Denmark has a long-standing feud with neighbouring Norway, in which King Hamlet slew King Fortinbras of Norway in a battle some years ago. After the ghost appears again, the three vow to tell Prince Hamlet what they have witnessed. As the court gathers the next day, while King Claudius and Queen Gertrude discuss affairs of state with their elderly adviser PoloniusHamlet looks on glumly. Claudius also scolds Hamlet for continuing to grieve over his father, and forbids him to return to his schooling in Wittenberg.
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. The Impossibility of Certainty What separates Hamlet from other revenge plays and maybe from every play written before it is that the action we expect to see, particularly from Hamlet himself, is continually postponed while Hamlet tries to obtain more certain knowledge about what he is doing.
This play poses many questions that other plays would simply take for granted. Can we have certain knowledge about ghosts? Is the ghost what it appears to be, or is it really a misleading fiend? Does the ghost have reliable knowledge about its own death, or is the ghost itself deluded?
Moving to more earthly matters: How can we know for certain the facts about a crime that has no witnesses? If so, can he know the facts of what Claudius did by observing the state of his soul? Can we know whether our actions will have the consequences we want them to have? Can we know anything about the afterlife?
The Complexity of Action Directly related to the theme of certainty is the theme of action.
How is it possible to take reasonable, effective, purposeful action? In Hamlet, the question of how to act is affected not only by rational considerations, such as the need for certainty, but also by emotional, ethical, and psychological factors.
When he does act, he prefers to do it blindly, recklessly, and violently. They simply act as they feel is appropriate. But in some sense they prove that Hamlet is right, because all of their actions miscarry. Claudius possesses himself of queen and crown through bold action, but his conscience torments him, and he is beset by threats to his authority and, of course, he dies.
The question of his own death plagues Hamlet as well, as he repeatedly contemplates whether or not suicide is a morally legitimate action in an unbearably painful world.
The Nation as a Diseased Body Everything is connected in Hamlet, including the welfare of the royal family and the health of the state as a whole. Throughout the play, characters draw explicit connections between the moral legitimacy of a ruler and the health of the nation.
The dead King Hamlet is portrayed as a strong, forthright ruler under whose guard the state was in good health, while Claudius, a wicked politician, has corrupted and compromised Denmark to satisfy his own appetites. At the end of the play, the rise to power of the upright Fortinbras suggests that Denmark will be strengthened once again.Dramatis Personae CLAUDIUS, king of Denmark.
HAMLET, son to the late, and nephew to the present king. POLONIUS, lord chamberlain. HORATIO, friend to Hamlet.
Shakespeare's Hamlet with explanatory notes and study guide. Hamlet The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is a tragic play written by the famous English playwright William Shakespeare, which portrays how young Prince Hamlet pursues revenge on his uncle for heartless murdering of his father and receiving succession to the throne by marrying his recently widowed mother.
What is Shakespeare's "Hamlet" about? Update Cancel. ad by Grammarly. Better writing. No matter what you are working on.
he soon proves that anything is possible and introduces legislation banning all foreigners from even visiting the USA. He is challenged on the international level by a nuclear armed megalomaniac who questions the strength. HAMLET Is't possible?
GUILDENSTERN O, there has been much throwing about of brains. HAMLET Do the boys carry it away? The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.
The violence of either grief or joy Enter HAMLET, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and others. HAMLET Good sir, whose powers are these? Possibly written by Thomas Kyd or even William Shakespeare, the Ur-Hamlet would have existed by , and would have incorporated a ghost.
Shakespeare's company, the Chamberlain's Men, may have purchased that play and performed a version for some time, which Shakespeare reworked.