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Through its portrayal of human experience, Shakespeares Hamlet reinforces the significance of loyalty. To what extent does your interpretation of Hamlet support this view?

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Through its portrayal of human experience, Shakespeare's Hamlet reinforces the significance of loyalty. To what extent does your interpretation of Hamlet support this view? In your response, make detailed reference to the play. Why is Shakespeare considered to be one of the greatest playwrights of his time? Shakespeare lived in the Elizabethan era and had to write for an Elizabethan audience and theater. By today's standards, this was no picnic in the park. Under those circumstances, he wrote some of the greatest works in history. These works, still popular today, prove him to be a consummate dramatist. Shakespeare knew how to craft dramatic scenes full of external and internal conflict and emotion, something the Elizabethan audience delighted in; he also intertwined superstitions of this era and pageantry, which the Elizabethans also loved. Hamlet is arguably the greatest dramatic character ever created. From the moment we meet the crestfallen prince we are enraptured by his elegant intensity. Shrouded in his inky cloak, Hamlet is a man of radical contradictions -- he is reckless yet cautious, courteous yet uncivil, tender yet ferocious. ...read more.


It is no wonder, then, that Hamlet develops a disgust for, not only Claudius the man, but all of the behaviors and excesses associated with Claudius. Hamlet begins to find revelry of any kind unacceptable, but particularly he loathes drinking and sensual dancing. As they await the Ghost on the castle wall, Hamlet hears the king engaging in merriment down below, and tells Horatio that the whole world is feeling the same contempt for his drunken countrymen: This heavy headed revel east and west Makes us traduc'd, and tax'd of other nations; They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phrase Soil our addition; and indeed it takes From our achievements, though perform'd at height, The pith and marrow of our attribute Hidden beneath Hamlet's bitter cynicism and cruel words is a desire to embrace those that fate dictates he must despise. Even when he confronts his mother and is so relentless that the ghost must intercede on her behalf, we know that Hamlet longs to show her affection; to comfort her and to be comforted by her. But love, pleasure, and tenderness all have disappeared behind Hamlet's encompassing wall of depression and overwhelming responsibility. ...read more.


He has come to the realization that destiny is ultimately controlling all of our lives: Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting, That would not let me sleep: methought I lay Worse than the mutines in the bilboes. Rashly, And prais'd be rashness for it, let us know, Our indiscretion sometime serves us well When our deep plots do pall, and that should learn us There's a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will. (V.ii.4-11) Hamlet is ready to confront the paradoxical truth that to avenge his father's death he must commit the very same act for which he seeks revenge. Using fate as the scapegoat, Hamlet can distance himself from the act of killing Claudius. He can now admit that he knows nothing of the world, "since no man knows aught of what he leaves, what is't to leave betimes? Let be." (V.ii.209-14). Hamlet has reached the climax of his philosophizing; he has prepared himself for death. When Hamlet does finally die, it is his princely qualities that make the lasting imprint in our minds. Hamlet remains The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword, The expectancy and rose of the fair state, The glass of fashion, and the mould of form The observ'd of all observers (III.i.153-56) ...read more.

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*** 3 Stars

This is a very well written essay which demonstrates a knowledge and understanding of the play and uses impressive lexis. Some quotes are over long and under analysed, and topic sentences are needed at the beginning of each paragraph. The main fault of the essay is that it does not answer the question fully; loyalty is barely mentioned.

Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 16/07/2013

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