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Literature Review – Analytical Journal Hamlet

Title of the play; Hamlet

  1. Setting: The setting of the play depicts a set of the fourteenth or fifteenth century in the place of royal place which is located in the city of Elsinore in Denmark. There is a tinge of religion in the concept of Hamlet marking the theories of protestant that link the drama to the religious affiliation.
  2. Plot: The plot of Hamlet is depressed in nature. Personal conflict and painful surprises are the basic elements used in the plot from the beginning. Prince Hamlet is shown to be called to Germany with the news that his father has passed. On his arrival, he was astounded to see that his mother Gertrude has already married to his father’s brother Claudius. Hence, not only was it the grief of his father died but also the distress of his crown being snatched by his uncle. Hamlet suspected foul play which was later confirmed with the arrival of his father’s ghost telling him that he was killed by his brother. Hamlet father’s ghost insisted on taking revenge on his brother. Hamlet spent days and nights in agony. He even tried to spy on the activities of the palace to get the clue or evidence but got confused further thinking that might the ghost be a devil making him fall into his trap. Confused he planned a play by the title ‘the Murder of Gonzago’ in which he portrayed the death scene which was told to him by the ghost. He wanted to observe the responses of Claudius for this play of true story. Claudius watching the play grew pale and went outside to grasp air. Hence, the suspects of Hamlet were established making it clear that Claudius has played the villain. Hamlet intended to kill Claudius for his act, but in his endeavors, he killed six innocent lives. The death of o Polonius was most evident who was killed in suspect of spying. Claudius called his friends from England to spy on him and later exiled Hamlet as punishment for his conduct. He also made them agree to hand over Hamlet to the king of England for execution, but Hamlet was smart enough to get his friends killed instead.  Ophelia and her brother Laertes, the children of the man killed got distressed of the murder of their father and vow Claudius also becomes a part of his quest, and a sword fight took place between Laertes and Hamlet in which Hamlet succeeded to Kill Laertes. However, the same poisoned sword cutter Hamlet too. Gertrude watched from a distance and with the thought of the success of his son drinks the poisoned toast which was left for Hamlet by Claudius. Enraged Hamlet killed Claudius with the poisoned sword and made him drink the poisoned drink He died leaving the throne for Fortinbras of Norway, his friends uttering his last words of, “ The rest is silence.” The play ended with the view of the grand royal funeral for Hamlet.
  3. Character Analysis:
  4. The protagonist (Hamlet): The character of Hamlet is a deep mystery. It greatly depends on the perception of an individual of how one view and comprehends his character. He is shown a loving son but rational individual. He is enraged for Claudius but held a soft corner for his mother who was also a part of the murder. He is shown to make his friends die but mourned on the death of Ophelia. Thus, the character of Hamlet is the junction of contradictions. However, strength and brave conduct are the fundamentals of this character.
  5. Antagonist (Claudius)

The character of Claudius is shown to be as that of an individual who beholds charisma and is witty as well. Getting the mother of Hamlet involved in his plan was the evidence of his attributes.

  1. Theme

Mortality, emotional distress, the attitude of women and political manipulations are the basic themes of this play. The theme of mortality focused on the complexity of life and the suffering of death. The emotional distress resulted from confusion and sorrow is also the theme of the play. The political manipulations have been the paper of the plot since the beginning. Likewise, the attitude of women in love and quest for power has been depicted with the character of Gertrude and Ophelia.

  1. Evaluation

The factors of social and political determinants could be regarded as the basic points of evaluation. The accuracy of depiction made with the sequence of events and use of dialogues have instilled life in the play. The complexity of each theme is defined with a clear pattern of events and defined attributes of characters that made one belief over the logic of utterings. The exact nature of human in response to happening has been depicted in the play with all its clarity. The truth of the meaning of life and the uncertainty of life after death are the core factors that have made the play interesting in a unique way. Hence, it can be regarded that the play added value to literature by offering insight into the conduct and responses to identified events.



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