Hamlet, In spite of a prejudice current in certain circles that if now produced for the first time it would fail, is the most popular play in our language. ~ G.H.Lewes.
The distinctive concerns of a time and place construct the foundation and shape meaning in a text. The Shakespearean play of Hamlet is an enduring play as the themes introduced in the play by Shakespeare are closely parallel and touch on with the intricacies of human conditions.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet is complex play where numeral themes are intertwined. These themes reinforce the development of a revenge tragedy.
Without any doubt, the most essential theme present in Hamlet is revenge. Revenge is a frightening bloodthirsty emotion which forces individuals to act blindly. This aspect of revenge is explored through the play by Shakespeare creating the idea in which Hamlet seeks to avenge the murder of his father, King Hamlet, by Claudius. In a typical revenge tragedy, a revenger craves and takes his revenge, leaving himself in a vicious cycle of ongoing revenge. However Hamlet is quite different, “prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, / must like a whore unpack my heart with words” As instead of taking revenge he talks about it.
William Shakespeare very effectively uses soliloquies to accentuate character traits and to reinforce specific themes in his play. A soliloquy spoken by hamlet in act 3 clearly portrays his character flaws and reinforces the theme of revenge. This soliloquy presents the audience a glimpse into Hamlet’s psyche. He is so depressed and grieved by his father’s death, that he too wishes to be dead and even considers attempting suicide. However as the catholic church states, one cannot take his own life which was a necessity from the Jacobean audience’s eyes.
The aforementioned notion of revenge leads to the idea of action vs. inaction. Hamlet who seeks revenge, delays in taking action for some reasons...
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