• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Shakespeare puts Hamlet into a situation in which he must deal with the betrayal and murder of his father by his own family me

Extracts from this document...


Shakespeare puts Hamlet into a situation in which he must deal with the betrayal and murder of his father by his own family members. Shakespeare intends the audience to think that there was an unnatural relationship between Gertrude and Hamlet. In act three, scene four; Polonius hides himself in Gertrude's bedroom behind a tapestry. Polonius tells Gertrude to tell Hamlet nearly everything and be forthright with him. Hamlet comes into the room and Gertrude scolds Hamlet for offending her father, Claudius. Hamlet responds by saying that she offended his father, meaning the old King Hamlet. Hamlet bullies Gertrude and Polonius makes a reaction from the behind of the tapestry. Hamlet takes out his sword and puts it through the tapestry killing Polonius. Hamlet lifts up the tapestry and expects to see Claudius, but he sees Polonius instead. Hamlet turns on Gertrude saying that his father was "God-like," full of courage and that Claudius was like an infection in King Hamlet's ear. He accuses his mother of gross sexual wantonness. Gertrude begs Hamlet to leave. Hamlet then sees the ghost of his father, but Gertrude sees absolutely nothing and thinks that Hamlet is seeing things. ...read more.


Most of the characters observing Hamlet's behaviour can't agree whether it is fake and calculating or whether the prince really is suffering from a mental illness threatening the 'noble, sovereign reason' which separates men from beasts (Claudius). Claudius himself is conscious of the fact that the conduct and words of his nephew are at one and the same time completely irrational and absolutely coherent. Basing his judgement on the theories of ancient medicine, he attributes the ambiguities of the deranged speeches to the workings of a harmful temperament provoking a state of deep melancholia. 'What he (Hamlet) spake' he concludes, 'though it lack'd form a little...Was not like madness. There's something in his soul... o'er which his melancholy sits on brood, ... and I do doubt the hatch and the disclose... Will be some danger' (Act 3, Scene 1). There is famous theory of the Oedipus complex, which is linked to the tragedy of Hamlet. It was Freud himself who, in an essay published in 1905, was the first to try and resolve in psychoanalytical terms the enigma offered by this type of behaviour (Hamlet is mentioned as an aside), although Ernest Jones developed it most in the 1930s. ...read more.


Shakespeare wants the audience to ask these questions when reading Hamlet to get a feel of how the character must have felt and the other characters around him. The audience feel sorry for Gertrude because she has to cope through Hamlet's madness and also the loss of Polonius so she has gone through a lot because of Hamlet. There is less sympathy for Hamlet as he killed Polonius and he has done a number of murders and also his madness does not help the audience to feel sorry for him. Ernest Jones idea of taking revenge is okay in the sense that Hamlet has done it before through the murders but the audience might disagree with him because there might be alternative reasons to take revenge not just because of sex and the death of King Hamlet his father. Using revenge is not always the answer the audience might think so they will disagree with Jones's viewpoint. ?? ?? ?? ?? Matthew Willbye 12JJP Analyse the language and structure of act 3, scene 4, in relation to guilt, blame and madness. Access how Shakespeare's presentation of these themes affects the audience's sympathy for Gertrude and Hamlet and how believable Hamlet's reasons for revenge are. Consider Jones's argument concluding whether there are alternative reasons for Hamlet's passionate desire to give out apportion and take revenge. Page 1 of 4 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hamlet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hamlet essays

  1. Scene by Scene - Hamlet.

    So does Shakespeare. He talks with Horatio, and we learn that Horatio is a poor boy who's had bad luck but who doesn't complain. He and Hamlet are genuine friends who know they can trust each other. (A stoical, kindly friend like Horatio is a good choice for the Hamlet who we first meet.

  2. How does Shakespeare use language to describe Claudius as a villain?

    This is very difficult for him because he knows it would require him to confess his sins, give up his crown and Queen and face possible execution. Moreover, he loves Gertrude so profoundly that he cannot bear her loss. He is a man in love with life, pleasure and especially

  1. Hamlet Essay DRAFT

    Hamlet uses brutal language in this soliloquy, and makes references to the witches' Sabbath, when they perform evil rites conjuring up the devil and drinking human blood. This brutal language is not in keeping with Hamlet's character, and so will have made the audience aware of the rage and anger that was building up inside him.

  2. Hamlet - themes and speeches in Act lll

    that he is resentful and, therefore, vengeful towards his uncle, the King. This is further corroborated in Hamlet?s soliloquy, in which he contrasts the King with his father (?My father?s brother: but no more like my father, Than I to Hercules?)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work