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Discuss the Ideas and Themes Indicated in the First Three Scenes of Hamlet that you Find Particularly Interesting.

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Introduction

Discuss the Ideas and Themes Indicated in the First Three Scenes of Hamlet that you Find Particularly Interesting. The first three scenes of Hamlet, gives you an extremely dramatic and interesting insight into most of the themes continued throughout the play. Shakespeare manages to create the suspense and drama necessary to keep the audience enthralled and expectant. He does this through the use of imagery, mystery and language, some unusual, unifying themes, and memorable relationships. The relationship between Hamlet and Horatio is particularly provocative, and is often overlooked by those studying Hamlet in depth. Shakespeare cleverly devised the character of Horatio to portray the true character of Hamlet. Horatio acts as an antithesis to Hamlet, enhancing his distinctive characteristics. As a fellow student of Wittenberg University, he is Hamlet's intellectual, and to a certain extent social equal. Hamlet therefore, values the loyal friendship they share, and confides in Horatio, thus revealing glimpses of the former prince. Hamlet also regards Horatio's moral integrity and fortitude with great admiration. Horatio, being understanding and sympathetic to Hamlet's situation, does therefore not perceive Hamlet's melancholy behaviour as being intolerable or, "unmanly" and, "unschooled". ...read more.

Middle

This speech asserts parental power, and subtle manipulation from father to son, reflecting the stereotypical relationship between parent and child. Polonius' advice seems to be rather simplistic and flat, and it would be hard to apply it practically to every day life. He simplifies life itself, not taking into consideration affecting circumstances. These words from Polonius to Ophelia obviously have the desired effect, seeing as Ophelia pacifies herself to an even greater extent, "I do not know my Lord what I should think." And refers to her father as, "...my Lord..." Polonius is not the only character in the first three scenes who articulates in clich�s. Polonius' son, Laertes, similarly lectures Ophelia on love and life, asserting male dominance and authority. There is a strong sense portrayed by Shakespeare's use of language, that Laertes has difficulties expressing himself, due to the fact he is so wrapped up in a male dominated society thus leading to the excessive use of clich�s and platitudes. Ophelia promises, "...as a watchman to (her) heart..." "...the effect of this good lesson keep..." even though Laertes words' discourage her from her relationship with Hamlet, due to the fact, "he himself is subject to his birth." ...read more.

Conclusion

There are many other themes, all significant in their own way such as incest, desire etc. These are evident in Hamlet's soliloquy, when he reminisces the love and adoration his parent showed for each other, "Why she would hang on him As if increase of appetite had grown By what it fed on..." It is Shakespeare's ability to draw on unique and interesting metaphors, which also have the power to connect and bring together ideas and emotions, which makes Hamlet such a wonderful and studied play. The first three scenes have been marvellously constructed to allow the rich undertones of moods and events to seep through. Emotions and events are kept warm in the minds of the audience through the use of exciting imagery. The unusual use of language (i.e. clich�s) gives the characters another (and more often than not colder) dimension, where manipulation and false identity seem to be rife. Shakespeare really manages to grasp the attention of the audience from the very beginning, sustaining interest throughout the first three scenes. Varied characters and the relationships between them also help create a sense of drama, all of which help make the play Hamlet famous. - 1 - Holly Woodhouse (12-1) ...read more.

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