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To what extent can the audience sympathise with Hamlet?

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Introduction

indecision and his fretting over several different ideas at one time. Correspondingly Samuel Coleridge stated 'Saw in the prince a man whose intellectual energy and alertness understandably makes action impossible', both of these critics incorporating the idea that the audience is manipulated to sympathise with Hamlet as Shakespeare portrays him as a character who the audience can relate to. Another feature of the interpretation of the play is that, if the play were to be shown in Shakespeare's time the audience have a fair idea of what they are going to see. They know it's a revenge tragedy therefore somewhat limiting their reaction. However today's audience wouldn't be quite so well informed, consequently it is safe to deduct that the audience watching this play in modern times would be slightly more responsive towards Hamlet than in the time it was written. In act three, scene one the audience is placed with yet more motive for compassion for Hamlet. He is once again to be betrayed as possibly the love of his life is set up to deceive Hamlet. ...read more.

Middle

Hamlet is attracted by death, the use of 'journey' presents a euphemistic tone, and doesn't present it as negative as we'd expect. Obviously this can be thought of as completely self centred, as he is so wrapped up in his own feelings he can't gain revenge, but this is overruled but the genuine lack of respect for himself he exhibits. His fourth and final major soliloquy sees him resolute to act as he realises he has no excuse now, and it also exhibits another side to Hamlet to which the audience can sympathise as we see him admire for Fortinbras for his actions, 'Rightly to be great is not to stir without great argument'. Again he questions he hasn't acted, 'How stand I, then, that have a father killed, a mother stained, excitements of my reason and my blood and let all sleep?', a full summary of what he has endured, but yet he still doesn't answer himself. 'Stained' demonstrating the degree of betrayal Hamlet feels, as it indicates a permanent and visual element. ...read more.

Conclusion

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