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Hamlet essay on the theme of 'christian morality' in the play

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Introduction

"Hamlet is a tale of Christian morality. The audience sees that in Elsinore, suicide and murder are forbidden, sex and incest are punished and spirits are the work of the devil." Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, is a tragic play set in Denmark during the early seventeenth century. It was written at the same time the Bible was being translated by King James. Like the Bible, Hamlet is full of problems that all humans experience. These problems are best seen through the internal struggle of Prince Hamlet, the source of Hamlet's internal struggle, which is the direct contrast of his Christian education versus Denmark's barbaric customs. I agree that Hamlet is a tale of Christian morality. There are numerous religious links throughout the play. In Hamlet's first soliloquy, the audience is given a sense of his morals and beliefs. He mentions 'the Everlasting... ...read more.

Middle

I believe Hamlet's lack of action is based more so on his father's orders to 'taint not thy mind', which is what Hamlet is trying to do, he is trying to clear his mind first before he takes any more action against Claudius, this appears to be a difficult thing for Hamlet to do considering his utter distaste for the man. All the beliefs about the ghost are based in religion, or at least religion-related superstition. Before Hamlet meets the ghost, his language has links to the devil, 'the dram of evil'. In addition the setting is 'very cold' and the 'air bites shrewdly' Instead of defining "the true nature of ghosts for his audiences," Shakespeare "incorporates within his play both Catholic and Protestant views of the Ghost and also presents a third perspective on the Ghost, one steeped in folkloric tradition". ...read more.

Conclusion

According to Gertrude, she sings bits of hymns as she's drowning. She isn't allowed a full Christian funeral and burial. As suicide is evidently forbidden in Elsinore, and her death was questionable. Laertes decides to toss religion out in favour of taking revenge on Hamlet, but in the end takes it back on board, exchanging forgiveness with Hamlet. It's Hamlet's reconciling of God's power with his own which enables him to get on with life, and death, in Act Four. By the end of the play the sinners are all punished a la Christian values! The Queen drinks the poisoned drink, therefore incest is punished. Significantly Claudius dies before Hamlet. Before wounding the king Hamlet says, 'venom to thy work', he finally achieves revenge, although the king must be doubly punished, to pay for his second crime in causing Gertude's death. Shakespeare gives Hamlet the last word; he calls the king an 'incestuous murderous damned Dane' just before he dies. Hamlet is clearly a play of Christian principles and morals. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

The title poses a very interesting question about 'Hamlet'; however the response is too brief and doesn't explore the elements in enough detail. It feels a bit rushed and lacking in substance; a well thought out plan would have helped with this.

3 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 26/06/2013

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