Hamlet

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ENGLISH ESSAY – HAMLET

“In his representations of human nature, Shakespeare’s play Hamlet reinforces the ongoing importance of relationships.” To what extent does your interpretation of Hamlet support this view?

Shakespeare’s play Hamlet reinforces the ongoing importance of relationships through his representations of human nature. He looks at the psychological and social qualities that characterise the importance of relationships in Hamlet. Shakespeare uses different characters and their interactions to highlight innate aspects of the human condition. This is highlighted through Hamlet’s relationship with Claudius, Ophelia and Gertrude. It is through these interactions that one can see the importance of relationships in shaping of one’s human nature.

Within the relationship between Hamlet and Claudius, it is evident that deception leads to the act of madness in order to gain information and facts. Hamlet’s ‘Play within a Play’ reveals this as he attempts to expose his guilty stepfather in order to discover the truth “The plays the thing/Wherein ill catch the conscience of the king”. Claudius’s use of Laertes, in the plotting of Hamlet’s death, further reinforces this idea of taking vengeance on the other “What would you undertake/to show yourself in deed your father’s son/More than in words?” Revenge is a reoccurring theme throughout this relationship as it drives their emotions to feign an act. “How all occasions do inform against me/and spur my dull revenge” reveals that everything Hamlet encounters prompts him to revenge. Throughout Hamlet’s pursue for revenge against Claudius, he discovers that codes of conduct in which society is founded are contradictory and may endanger his own soul. By suggesting that reasons for revenge can become muddy as well as complicating the idea of justice, Hamlet discovers that he has a conscience. The relationship between Hamlet and Claudius furthermore juxtaposes the theme Action and Inaction as it is in...
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