Examine Hamlet to Show How the Textual Integrity Contributes to the Enduring Value of the Play.

Topics: William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Ghost Pages: 2 (834 words) Published: September 30, 2011
William Shakespeare’s Hamlet contains Issues, scenarios, values and morals combined to compose the plays overall textual integrity which contributes to the enduring value of the play through its communication of these themes which have held their relevance throughout the generations. These themes include: The Impossibility of Certainty, The complexity of action, the Mystery of Death and Appearance VS Reality. A theme present in Hamlet still holding relevance in today’s world is the Impossibility of certainty, every action carried out in life is in essence a risk. This value is explored in the initial act of the play (Act 1, Scene 4) after Hamlet is confronted by the Ghost of his father and former King of Denmark and informed that he did not in fact die of natural causes, but was murdered by his brother Claudius. Hamlet, now set the task of avenging his father’s death, is uncertain of the Ghosts credibility. Hamlet is posed with the question of whether or not the Ghost is genuine or a fiend – “Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damned?” The use of Juxtaposition helps demonstrate Hamlets inner conflict, delaying action due to a fear of uncertainty and lack of knowledge of the consequences. Another issue explored in Hamlet is the complexity of action, a matter which in modern times is still reflected. This issue is exemplified in Act 2, Scene 2 before Hamlet comes up with the idea of the Play within the Play in order to confirm whether or not the Ghost is Genuine before carrying out its will – “prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell/Must like a whore unpack my heart with words.” Emphasised by the simile within this example, Hamlets frustration at his own inadequacy is demonstrated. His inability to act is a result of his overactive conscious and feels that he can only act if Claudius shows a sign of guilt. Two issues present here are Procrastination, and the inability to act before one is certain such an action is appropriate. These issues are experienced...
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