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

How does Shakespeare present aspects of love in Hamlet?

Extracts from this document...


How does Shakespeare present aspects of love in Hamlet? Love is one of the most powerful themes in Hamlet, however, the relationships and demonstrations of love that we see, are only the subplot of the play. There are also other themes that are extremely prominent in Hamlet including: revenge, betrayal and madness. It is the superior force of revenge that fuels Hamlet's love. When reading Hamlet the audience does become involved in a number of relationships involving Hamlet and the main characters supporting the play. The characters involved include: Hamlet (the Ghost) former King of Denmark, Horatio, Gertrude Queen of Denmark and Ophelia. All the relationships displayed are complex and encompass a wide range of emotions as the play advances, however, the theme of love is still threaded throughout the play. The theme takes on a number of faces which we observe through the relationships Hamlet experiences during the production. We see Hamlet's filial love for his mother, Gertrude, and romantic love for Ophelia. However, it is Hamlet's platonic bond with Horatio, his best friend that proves to be the strongest tie of all and commands the most attention as it relates to the theme of love. ...read more.


It is here that another of Shakespeare's methods becomes clear, Shakespeare uses the theme of revenge to destruct the relationship between Ophelia and Hamlet, despite the fact that he has just admitted his true love for her. Hamlet feels that he must remove himself from Ophelia in order to take swift action to revenge is father's murder. A relationship that is similar to that of Hamlet and Ophelia's in the sense that the relationship is broken, is the one between Hamlet and his Mother the Queen. Shakespeare demonstrates this relationship in a way that allows the audience to know that Hamlet really does love his Mother but cannot forgive her for marrying her uncle so quickly after his father's death and he feels that like Ophelia he must leave her behind in order to complete his revenge. In the presentation that Shakespeare gives of the two relationships that Hamlet is involved with, with his Mother and Ophelia, we get the feeling that Hamlet has lost all faith in women. The relationships are similar in the sense that that they are both eventually broken because of the revenge that he has to get for his father. ...read more.


Love supports revenge as a theme because Hamlet sacrifices his love for Ophelia and his mother in order to pursue his revenge, primarily because of his love for his father. Hamlet is willing to pay the ultimate price of his own life as well as others in order to achieve his final revenge. It can be concluded that Hamlet does enjoy some degree of loving relationships with other characters although none so profound as the love he has for Horatio. The two strongest relationships Hamlet shares, outside of his relationship with Horatio, is the filial love for Queen Gertrude and his romantic love for Ophelia. Hamlet's love for Queen Gertrude comes into question upon the death of his father and her marriage to King Claudius. Hamlet's romantic love for Ophelia is in a constant state of flux and beyond his control. Shakespeare demonstrates Hamlet's emotions to vary so much that it is this that allows the audience to question whether any of the loves are genuine and he does not reveal any of the 'make of break' until the final act. The only relationship that does not come into question is Hamlet and Horatio's, their relationship is continual and never changes. ?? ?? ?? ?? Michela Bailey ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hamlet section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

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 AS and A Level Hamlet essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Explore the "loving mother-son" relationship between Gertrude and Hamlet, with focus on language.

    4 star(s)

    Hamlet's apparent obsession with his mother's s****l behaviour as an example of how hurt he was that she had seemingly forgotten about her marriage to King Hamlet so quickly and had not even considered Hamlet's dislike of his uncle when she got married.

  2. Scene by Scene - Hamlet.

    Polonius likes to spy. At this time, Hamlet (who may have been eavesdropping), walks in reading a book. Polonius questions him, and Hamlet pretends to be very crazy by giving silly answers. They are pointed, referring to the dishonesty of Polonius ("To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.")

  1. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Ophelia.

    decide her own fate, although it is clear that Ophelia was in no fit state of mind to do so and was barely aware of her surroundings "incapable of her own distress.". It can be argued that Ophelia's death is romanticized, as she dies in a romantic and picturesque setting befitting her character, surrounded by her garland of flowers.

  2. A Study of Shakespeare's presentation of Ophelia and the effect on her, of her ...

    Even after this comment he refuses to allow her any chance to speak for herself. He continues to point out that she, "need not tell (them) of what Lord Hamlet said; (They) heard it all." This only emphasises the self-important attitude Polonius adopts throughout his dealings with Ophelia, and the

  1. How does Shakespeare present the Theme of Revenge in "Hamlet"?

    He takes time to get enough courage to finally complete the task although other factors such as Hamlet needing proof are also influential in his decision. Hamlet is seen as a tragic hero and the flaw in his character is his inability to take action promptly.

  2. In what ways, and how effectively, do you think Shakespeare presents the theme of ...

    The audience initially meets Hamlet in Act 1 ii, where the court is assembled, and there are signs of conflict between Hamlet and the newly appointed King, Claudius. The audience is given the plot basis, which in turn the play develops from.

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