicated by satire due to the actions of the satirical hero. Satirical mode within Hamlet’s actions is targeted through his Hamartia, Inquiry with his madness and Ophelia’s insanity. Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark, son of the late King and of Gertrude.
Hamlet is the one in power in this scene, running his plan, playing as much with the other characters, as with words. Scene 2, Act 3 is very significant to the plot: it is the first time Hamlet puts a plan into action to advance his revenge. It is also relevant to notice that this passage highlights a very important theme in the play: the parallel between acting and playing. The play within the play uses illusion to discover the truth about Claudius’ guilt. This underlines the thin wall between pretending in real life and acting in a play.
Hamlet’s Defect: A reinterpretation of the word “defect” in Hamlet The word “defect” appears only twice in Hamlet’s Shakespeare yet this is a word which has profound consequences on the interpretation of key elements in the play depending on the definition attributed. It is very possible Shakespeare incorporated such words to help add a sense of ambiguity when needed, yet it is also possible our current or common understanding of words such as “defect” give a false meaning which Shakespeare had not intended. If one takes “defect” to mean something essential that is lacked, then the scene where Hamlet tells Horatio about the things which cause people to “in the general censure take corruption,” (1.4.35) and the scene where Polonius ponders “the cause of [Hamlet’s] defect,” (2.2.102) ostensibly lead an audience to relate the scenes to the larger issue of ambition throughout the play. The two definitions of the word “defect” which are important in this paper are best described in the Oxford English Dictionary. The first definition given is a meaning conceived very close to the time when Shakespeare wrote Hamlet—1589.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet has and intricate plot formed by the characters and themes throughout it. One major idea is Hamlet’s changing sanity, which fluctuates through the play as a performance and as a true madness. The other main theme which develops the play is the act of vengeance, with the delay and doubt that accompanies it. These themes, along with dramatic devices and the characters in the plot, add to the textual integrity of the play. There is a duality to the character of Hamlet, as his madness changes from a performance to true insanity throughout the play.
Upon his characterisation of the protagonist, Prospero, Shakespeare leaves various parallels between Prospero and himself through Prospero’s creation of the enigma that is the tempest. A parallel is also made apparent between Prospero and James the 1st in that they were both rulers by divine right and delved into peculiar philosophies. Shakespeare utilises the tempest as an allusion within an illusion. The political relevance of the tempest is very lucid; he addresses the political instability amongst the nobles of the play as a connotation to the current political problems in Jacobean England. The short terse sentences along various repetitions and imperatives serve to denote calamity in the ship.
As in Act One, Polonius obviously fancies himself a great political mind. We might beg to differ. Claudius, too, shows remarkable political stupidity in trusting to the espionage of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two rather clownish fellows whom Hamlet sees through instantly. Moreover, the Norway episode reveals Claudius’ blunt instincts quite clearly; he appears ready to agree to allow Fortinbras, whom only days before had planned to take over his realm, to march through Denmark on his way to conquer Poland. This is sort of
he puts on a mask of madness to mislead the world. In the Third Soliloquy Hamlet appears more determined. According to certain critics this soliloquy has a great importance because it reveals Hamlet’s rational mind, as he puts Claudius to test by enacting a play. The Fourth soliloquy is the most famous and essential, And is considered as a pioneer in English literature. Here Hamlet enters with a dilemma: “To be or not to be”.