Professor Jared Hayley
Hamlet: Prince of Denmark and The Lion King
Hamlet: Prince of Denmark tells the story of a young prince who wishes to avenge the death of his father, who is killed by his own brother. Four hundred years later, Walt Disney produced a movie called The Lion King (TLK) with almost the exact same storyline. Many can argue that Hamlet and TLK are complete parallels of each, but it can be suggested that although they share similarities through the purpose and characters, the two works diverge when the motives and actions of the characters are broken down, suggesting different themes for each work; Hamlet: a more psychologically damaged and sorrow theme; and TLK: a more heroic theme.
In Hamlet, the story begins when one night, Hamlet is confronted by the ghost of his father, Hamlet Sr. The ghost reveals how Hamlet’s father died; killed by Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius, who is now the King of Denmark. Hamlet then commits himself to avenging his father’s death. Hamlet soon enters a state of sorrow and madness. Claudius and Gertrude, Queen of Denmark and Hamlet’s mother, suspect that his madness roots from the love of a girl named Ophelia, but Hamlet proved them wrong when he screams “Get thee to a nunnery” at Ophelia. Later, a group of actors arrive and Hamlet uses the actors to bring out the guilt in his uncle. The actors reenact how Claudius may have commited the crime and sure enough, Claudius reacts. Hamlet then finds Claudius repenting for his sins. With his guard up high, Claudius sends Hamlet to England and sends a note with his friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that orders the death of Hamlet. Hamlet finds out about this and then returns to Denmark
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