Mind and Hamlet

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“An admirable text does not define or exhaust its possibilities”. What possibilities do you see in Shakespeare’s Hamlet? Discuss your ideas with close reference to at least two scenes from Hamlet. Shakespeare’s texts have been re-visited, re-interpreted and re-invented to suit the context and preferences of an evolving audience, and it through this constant recreation it is evident that Hamlet “does not define or exhaust its possibilities”. Through the creation of a character who emulates a variety of different themes, such as revenge, realisation of reality and the questioning of humanity, we can see the different possibilities within Hamlet as an “admirable text” with enduring human value. Furthermore, the emotional journey of Hamlet and his progression of madness provide further opportunity for differing interpretations. Hamlet connects with audiences from a variety of socio-historic contexts primarily due to its address of fundamental human issues and what it is to be human. Hamlet's soliloquy at the end of Act 2 is a conveyance of the emotional journey of Hamlet and its exploration of the theme of revenge provides extensive evidence possibilities of constant reinterpretation as it demonstrates a character to understand and relate to. The soliloquy provides a chance for change in the audience's perception of Hamlet, and allows for a more intensive insight into Hamlet's persona. The characterisation of Hamlet suggests he is self-deprecating and insecure, evident in the statement “oh, what a rogue slave am I!”, and in this the audience relates to Hamlet in his inability to decide how to fulfil his immense responsibility. The idea of Renaissance Humanism is evident in Hamlet's conclusion to “catch the conscience of the king” through the production of a play that is emulative of his father's murder in order to see Claudius' guilty reaction. This notion is supported by Salter, 1988, who declares Hamlet is of a philosophical nature that is aware of the “larger...
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