themes – The Impossibility of Certainty- The Complexity of Action- The Mystery of Death- The Nation as a Diseased Body
quotes – in hamlets first soliloquy Gertrude’s court, then being asked by his mother and stepfather not to return to his studies at Wittenberg but to remain in Denmark. Here, Hamlet thinks for the first time about suicide (desiring his flesh to “melt,” and wishing that God had not made “self-slaughter- “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”this is a little bit of foreshadow spoken by the ghost of Hamlet in the beginning of the book talking about there being something bad in Denmark
plot the story basically all plays off of Hamlets fake of madness. earlier in the book Hamlet’s father dies and when he returns home his mother was quick the marry hamlets uncle. one night the ghost of king hamlet visits hamlet and Horatio and lets hamlet know “something is rotten in Denmark”. Hamlets knows something is going on in Denmark so he takes his suspicion to the king and queen and when they celebrate instead of doing something in honor of his father he knows something is definitely wrong now. Eventually the Ghost of Hamlet tells young hamlet that Claudius the new king of Denmark poisoned him and that he is trying to cover it up and take his throne. from that point on Hamlet fakes madness to try and get Claudius to confess to killing Hamlets father, but through his fake madness he kind of has his moments where he begins to slip into actual madness this continues back and forth throughout the play also deception and death.
characters Hamlet Claudius Horatio Ghost of king Hamlet Rosencrantz and GuildensternGertrude Polonius Ophelia Laertes FortenbrasMarcellus and Bernardo
sub plots – the main plot which is the revenge plot – the plot of Hamlet and Ophelia’s love life – and the War happening in Norway
renaissance history and elements in the theatre Hamlet has lots of references to classical Greek and Roman stories, characters, and historical events. For example, you can find a murderous king (Pyrrhus), and a queen in mourning over her murdered husband (Hecuba), which mirror the main plot points of the play.•Humanist philosophy: In Act II, Scene 2, Line 311, Hamlet asks: “What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties…” In this speech, you can see a clear assertion of humanist ideas about the uniqueness and extraordinary abilities of the human mind. •Religion: In Hamlet’s most famous soliloquy, which begins, “To be or not to be…”, he alludes to an unknown afterlife, “The undiscovered country…,” which is a stark departure from Medieval religious ideas rooted in a strict belief that people either go to heaven or hell when they die. •Politics: There were big political changes taking place during the time that Shakespeare wrote Hamlet. This is reflected in the play by Hamlet’s questioning of Claudius’s right to ascend to the throne in his father’s place. It was a new idea to question anything having to do with the “natural” hierarchical structures that maintained political power. •Science: This point is illustrated by Shakespeare’s use of the play-within-the play in Hamlet. Here, Prince Hamlet’s play, The Mousetrap, is presented to the court supposedly as entertainment, but Hamlet’s intent is to gather obvious evidence of Claudius’s guilt for the murder of his father. Says Hamlet: “…the play’s the thing Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.”

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