Hamlet vs Lion King

Topics: Hamlet, The Lion King, Characters in Hamlet, William Shakespeare, Prince Hamlet, Gertrude / Pages: 5 (1083 words) / Published: Feb 19th, 2014
8 April 2010
Hamlet vs. The Lion King

Major themes in literature and art reappear throughout history. In most cases, the interpretation reflects the current social norms of the time. This can be seen through analysis of the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, which reflects the Elizabethan time period, and the movie The Lion King by Walt Disney, an animated modern version of Hamlet, which mirrors the current era. Each piece of literature is formatted around the same plot. In general, an uncle kills his brother and takes over the thrown. The Uncle then sends the king’s son away to be killed, but he survives. After an internal struggle, the son returns to reclaim the thrown, and the uncle is murdered. Comparison of paralleled characters in Hamlet and The Lion King represent, among other things, the changing perception of culture from England’s sixteenth century to America’s twentieth.

The different endings of the play and of the film elucidates a shift in pop cultural attitudes from 1600 to 1994. In Hamlet, Prince Hamlet displays inner struggles between avenging his father’s death and earning salvation. Vengeance prevails. He kills his uncle, only to die of poisoning shortly afterward. This morbid ending categorizes Shakespeare’s play as a tragedy and Hamlet as a tragic hero. King Hamlet appears as a ghost telling his son that Uncle Claudius murdered him. Hamlet, a university student, repeatedly grapples with the causes of evil and doing the right thing (i.e. Act I Scene i, Act II Scene ii, Act III Scene iv). In the end, upholding honor reins, and he kills his Uncle Claudius; in doing so, Hamlet is hailed a hero. His status is preserved upon his death. During the Elizabethan period both acts are deemed acceptable. Seeking retribution is an honorable act of a nobleman (1). Furthermore, the death of a protagonist is all the rage as evidenced by other highly successful tragedies written by Shakespeare around this era, including Romeo and Juliet, Julius

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