Enduring Themes in Hamlet

Book Report/Review
Pages 3 (753 words)
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William Shakespeare's Elizabethan play, Hamlet, is about an emotionally scarred prince who tries to avenge the murder of his father. His father was murdered by his brother Claudius who not only usurped his throne but also married his wife Gertrude. The incident sets the stage for one of Shakespeare's most endearing tragedies that weaves together the elements of revenge, affection, lust and ambition entwined together with fate to explore humanity's innermost thoughts and beliefs.


The theme of revenge runs through all the scenes of the play and binds it together. On one hand, Hamlet tries to avenge the death of his father at the hands of his brother, King Claudius; on the other, Laertes wants to kill Hamlet in order to avenge the death of his father and sister. Fate plays an important role in the events leading to the tragic end of most of the key characters.
How often are we faced with the question 'to be or not to be' Act III, scene I (58-90). It is precisely this quality of Hamlet, the indecisiveness or the uncertainty that gives the play a universal appeal transcending all borders of time. This soliloquy is probably the most famous speech in the English language, where Hamlet touches upon a question that all living beings come face to face with at some time in their lives. ...
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