Hamlet: Prince of Denmark
Florida Institute of Technology
February 17, 2012
“Hamlet: Prince of Denmark” is a widely recognized drama written by the renowned writer, William Shakespeare (1564-1616). Quotes from Hamlet resonate even until today, four centuries later. Phrases like “to be or not to be”, “the lady doth protest too much” and “to thine own self be true” often made their way into modern-day conversations of people from all walks of life. I am also inclined to believe that most people, at one time or the other has identified and declared a situation in which “method” accompanied “madness”.
The play opens in Denmark recently after the death of its king. Hamlet, the young adult son of the fallen king, remained wretched with grief while his mother Gertrude, seemingly with ease, moved on and married the successive king, Claudius. Claudius, parenthetically, was Gertrude’s departed husband’s brother. Hamlet resentfully referred to them as, “my mother-aunt and my father-uncle”. He was totally disdained by their union and considered it an incestuous one. To further intensify Hamlet’s contempt, early in the plot Hamlet encountered a ghost. The ghost represented himself as the spirit of Hamlet’s father, the late king. He told Hamlet he had been murdered by his brother, now King Claudius. The demised king commissioned Hamlet to execute revenge against Claudius. Hamlet willingly accepted.
As the plot advances, one tragic event follows another, all of which resulted directly or indirectly due to some form of treachery. The story depicts episodes of deep passion motivated by raft, jealousy and sadness over death and lost love. To name a few of the convoluted incidents, Hamlet was alienated from his beloved girlfriend, Ophelia. He accidentally killed Polonius, Ophelia’s father, when he mistook him for Claudius. Claudius sent Hamlet away with a devious, yet failed plan to have him killed. Ophelia lost her mind and committed...