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shakespeare hamlet Hamlet Themes

Hamlet is supposedly centered on one character; Hamlet himself, but the play is
driven by plots and schemes that are derived from other characters in the play.
In the play Hamlet, the character Polonius causes misconstrued emotions in other
characters, and this is due in large part to his position as a confidant to many
main characters. He is acting as a middleman and manipulates others
characters feelings to lead up to final conflict. Polonius is a man that
confuses most, but intrigues all. For the beginning of the play he is the
readers guide, and helps to inform the reader of all that is happening within
the lives of the main characters. He was not meant to be a main character, but
any character that is put in the position of an informant instantly becomes a
main character. Polonius is a character in the play for just long enough to give
the reader a good start with what is going on. Polonius is the one character who
communicates and interacts with every other character in the play. He pieces the
play and the characters together to make them more understandable to the reader.
Communication is what Polonius does well, but it is also what he does for his
living. He is dedicated to the King, but at the same time he is dedicated to his
daughter, Ophelia, his son, Laertes, and the Queen, Gertrude. His connections
with these powerful people is a great example of how they are all getting
information from Polonius, and using it to wreak their own havoc. Polonius
position as the middleman gives him an indescribable amount of power,
which he takes advantage of. He uses what others tell him to supply others with
valuable information, all the way up until his sudden demise. Polonius changes
very little throughout the several Acts for which he is present, but that
doesnt take away from his importance as a character. He establishes himself
as a liar and as someone that is not to be trusted, constantly going behind the
backs of others. We see an example of this when Polonius was spying on his
daughter and Hamlet, You need not tell us what Lord Hamlet said; we heard it
all(Act 3, Sc. 1). He constantly gathers information on others, and uses it
to boost his own standings with Claudius. Throughout Polonius involvement, he
is portrayed and depicted as someone that uses others, even his own daughter,
but he can be viewed in a different light as well. Polonius was simply doing
what every human being strives for; he wanted to know the whole truth about
everything. He used his knowledge in a negative manner, but he maintained his
composure and did what he needed to do. He had his limits, and it can certainly
be fathomed that he could have done much more damage than he actually did. He
was the confidant to many people, and knew a lot about everyone, but he only
told the king what he really needed to know, he was just doing his duty as
Claudius partner. Polonius sense of loyalty to Claudius was maintained up
until the last minutes of his life; things are not adequately explained without
him there. Claudius lost his informant, Ophelia and Laertes lost their father,
and Gertrude lost her confidant. With the demise of Polonius came the demise of
the play. Without that buffer between characters, conflicts began to arise
directly. It can be gathered that Polonius was what kept everyone together, yet
apart at the same time. He was what kept direct conflicts out of the picture,
and now that he was dead, the pinnacle of conflict came into play. There was no
one there to confuse the characters, so there was nothing left to do but
confront each other, hence, the death of Polonius lead to the deaths and demise
of the other characters.

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Hamlet 18

Hamlet

Through Hamlet's own hesitation, paranoia, and desire to gain revenge, he inadvertently sets himself up for the tragic events that conclude the Shakespearean play Hamlet. On account of his active participation, and at the same time ignorance, his efforts to serve justice are a failure. Three of his faults are how he deals with: his father's death, his mother's marriage, and Ophelia's love.
At the beginning of the play, Hamlet is already extremely depressed and has been mourning his father's death in his "inky cloak" for an excessive period of time. He obviously had very strong love for his father - "He was a man, take him for all in all: I shall not look upon his like again." - and is having a difficult time dealing with his death. Then, in his misery, he also has to deal with his mother's marriage "of most wicked speed to incestuous sheets." He expresses his frustration and confusion during his soliloquy in Act 1, Scene 2 after the new King's announcement to his people.
Horatio then arrives to tell Hamlet of the 'apparition' that was seen the night before. A figure resembling the Old Hamlet - "these hands are not more like" - appeared outside the castle. This presents concern for Hamlet because he feels that there has been some 'foul play' to cause the appearance of this spirit. In Kenneth Branagh's movie production, Hamlet begins to look through a book about demons. This suggests that Hamlet presumes something unpleasant has taken place. Hamlet insists that he sees this ghost and accompanies Horatio and Marcellus on their watch.  The ghost presents itself again and Hamlet follows it where it proceeds to make known to Hamlet the evil act of murder that has been committed by Claudius. Hamlet then swears to avenge his father's death and forget everything else -  "from the table of my memory I'll wipe away all trivial fond records."
Hamlet becomes so obsessed with this idea that he leads himself into madness and paranoia. He separates himself from everything else, even his own feelings. Up until this point in the play Hamlet has displayed a great amount of affection for Ophelia. Previously, he had been sending her many letters and tokens of affection. Ophelia "sucked the honey of his music vows" and returned his seeming-to-be-honest affections. Polonius finds out about this affair and orders his daughter to cease the relationship. Ophelia does so against her will. However, Hamlet, becoming so wrapped up in his plans for revenge, has put on an antic disposition and frightens Ophelia. Ophelia feels that she is the cause of his madness because she denied him.
Hamlet also feels betrayed by his mother. She married Claudius just a short time after her husband, whom she supposedly loved eternally, died. Hamlet feels that love is hopeless now and it does not really exist how he always thought it to be. He has become misogynous and wants nothing to do with Ophelia. When Ophelia confronts him and returns his gifts saying, "Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind," Hamlet becomes even more upset and he begins to mock womankind. Ophelia feels responsible for his 'madness' and also heartbroken because she has lost her love.
Hamlet's excitement rises as he finds out the King is guilty at the 'play'. The King's response to Hamlet's reenactment of the murder was exactly what he had anticipated. Hamlet has become so paranoid and anxious that he kills Polonius on impulse in his mother's 'closet'. This sends Ophelia straight to her own death. She just could not deal with the responsibility of Hamlet's madness and the fact that the man she loved so dearly murdered her beloved father.
Throughout and as a result of all this confusion, Hamlet's madness has increased perhaps to the point where he is not sane at all. He became so concerned and obsessed with revenge that he disregarded anything that ever mattered to him. Thus, he lost the love of his life through his own ignorance and impulsive actions. He only realizes this after her death but somehow thinks he must continue on this path of determination. Also, as a result of his hesitation many ... more

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  • S: Hamlet And Ophelia S: Hamlet And Ophelia Hamlet And Ophelia The character Ophelia in William Shakespeares play Hamlet plays a very interesting and important role in the elaboration of the plot. In the beginning, she starts off in a healthy state of mind, in love with her boyfriend Hamlet, yet controlled by her father in regard to their relationship. During the play she encounters several troubling experiences involving Hamlet which cause her to become distressed. Near the end, the death of her father leaves Ophelia mentally unstable a...
  • H: Hamlet Themes H: Hamlet Themes Hamlet Themes Hamlet is supposedly centered on one character; Hamlet himself, but the play is driven by plots and schemes that are derived from other characters in the play. In the play Hamlet, the character Polonius causes misconstrued emotions in other characters, and this is due in large part to his position as a confidant to many main characters. He is acting as a middleman and manipulates others characters feelings to lead up to final conflict. Polonius is a man that confuses most, but i...
  • A: Hamlet 18 A: Hamlet 18 Hamlet 18 Hamlet Through Hamlet's own hesitation, paranoia, and desire to gain revenge, he inadvertently sets himself up for the tragic events that conclude the Shakespearean play Hamlet. On account of his active participation, and at the same time ignorance, his efforts to serve justice are a failure. Three of his faults are how he deals with: his father's death, his mother's marriage, and Ophelia's love. At the beginning of the play, Hamlet is already extremely depressed and has been mourning ...
  • K: Human 2 K: Human 2 Human 2 There are two things that make up a human: god and animals. Humans alone have morality, ability to know the principles of right and wrong behavior, and ethical judgment. Alexander Pope, Shakespeare, and Gilgamesh, these people and books, use concepts of human beings are: morality, divinity, and integrity. In todays world it is shown that humans are very easily divinity and animal. Concerns and perspective status of a person and behavior is what leads humans through life. One of these ...
  • E: Apperence Vs. Reality E: Apperence Vs. Reality Apperence Vs. Reality Hamlet one of Shakespeare's greatest plays, where the young prince of Denmark must uncover the truth about his fathers death. Hamlet a play that tells the story of a young prince who's father recently died. Hamlets uncle Claudius marries his mother the queen and takes the throne. As the play is told Hamlet finds out his father was murdered by the recently crowned king. The theme that remains constant throughout the play is appearance versus reality. Things within the play a...
  • S: Hamlet S: Hamlet Hamlet supposedly King Hamlets spirit, as a tool to master this. However, Shakespeare portrays this inner struggle of reason against faith as Hamlets insanity. Does Hamlet become insane in the play, or is Shakespeare trying too hard to once again make the audience uncertain? There is a lot of evidence that Hamlet does indeed go insane, however it seems that the audience sees Hamlets insanity as their uncertainty throughout the play, which has been originally brought on by the Ghost. Ind...
  • P: ddsdds P: ddsdds ddsdds Summary: Hamlet is upset with his mothers hasty marriage to his King Uncle Father, Claudius following his fathers death. He suspects foul play which is later confirmed by the ghost of his father. Now, Hamlet is set on avenging the death of his father as a favor to him. At the same time, he must figure out who is more at fault, his mother or uncle-father. This completely messes with Hamlets mind and he is confused entirely on his situation. His reaction to her marriage in the firs...
  • E: Polonius A Senile Old Fool E: Polonius A Senile Old Fool Polonius A Senile Old Fool Oh, what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!. This quote by Sir Walter Scott has been heard around the world, translated into many languages, and repeated to us by parents, teachers, and our peers. What does it truly mean? Humans create major and possibly chaotic problems when trying to beguile others. This quote not only applies to one person affecting another, but also how the actions of one person trying to deceive many people through double...
  • A: Wmen And Sexism A: Wmen And Sexism Wmen And Sexism We [women] are, as a sex, infinitely superior to men. Elizabeth Stanton (prominent woman suffragist) - (excerpted from One Woman, One Vote by Wheeler, pg. 58) William Shakespeare - (excerpted from Hamlet, Act I, scene 2) This quote made by Stanton in 1890 shows many of the feministic beliefs held by the women of today. And the quote made by Shakespeare holds many of the same thoughts shared by men. The battle of the sexes is prevalent everywhere and is applicable to anything. F...
  • R: Hamlet10 R: Hamlet10 Hamlet10 First performed in 1603, Hamlet, The Prince of Denmark is probably the best known of William Shakespeare\'s works, and may well be the most famous English language play ever written. The character, Hamlet, is one of the most compelling characters to ever emerge from the pages of English literature. Hamlet has been the center of admiring critical commentaries. It has also developed a reputation as a difficult work to analyze. Hamlet features a very complicated character, with many comple...
  • E: Shakespeare1 E: Shakespeare1 shakespeare1 Sidorowicz-2 and by agreeing or disagreeing with those opinions I will prove that he was acting in very logic way, and his decisions and actions were very deliberate. If Shakespeare had not given us the complex psychological state of Hamlet, then one could conclude that Hamlet was really insane (electric library), but Shakespeare did. He made sure that there was an explanation and, or logical reason for all his actions. Hamlet proves to be in complete control of his psyche in severa...
  •  : The Truth Behind William Shakespears Hamlet : The Truth Behind William Shakespears Hamlet The Truth Behind William Shakespears Hamlet The Truth Behind William Shakespeares Hamlet A Tragedy must not be the spectacle of a perfectly good man brought from prosperity to adversity. For this merely shocks us-Aristotle-300bc (pg. 229,Shakespearean criticism, vol. 3) Thesis: William Shakespeare, one of the greatest dramatists in the world, has been famous and well known since the early 1600s. Some of his greatest works have been reproduced hundreds of times. He wrote poems, sonnets, plays...
  • H: One of the most famous and popular authors and scr H: One of the most famous and popular authors and scr One of the most famous and popular authors and script writers is William Shakespeare. Shakespeare has always been able to create interesting characters and one of the reasons they are so interesting might be that they are complex people with their inner selves differing from their outer selves. Are the characters in Hamlet the same on the inside as they appear to be on the outside? The characters in William Shakespeare\'s Hamlet can be studied in a manner relating to appearance versus reality. S...
  • A: GROWING PAINS A: GROWING PAINS GROWING PAINS In the epic tragedy Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, Prince Hamlet is entrapped in a world of evil that is not of his own creation. He must oppose this evil, which permeates his seemingly star-struck life from many angles. His dealings with his fathers eerie death cause Hamlet to grow up fast. His family, his sweetheart, and his school friends all appear to turn against him and to ally themselves with the evil predicament in which Hamlet finds himself. Hamlet makes multiple attempt...
  • M: Romeo And Juliet Is Typical Of Shakespeare M: Romeo And Juliet Is Typical Of Shakespeare Romeo And Juliet Is Typical Of Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet (R&J) is very characteristic of a Shakespearean play because of its recurring themes, language and diction, and story of a tragedy. Much like Hamlet and The Tempest, Shakespeare incorporates themes such as family rivalries, father and daughter relationships, revenge, and obedience vs. disobedience. One theme that tips R&J off to be a Shakespearean play is the rivalry between and inside families. In R&J, a rivalry exists between the two ...
  • L: Hamlet - a study of procrastin L: Hamlet - a study of procrastin Hamlet - a study of procrastin William Shakespeare, perhaps the greatest playwright of all time, authored a number of works consisting of sonnets, comedies, and tragedies. In his brilliant career, Shakespeare created literary works of art. What makes Shakespeare unlike any other writer of his time, or thereafter, is his ability to organize a realistic plot, manage themes, and develop characters within his works. As well, Shakespeare\'s ability to provoke feeling and reaction to his writing is al...
  • E: The catcher in the rye- a stud E: The catcher in the rye- a stud The catcher in the rye- a stud It is all Fun and Games until Someone Looses a Rye Once is a generation, a book is written that transcends reality and humanity .The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger, combines a unique style, controversial theme, and thought provoking main character in this perceptive study of the human condition. This postwar novel protests against the loss of innocence and hypocrisy of the era and is the definitive coming of age novel. Salinger constructs a shocking reality, po...
  • T: Cheryl Bowman T: Cheryl Bowman Cheryl Bowman Mrs. Bembas 2nd. Period English 6 May 1996 The Life of the Great William Shakespeare There are many authors that are widely read. However, none are more universally read and studied than the great William Shakespeare of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. His plays and poems have moved millions of people, unofficially giving him the well-deserved title of the greatest of all dramatists. Shakespeare is the basis for excellence in literacy and theatrical performances. Although oc...
  • Hamlet Essay misc Hamlet Essay misc Hamlet Essay misc To die, would be to abandon this garden suffocated by weeds. To take ones life, is to alleviate turmoil from the heart. Although extremely tempting, Hamlet cannot, therefore will not commit suicide. For he believes God had fixed / his canon gainst self-slaughter! (line 131-132 p.166). With this in his mind he drags his burden deeper and deeper into a pit of agony. Inflicted upon him were the excruciatingly painful blows of his fathers death and the incestuous marriage of ...
  • Appearence Vs Reality in Hamlet1 Appearence Vs Reality in Hamlet1 Appearence Vs Reality in Hamlet1 Hamlet, one of Shakespeare\'s greatest plays, tells the story of a young prince who\'s father recently died. Hamlet\'s uncle, Claudius, marries Hamlet\'s mother, the queen, and takes the throne. As the play is told, Hamlet finds out his father was murdered by the recently crowned king. The theme that remains constant throughout the play is appearance versus reality. Things within the play appear to be true and honest but in reality are infested with evil. Many of...
  • Oedipal and electra complex Oedipal and electra complex oedipal and electra complex Not So Complex: Understanding the Oedipal and Electra Complex Sigmund Freuds psychoanalytic theory on human sexuality introduces the Oedipal and Electra complexes as a psychological approach in understanding the origins of sexual orientation. Most people disagree with his theory and throw out the concept of the Oedipal and Electra conflicts altogether. This is because many are misinformed about the subject or do not completely understand it. Both the Oedipal and Elec...
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  • Was prince hamlet wacko Was prince hamlet wacko Was prince hamlet wacko Was Prince Hamlet Wacko? In Shakespeare\'s Hamlet, the main character offers a puzzling and ambiguous persona. Throughout the play, Hamlet often contradicts himself. He seems to balance the virtues of playing a role, with being true to himself. Further proof of these conflicting personas are demonstrated by his actions and inactions. The ambiguity noted here, lies in two conflicting mannerisms displayed by the young Hamlet: One that is perfectly calm and rational; and...
  • Hamlet - Ghost Hamlet - Ghost Hamlet - Ghost Hamlet - Ghost The presence of the apparition in the opening scene of William Shakespeares Hamlet sets a macabre and eerie tone while emitting and foreshadowing a theme of death. In addition to the death theme the presence of the ghost illuminates on the mystery surrounding the death of Hamlets father, the King of Denmark. Often in literature the presence of a ghost indicates something left unresolved. In this case, the death of Hamlets father is the unresolved event as well the...
  • The Maidenhead of Ophelia The Maidenhead of Ophelia The Maidenhead of Ophelia In William Shakespeares Hamlet, the character of Ophelia is masqueraded as a demure, innocent, adolescent girl. However, the behavior disguised by this faade is much more interesting than we are led to believe. Throughout Hamlet, Ophelia is the target of numerous sexual innuendoes and later the confessor of her own sexual experience. When these occurrences become apparent, Ophelia no longer holds the virginal qualities we were once led to believe she possessed. Opheli...