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Hamlet - review

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Introduction

Hamlet Coursework There were many factors which affected Shakespeare when he wrote Hamlet, one of which was the fashion at the time were all about revenge tragedies, the audience absolutely loved to watch violence. Shakespeare knew that, so most of his plays were in that category. When this play was written in 1601, Shakespeare's father died and also one of his generous patron and friend imprisoned due to the failure of a rebellion led by Lord Essex. Shakespeare himself had also taken part in the plot by authorizing a performance of Richard II on the eve of the events. Essex's followers compared Elizabeth I to Richard and the scene concerning the deposing of the King was to trigger that of the Queen. However, the theatre did not suffer any retaliation when the plot was exposed. From this year onward the tone of Shakespeare's plays became sombre, sad and bitter. This probably affected the way in which Hamlet was written. During the first 2 scenes of the play, Hamlet's father has died. Although he doesn't know exactly how he died but he suspected there was a murder as the quote 'My father's spirit - in arms! All is not well. I doubt some foul play.' showed. To make matters worse, Hamlet's uncle, Claudius immediately managed to marry Queen Gertrude (Hamlet's mother), which has made Hamlet even more angry and bitter. ...read more.

Middle

from Hamlet. In here, Shakespeare has chose to compare how different King Hamlet was to King Claudius just like how different was Hamlet to Hercules. This was a very effective way to show the audience because the main idea was set out very clearly in terms of their differences. During the first scene, one of the guard said 'Tis now struck twelve.' A time of night associated with magic and the dead. Shakespeare has chosen this deliberately to increase the suspicion and fear in the audience because on a 16th century stage, there wouldn't be any special/lighting effects as most of the plays were performed during day time. So the only way to tell the audience was to act or say it out. From these, tension was increased for the audience through many short dialogues between the characters and when the guards spoke of something that they couldn't name, a 'thing', 'a dreaded sight' and 'apparition', a sense of gloom and doom was created. On a 20th century, the way of presenting tension would be completely different through the uses of technology and costumes. Actors might be able to perform with sound effects and red/blue stage lightning to help them passing along information to the audience. However, in the Elizabethan times, such technology was available, therefore Shakespeare's only choice was to use short sentences/phrases to create the tension from the dialogues spoken from the actors. ...read more.

Conclusion

Gertrude herself in the play was very much of a confused character due to the relationships between her son and her new husband. The ghost was the primary mover of the play; it was the main reason why Hamlet begins to plot against Claudius. The ghost tells the audience what the play was about and how it should end; this gave the audience a basic idea so the audience doesn't get lost anywhere in the play. The ghost also constantly reminds the audience about the key plot of the play whenever it talks to Hamlet. In conclusion, the first two scenes of Hamlet gave the audience a look into the events, which the play begins from, and the basic plot of the story. An insight into Hamlet's characteristics and feelings/opinions about the speedy marriage of Gertrude and Claudius were also given. The effectiveness of these scenes can perhaps be seen when the main story of the play has started to move in just two scenes and the audience was already interested when a suspicious murder has happened. I think this play from Shakespeare was very successful because it not only showed revenge and violence but had also shown the essence of a human being through the atmospheres of guilt, hatred and regret presented to the audience. These different atmospheres contributed to the different themes in Hamlet. E.g. Hatred inside Hamlet leads to his madness seen by other characters through his actions. ...read more.

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