Chinese Features on Hamlet

Topics: China, Song Dynasty, Culture of China Pages: 13 (4510 words) Published: April 21, 2013
Chinese Features on Hamlet

Xia Chen
Student Number: 3070313019
Supervisor: Lu Junyan

A Thesis
Submitted in Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirement for the Degree of
Bachelor of Arts in the School of Foreign Language Studies,
Ningbo Institute of Technology, Zhejiang University

May 10, 2011


Hamlet is considered as one of the greatest works of Shakespeare, since the play Hamlet is a magnificent example of western classic tragedies and the hero Hamlet is a combination of various personalities and contradictive human values. It becomes valuable as an important source material of study for not only literature but also sociology and anthropology. This paper is composed of four parts including introduction, main body and conclusion. The main body could be divided into two parts, which are Hamlet’s Chinese features as a human and Hamlet’s Chinese features as a tragedy. In the first part, Hamlet’s characters will be compared with Chinese traditional culture: filial piety, the concept of family, morality and sexual discrimination. Filial piety is considered as one of the most important Chinese traditional criterions. In the play Hamlet, when the ghost of the died king, who was Hamlet’s father, asks Hamlet to revenge for him, it seems that the revenging becomes the most important thing of Hamlet, even more important than his love with Ophelia, it shows that Hamlet has a strong sense of filial piety. What’s more, to Chinese people, family is as important as one’s life. Hamlet also tries his best to protect his family in the play. In addition, Hamlet has the sense of sexual discrimination. He thinks women are petty and low, and he does not think men and women are equal, which is also a feudal character in acient China. In the second part, the play Hamlet is compared with Chinese tragedy the Orphan of Chao’s on theme and the enjoyment of tragedy. By this way, the relationship between Hamlet and Chinese culture will be clearly expressed.

Keywords: revenge; love; family; Chinese culture


1 Introduction1

1.1 Research Background1

1.3 Research Purpose2

2 Hamlet’s Chinese Fetures as a Human3

2.1 Hamlet’s Character3

2.2 Hamlet's Chinese Fetures6

2.2.1 Hamlet’s Filial Piety8

2.2.2 Hamlet’s Concept of Family4

2.2.3 Hamlet’s Sense of Sexual Discrimination4

2.2.2 Hamlet and Golden Mean4

3 Hamlet’s Chinese Fetures As a Tragedy5

3.1 The Orphan of Chao’s4

3.2.A Chinese Topic: Revenge4

3.3 A Chinese Way To Enjoy The Tragedy4

4 Conclusion10



1 Introduction
1.1 Research Background
The play Hamlet, written by Shakespeare, is considered as one of the most magnificent art works in the world, and it has been long studied by scholars all around the world. Hamlet is a story about the princess of Denmark, Hamlet, whose father was murdered by Hamlet's uncle. Hamlet's uncle married Hamlet's mother, the queen, and became the new king, which made Hamlet so despaired and angry that he was eager to revenge for his died father. However, Hamlet was a contradictive young man and he was always hesitating, which made him feel painful in his mental world and he almost committed suicide. By the leading of a ghost, which was Hamlet's died father, Hamlet found out the truth of his father's death, then he began to pretend as he was mad so that he might have a chance to kill his uncle, the new king. Hamlet tried to show the truth to the public by a play, which made the new king angry and he decided to banish Hamlet. Fortunately, Hamlet was so clever that he made a stratagem to get rid of the punishment, and he went back to Denmark. Then, Hamlet killed his fiancée’s father as a manslaughter, which made Hamlet's fiancée Ophelia lose her mind. Ophelia's brother asked him to duel with him in front of the...
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