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

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

Extracts from this document...


"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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Hamlet section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

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

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 GCSE Hamlet essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    What is the importance of the Soliloquies in Hamlet? Do they show any development ...

    4 star(s)

    which would show the audience he is a man of words and not actions; any other man would get their revenge immediately. Hamlet believes that he thinks too much and in too much detail,'...thinking too precisely...', which may be seen by the audience as to why he does not kill Claudius until the very last moments of the play.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    How do Hamlet's Soliloquies reveal his Changing thoughts and Moods throughout the play?

    4 star(s)

    fiction, in a dream of passion force his soul so to his own conceit....." Hamlet is also still trying to make sense of the world. I think in this soliloquy we, the audience, see how intelligent and self-aware Hamlet really is.

  1. How successful is Hamlet as a play about revenge? Consider both the modern and ...

    We can see how bitter Hamlet is as a result of his mother making "marriage vows as false as dicer's oaths." It has even made him lose faith in women altogether - "Frailty, thy name is woman." Is this the real reason why Hamlet seeks revenge?

  2. Mighty opposites; Hamlet and Claudius.

    Claudius is a thinker but arguably he does not procrastinate like Hamlet does as he has killed the old Hamlet himself to make the throne wrongfully his own, however he isn't rash, he thinks things through carefully and plans them rationally, but he still fails to take direct action as

  1. Claudius soliloquy Hamlet

    his desperation; creates the feeling of mockery for the audiences, for his act collapses and conveys the contrast to his argument about praying for redemption. Another irony is that by the end of the play, more than four people ends up dying, therefore conveys the contrast to the "all may be well."

  2. Hamlet Coursework: Is Hamlet alone responsible for Ophelias death? - WJEC English Lit. ...

    This is unfair towards Ophelia as she cannot control Hamlet's feeling towards herself, and this blaming of Ophelia means we can infer that there is a bad relationship between the pair. He is using Ophelia's conscience to make sure she doesn't ruin not only her reputation but that of Polonious;

  1. How does Hamlet's character develop during the play?

    We also learn a great deal about Hamlet's melancholic state of mind from his soliloquies. He is gloomy about the whole world, and therefore he is not only despondent about his father's death and the recent events in Elsinore, but life in general: "How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable seem to all the uses of this world!"

  2. Compare and contrast how Shakespeare and Marlowe explore attitudes to death and the afterlife ...

    During the 16th century the newly formed Protestant Church dismissed the idea of purgatory and therefore apparitions were regarded as delusions or devils in disguise who had come to tempt unwary victims to their death and damnation. Hamlet is conscious that the he might be being fooled by the devil

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