William Shakespeare Essays

Hamlet

When Hamlet sees Fortinbras' army headed for combat in Poland he is moved to deliver a striking monologue about the battle raging in his soul. Passion and anger drive Hamlet to avenge his father's murder at any cost, while logic and reason turn...

Hamlet

William Shakespeare's Hamlet, a story grounded in worldly issues like morality, justice, and retribution, begins in a very otherworldly way: the appearance of a ghost desiring vengeance from beyond the grave. The supernatural confrontation between...

Hamlet

If imagination is the lifeblood of literature, then each new scientific advance which extends our scope of the universe is as fruitful to the poet as to the astronomer. External and environmental change stimulates internal and personal tropes for...

Hamlet

"If Hamlet from himself be ta'en away,

And when he's not himself does wrong Laertes,

Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it.

Who does it then? His madness. If't be so,

Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong'd;

His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy."

...

Hamlet

Hamlet begins at the open mouth of the Void. Barnardo and Francisco call out to each other and into darkness; they stand atop a guard platform that is naked to the open air and to the night. Every character's entrance is marked by a series of...

Hamlet

Central to the plot and the themes developed in Shakespeare's Hamlet, are the varying elements of corruption which occur during the play. This is echoed in Marcellus' famous comment of 'Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,' when Hamlet is...

Hamlet

In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, the author presents the main character of Hamlet as a man who is obsessed with death. Shakespeare uses this obsession to explore both Hamlet's desire for revenge and his need for certainty. In the...

Hamlet

To understand Hamlet's insecurities, we must understand Ophelia's point of view. It is she who makes him most uncomfortable over the course of the play, and it is her rejection of him that drives Hamlet closer to insanity. Her reasons for this...

Hamlet

"It is not the object of war to annihilate those who have given provocation for it, but to cause them to mend their ways; not to ruin the innocent and guilty alike, but to save both" (Polybius). From the start of man's political awareness, war has...

Hamlet

Location is everything. The setting of Shakespeare's Hamlet, the royal court, functions as more than the backdrop to the drama. On the contrary, embedded within the play is the implicit significance of its environment. Court society, with its...

Hamlet

"For there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so" (2.2, 249-250)

From the start of Shakespeare's Hamlet it is clear that much of the action is cerebral. The play never escapes the confines of Hamlet's head. One is never sure if...

Hamlet

In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Polonius puts forth a simple explanation of insanity, stating that "to define true madness, what is it to be nothing else but mad?" Such a diagnosis is necessary in the court of Denmark, in which the perspective of reality...

Hamlet

In William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, the concept of cultural identity is explored through Hamlet's isolation which is created by the conflict between his duty to his father, and his duties to the monarchy and society. Hamlet is isolated from his...

Hamlet

"Understanding kills action." With these three simple words, Nietzsche explains the idea behind Shakespeare's development of the acting of thought as inaction, and also the reason that Hamlet hesitates for over 3000 lines of blank verse and prose...

Hamlet

Shakespeare has always been able to create characters richly dichotomous in nature. In "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark," the portrayal of the ghost of Hamlet's father vacillates through the play from Hamlet's uncertainty of whether "it is an honest...

Hamlet

Literary techniques evoke images, emotion and in the case of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" teach a lesson. The dominant literary technique ongoing throughout "Hamlet" is the presence of foils. A foil is a character who, through strong contrast and...