Hamlet by William Shakespeare

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Shakespeare’s play Hamlet has become the most popular of his plays over the years. It is as popular now, if not more popular, than at the first performances in the early 1600’s and this shows that Hamlet is still popular with contemporary audiences even 400 years after it was written. There are many reasons why Hamlet is still relevant to contemporary audiences and these are expressed through the narrative conventions of Hamlet. As there are so many conventions present in Hamlet it is best summarized by a quote from Kenneth Branagh, ‘It has everything- intrigues, romance, politics, violence, revenge, jealousy, wit. It plays itself out on such a grand scale.’

Shakespeare is the best known play write to this day and his plays are still popular 400 years later. He achieves this by incorporating an intriguing plotline and in the play Hamlet he uses many techniques to captivate the audience and that is why it has been so successful. Firstly, he keeps the suspense at a high level throughout the play by having cliff-hanging moments followed by a humorous scene and this engages you in the play and makes you want to never stop watching it. The plot also deals with universal human concerns and these apply to any time period between 1600 and 2008 and potentially beyond. There has always been murder, revenge, love and tragedy and because of this, everyone could relate to it.

Hamlet’s characterization is also a very important characteristic to Hamlet and adds to the popularity of the play. Even at our first encounter with Hamlet, it sets the tone for the whole play. Even without Shakespeare providing an elaborate description of Hamlet's features, we can envision his pale face, tousled hair, and intense, brooding eyes. Dressed in black, Hamlet displays all the ' moods and shapes of grief'. Hamlet's tremendous grief is intensified by this lack of feeling by those around him, and more significantly, by the cold-hearted actions of his mother, who married her...
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