The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare is a tragedy or as you could even call it a revenge tragedy, a play the dramatizes the revenge that the main character, Hamlet, pursues upon his father’s murderer, his uncle, and new founding king, Claudius. Throughout the entire play, realizations are made, characters are investigated and the entire play is tied together through an effort by observing its cultural context.
The play Hamlet by Shakespeare is a tragedy based on the legend of Amleth, written between 1599 and 1602. The play is set in the Kingdom of Denmark and includes a protagonist Hamlet, an antagonist Claudius, and a number of other characters including Gertrude, Polonius, Horatio, Ophelia, Laertes, Fortinbras, the ghost of the dead king, and more. The major conflict in the play being that Hamlet feels a responsibility to avenge his father by seeking revenge on his murderer, Claudius, ...view middle of the document...
One being when he is looking at the skull of Yorick, King Hamlet’s jester, he realizes that all great men will eventually become dust. The second realization Hamlet comes to is when he finds out that Ophelia is dead. When he sees Laertes jump in the grave to hug her one last time he realizes just how much he loved her. He jumps into the grave as well and starts fighting and yelling that no one loved her more than he did. These two realizations are critical moments for readers to be able to see a more sensitive, compassionate side to Hamlet.
The character of Hamlet is extremely complex. He is portrayed to be more on the cleaver and witty side, always obsessing to think things through thoroughly, for example his obsessive plan to prove his uncle guilty before trying to act upon him shows this. Taking a turn we see that Hamlet slips into the character of a mad man quite fittingly when we behaves rashly and impulsively with surprising swiftness as he stabs Polonius through a curtain. Not to forget though, we have seen all too well Hamlets sensitive side portrayed through his lover for Ophelia. Hamlet is an extremely complex character who has fascinated all audiences and readers.
Shakespeare was greatly influenced by the Renaissance, that being the time he lived in. The Renaissance was a cultural movement that encompassed the innovative literature of Latin and vernacular, in politics the development of the conventions of diplomacy, and in science an increased and increasing reliance on observation. Throughout the Renaissance, revolutions in intellectual pursuits, as well as social and political upheaval, it may be best known for creating the image of the “Renaissance man” whom Hamlet was.
While Hamlet is fond of pointing out questions that cannot be answered due to their supernatural and metaphysical matters, the play as a whole demonstrates the difficulty of knowing the truth about other people- their guilt or innocence, motives, feelings, and relative states of sanity or their insanity. Shakespeare shows that the world of people is a world of appearances, and Hamlet is, fundamentally, a play about the difficulty of living in this world, as he lives through the Renaissance.