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William Shakespeares' Hamlet is without question the most famous play in the English language.

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Introduction

Hamlet is without question the most famous play in the English language. Probably written in 1601 or 1602, the tragedy is a milestone in Shakespeare's dramatic development; the playwright achieved artistic maturity in this work through his brilliant depiction of the hero's struggle with two opposing forces: moral integrity and the need to avenge his father's murder. William Shakespeare was an English playwright and poet. He is generally considered the greatest dramatist the world has ever known and the finest poet who has written in the English language. During Shakespeare's lifetime, he was well known to people in England. By the time Queen Elizabeth died, the English were struggling with many social and economic problems. These problems were complicated by minor wars with other countries-wars that often seemed without purpose. To many English people, the world appeared to be deteriorating and becoming in Hamlet's words, "an unweeded garden/ That grows to seed." Shakespeare's tragedies, like other Elizabethan tragedies involve the murder or suicide of many of the leading characters. Young Hamlet is very well-liked. He is a soldier, a scholar, and a diplomat. We learn that he's "the glass of fashion and the mould of form", i.e., the young man that everybody else tried to imitate. He's also "loved of the distracted multitude", i.e., the ordinary people like him, and if anything were to happen to him, there would be riots. Hamlet is mourning for his father and he refuses to accept the title words of consolation offered by Claudius and the Queen. In public, Hamlet's bitterness and grief is controlled, in private however, his anger bursts out in passionate reproaches. We learn that his mother's remarriage has almost broken his heart. ...read more.

Middle

Hamlet's mind is in turbulence since the focal point is on his mother. Hamlet is stuck between real life and drama. We can see Hamlet's incapacity to present emotion. The only way when Hamlet works promptly is when he presents the play, though at the end it is an exercise of futility. Hamlet realizes that Claudius is guilty, he is sure now that the ghost is a good ghost. Hamlet's problem is that he use delaying tactics. He finally finds that Claudius is guilty, audience feels that Hamlet might take action now, but he does not, its only "words, words, words." Hamlet's plan to "catch the conscience of the King" has been a success. Thrilled that his scheme worked, Hamlet experiences a sudden surge of confidence. Hamlet only talks that he can perform terrible actions so that people can see what he has done, he is still irresolute and indecisive, unable to take prompt and timely actions, he is obsessed with revenge and expresses himself in powerful language. The language is charged with emotions, vows to do shocking things but ends up doing nothing. The ghost gives him a task, which is not really equipped by him. Hamlet is now sure that he will be able to complete the "bitter business" of revenge, sure that he could murder his uncle without hesitation. Hamlet now turns his attention towards his mother, his intentions to force Gertrude to make a full confession. Although Hamlet still loves his mother. He must be cruel to her in order to make her realize her fault. Hamlet says, "My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites." because he knows that he must feign violent intentions towards his mother and that his words must express those false intentions. ...read more.

Conclusion

Fortinbras shares similarities and differences with Hamlet, Fortinbras is a scholar, a soldier, the man of procrastination and the man of reason and action. Though Hamlet may be slow to make a decision, that decision will be based on reason. The last scene of the play demonstrates the true character of Fortinbras. As he arrives at Castle Elsinore, he quickly analyses the situation he finds then acts upon it. His action to avenge his father's death was therefore, carefully analyzed and executed as he planned. Fortinbras' ability to act upon reason and not emotion is one of the most significant differences he has with Hamlet. In this play, Shakespeare also created perhaps his greatest gallery of characters. The role of Hamlet in particular is considered one of the theatre's greatest acting challenges. Hamlet reveals his conflict in several famous and eloquent soliloquies. The best known is his soliloquy on suicide, which begins, "To be or not to be." Shakespeare handled the complicated plot of Hamlet brilliantly "Hamlet" is the first work of literature to look squarely at the stupidity, falsity and sham of everyday life, without laughing and without easy answers. In a world where things are not as they seem, Hamlet's genuineness, thoughtfulness, and sincerity make him special. Hamlet is no saint. But unlike most of the other characters (and most people today), Hamlet chooses not to compromise with evil. Dying, Hamlet reaffirms the tragic dignity of a basically decent person in a bad world. "Hamlet" is the first work of literature to show an ordinary person looking at the futility and wrongs in life, asking the toughest questions and coming up with honest semi-answers like most people do today. Unlike so much of popular culture today, "Hamlet" leaves us with the message that life is indeed worth living, even by imperfect people in an imperfect world. ...read more.

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