Lion King vs Hamlet
Topics: The Lion King, Hamlet / Pages: 4 (814 words) / Published: May 4th, 2007

Many perceive The Lion King, Disney's most successful movie to date, as Disney's only original movie; the only movie not previously a fairy tale from one country or another. This, however, is not the case. While The Lion King seems not to be biased on a fairy tale, it is in fact strongly based on the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Disney writers cleverly conceal the basic character archetypes and simplified storyline in a children's tale of cute lions in Africa. To the seasoned reader, however, Hamlet comes screaming out of the screenplay as obviously as Hamlet performed onstage. The characters in The Lion King closely parallel Hamlet. Simba, the main character in The Lion King, embodies Hamlet, He is the son of the King and rightful heir to the throne. The King of the Pridelands, Mufasa, parallels Hamlet Senior, who is killed by the uncle figure. In The Lion King, the uncle is Scar, and in Hamlet, the uncle figure is Claudius. Laertes, the henchman and right-hand man of Claudius, becomes, in the movie, the Hyenas, Bansai, Shenzi, and Ed. The Hyenas collectively act as hero-worshippers to Scar, loyal subjects, and fellow doers-in-evil. They support Scar completely, just as Laertes supports Claudius. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are the comic reliefs of Hamlet, and in The Lion King, this role is fulfilled by Timon and Pumbaa, who are a meercat and warthog, respectively. Both sets compliment each other, complete each other's sentences, act as caretakers to Hamlet/Simba, and are comical to the point of being farcical. The role of Horatio, Hamlet's right-hand man, is fulfilled in The Lion King by Nala. Nala concentrates on the aspect that Simba is the rightful King and that it is his responsibility to ascend to the throne. She is his best friend and someone whom he trusts. Just as Horatio loyally follows Hamlet, Nala is completely loyal to Simba. Not only are there ties of friendship, but there is also an element of respect and reverence

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