7 April 2016
Hamlet, the depressed prince
Shakespeare being one of the most famous playwrights of all times wrote a vast
amount of plays which we can link to everyday life. He knew the human mind and
developed characters with characteristics we can find on people nowadays. He mainly
focused on the genre of tragedy which is shown in Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth,
Hamlet, The Tempest, Othello and others. There are many versions of Hamlet the
one used was published by Pinguin Books and edited by A.R. Braunmuller. This play is
the longest and most engaging one Shakespeare wrote. The amount of tragedy and
revenge is this book relates closely to real life making it very grounded and at the same
time fascinating. Hamlet, the protagonist, has a fragile mental state throughout the play.
Many call him the depressed king or the ‘melancholy dane’. Hamlet was depressed
throughout the book. Depression is defined as “a mood disorder that causes a persistent
feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical
depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of
emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day
activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn't worth living” (Mayo Clinic Staff).
From this definition Hamlet can be diagnosed with clinical depression. In Shakespearean
times the word depression didn’t exist instead they use the word melancholy. This is why
they used to call him the Melancholy Dane because he was always moody and sad and he
was danish. This essay will explain and portray the reasons why Hamlet is depressed
throughout the play.
Considering his well-deserved fame, little is known of William Shakespeare’s life.
“He got married at the age of 18 to Anne Hathaway and had a daughter named Susanna
and twins, Hamnet and Judith. His only son Hamlet died when he was 11 years old for
unknown reasons”(Schoenbaum 224). Between 1585 and 1592, he left his birthplace of
Stratford-upon-Avon for London to begin a career as playwright and actor. Scholars refer
to this time as Shakespeare's "lost years” because not much is known about this period of
his life. By 1594, he had established himself as a poet with two long works— Venus and
Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece; his more than 150 sonnets are supreme expressions of
the form. His fame and reputation has to be attributed to his works for the theatre.
Shakespeare produces 35 plays over 25 years. He was a master of the dramatic genre
developing themes of tragedy, comedy and romance. Shakespeare is the most quoted,
discussed, and beloved writer in English literature (Mays 1081).
Hamlet is one of the longest plays Shakespeare wrote. He explored the human
behavior and showed how humans will react if exposed to certain events and
problems.“The psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud drew on Shakespearean psychology, in
particular that of...