The Dilemma of “to Be, or Not to Be, That Is the Question” Shalt Only Remain a Tragedy to Hamlet, Not Students

Topics: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Tragedy Pages: 5 (1491 words) Published: March 28, 2008
The dilemma of “to be, or not to be, that is the question” Shalt only remain a tragedy to Hamlet, not students

Shakespearean Plays have been praised as one of the most profound literature works in the English language. The plays reflect social/political situation; Shakespeare also brilliantly manipulate techniques such as characterization, plot, language, and genre [Chambers, E. K. (1944). Shakespearean Gleanings. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 35. OCLC 2364570]; Shakespeare was also a pioneer of integrating many literal devices into a play, for instance Soliloquies had been used mainly to convey information about characters or events; but Shakespeare used them to explore characters' minds [Clemen, Wolfgang (1987). Shakespeare's Soliloquies. London: Routledge, 179] his use of language helped shape modern English [Crystal, David (2001). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 55–65, 74] .The plays are therefore included as mandatory studies in English programs. As influential as Shakespearean plays may be, the anachronistic context of his works discourage students from fascinations; therefore more contemporary approaches to his works should be adapted in order to resolve this issue and to engage student’s attention.

Brief Summary
The renowned Shakespearean play - “Hamlet” is selected to illustrate the potential effects in transforming a play into a video and/or computer game. “Hamlet” is a true tragedy in every context: revenge, greed, stupidity. The play, as suggested by the title is related to Page 1

events surround Hamlet – prince of Denmark, son of the late King Hamlet and Gertrude. The late king of Denmark appears as a spirit before Hamlet and divulges information that his uncle, Claudius is responsible for the late king’s murder. Grieving for both his father’s murder and his mother’s remarriage to Claudius, Hamlet is tormented emotionally and he vows to avenge the death of his father; he becomes melancholic and close relatives become aware of his mental instability. Buried himself in plotting the revenge isolates Hamlet from social life; his admirer, Ophelia commits suicide upon Hamlet declines her affection; her father – Polonius who offered to spy on the Prince on behalf of Claudius is slain by Hamlet because he was mistaken for Claudius. The series of unfortunate events prevail with the queen drinking the poison intended for Hamlet, and the fatal fight between Claudius, Laertes and Hamlet, with Laertes denouncing the current king with his last breath. Hamlet’s close and loyal companion Horatio wishes to consume the poison but Hamlet convinces him otherwise, thus Horatio becomes the surviving witness of this tragedy.

Adaptation involves transforming same events, stories into another medium, and is through contrast of other elements that would illustrate other perspectives to the audience. Examples would include Dracula which includes mediums such as video/computer games, movies and novels; another successful example would be the movie Elizabeth: the golden age. According to the director of this movie, history has always been his unpleasant subject and he wishes to present it in an interesting way to the audience. Needless to say, “Hamlet” has had many types of adaptations being one of the best known pieces of Page 2

literature throughout the world; one of the best would be “Lion King” by Disney, the film has successfully transformed one of the oldest pieces of literature into something that even children would appreciate and embrace.

Brief introduction of the related medium
The adaptation of “Hamlet” into video game is inspired by the all-time famous game Diablo – a game developed by Blizzard Entertainment. The game is based on a fictional setting: The power of darkness reigns the world and the player – a lone fighter is to restore the world to its original state by defeating the lord of the underworld. The two share...
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