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Hamlet Analysis

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Topics: Hamlet, Gertrude
Kersten Heidel
February 17, 2013
English 4
Period 1
Hamlet and The Catcher in the Rye Summaries and Backgrounds In William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet,” a young Prince comes back home when he finds out about the death of his father. When he arrives, a few of his friends that the ghost of his father has been wondering the kingdom and that they tried to talk to it, but it would just disappear. Hamlet also is made aware that his mother, Gertrude, and his uncle, Claudius, his father’s brother, have married. His feelings about this are not very positive. When Hamlet comes into contact with his father’s ghost, the ghost tells Hamlet that his uncle murdered him and that he needed to avenge his death. When this ghost tells him to do so, Hamlet goes crazy. Hamlet puts on a play for his uncle that is about a murder. His uncle leaves in the middle of it because he is guilty. Hamlet begins to plan his murder of his uncle, but before he can do so, the girl that loves him, Ophelia, tells his uncle of Hamlet’s madness and he sends him off. Before Hamlet leaves, he is “alone” talking to his mother when Ophelia’s father, Polonius, is stabbed by Hamlet because he is spying from behind the curtain. When Ophelia finds out about this she goes into a deep depression and commits suicide. At Ophelia’s funeral her brother, Laertes, starts to yell about how much he loved his sister so Hamlet comes from behind the trees and exclaims that he loved Ophelia more. This leads to Laertes and Hamlet facing off in a fencing war. Claudius poisons the end of Laertes sword so when he stabs Hamlet, he will die. When they begin to sword fight, Gertrude drinks from the poison bottle, killing herself. Then Laertes is cut by his own sword with poison. This then makes it clear that Claudius was trying to kill him so Hamlet stabs him with the poisoned sword. After Claudius dies from the poison, Hamlet also dies because he was struck at the beginning of the fight. Hamlet was written between 1599 and 1601 which falls in the Renaissance Literary Period. Hamlet is a tragic revenge story like a lot of stories written in this time frame. A Danish revenge story that was published by Saxo Grammaticus in the 1100’s is what Hamlet is based off of. It is said that Hamlet is a form of Reformation because he is so uncertain and conflict with religious views. In J.D. Salinger’s story “The Catcher in the Rye” an older version of the narrator, Holden Caulfield, tells the story of himself when he was sixteen. When telling the story he explains that he is being kicked out of Pencey Prep school and how he is very annoyed by his neighbor Ackley, but even more annoyed with his roommate Stradlater. Stradlater ends up going on a date with Jane, a girl Holden used to date. Holden doesn’t like the idea of Stradlater taking Jane out because he is known of taking girls out and having sex with them so when he returns, Holden asks him if he had sex with Jane, and they end up getting into a fight where Stradlater gives Holden a bloody nose. Holden is infuriated by this and decides to leave to his parents’ house in Manhattan, three days early. He decides to stay in a hotel and when he is there he witnesses another man cross dressing. He decides to call a woman Faith who had met before and invite her over. She does not want to come over at such a late hour, but tells Holden they can meet the next day. The next day, he meets up with Sally, an ex girlfriend, and they go to see a Broadway show. He teases her and she is angered and leaves. Holden sends a note to his sister for her to meet him at a museum when she has lunch. When she does she has a suitcase and wants to go away with him, but he refuses. He lies and tells her that he is going to a new school in the fall. The Catcher in the Rye was published in 1951 within the Modern American Literary Period. Not much is known as to why Salinger wrote the Catcher in the Rye. Although it is said that he met Ernest Hemingway in Paris and that he admired his works, therefore this may have something to do with his intention. Salinger wrote during World War II, and the effects of this on men and women of this time are a lot of the same effects Holden has in his life.
Bibliography
"A Critical Analysis of Shakespeare 's Hamlet." 123HelpMe.com. 24 Feb 2013 <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=17120>. "Hamlet: Background Info." LitCharts.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2013.
Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston, MA: Little Brown, 1951.
Shakespeare, William. No Fear Shakespeare Hamlet. New York, NY: Spark Publishing, 2003. Print.
"The Catcher in the Rye: Background Info." LitCharts.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2013.

Kersten Heidel
February 17, 2013
English 4
Period 1
Critical Analysis of Hamlet “Hamlet”, by William Shakespeare, is a controversial piece of work when it comes down to if Hamlet is really mad, why he delays avenging his father’s death, and his incestuous acts towards his mother. In the critical analysis paper I found on 123helpme.com, these three categories are discussed. While I was reading through this paper, I have to say I agree with what is being said. It is said that Hamlet undergoes a character change in the second scene of act one, which I find very true. Hamlet begins to talk of wishing his “dirty flesh could melt away” (Act 1 Scene 2 Pg. 26). In the second act, other characters in the book also begin to see this change, like the author said in his paper Ophelia tells her father of that Hamlet talked to with a “shaken state of mind” (123helpme.com paragraph 2). Polonius, Ophelia’s father, jumps directly to the fact that he is “mad for thy love?”(Act 2 Scene 1 Pg. 82). Hamlet is told to avenge his father’s death by his father’s ghost at the beginning of the play, yet Hamlet seems to hold off on doing so. In the paper on 123helpme.com the author says that Hamlet tortures his uncle, Claudius, throughout the entire play, which is very true. Hamlet sets up a play in act two, scene two, about a murder in order to see if Claudius shows guilty actions. When the play is being acted out, Claudius walks out and hints to Hamlet that he is indeed, guilty. Then in act three, Hamlet has the chance to kill Claudius while he is praying, however, Hamlet seems not to do this because Claudius is going back and forth with himself asking if he could truly be forgiven because he would still be living with the luxurious things that have come from his brother’s death. In the paper on 123helpme.com, the author discusses Hamlet’s sexual attraction to his mother, Gertrude. The author suggests that Hamlet kills Polonius and then tries to make love to his mother. Although in my version of Hamlet, the love making to his mother is never mentioned, I do agree that Hamlet was weirdly attracted to his mother in a way that he should not have been. In act three, scene four, page 208 Hamlet tells his mother to not have sex with Claudius and is very clear about the fact she must be chastised when it comes to him. He is set on this, more than about her not telling Claudius that Hamlet knows he killed his father, which to me as a reader, I find should be the more important subject at the time. I agree Hamlet was indeed mad for multiple reasons, he delayed the avenging of his father’s death in order to torture him further, and that he had a many incestuous acts towards his mother. The paper on 123helpme.com criticized William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet” quite well and was definitely something I agree with.

Bibliography:  "Hamlet: Background Info." LitCharts.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston, MA: Little Brown, 1951. Shakespeare, William. No Fear Shakespeare Hamlet. New York, NY: Spark Publishing, 2003. Print. "The Catcher in the Rye: Background Info." LitCharts.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. Kersten Heidel February 17, 2013

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