Between Disney’s The Lion King and William Shakespeare’s Hamlet exists a great deal of similarity but also some differences. The two stories have very similar story lines. In each of the stories the king is killed by his brother. The brother takes over the throne from the deceased king, and it is up to the king’s son to take revenge on his father’s murder and retake the throne. However, each story has its own unique differences.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet is one of his most famous works. In the play, Hamlet, king of Denmark, is murdered by his brother, Claudius. Claudius then takes the thrown and marries King Hamlet’s widow, Gertrude. The king’s son, also named Hamlet, is challenged by the ...view middle of the document...
In like manner, Simba and Hamlet are very similar characters. They are both sons of nobility, and they each has his father taken away from him. Furthermore, after their fathers die, each of the characters struggles with reality. Similarly, Scar and Claudius are both comparable to each other. Each one of them seems to be portrayed as a dark character. They are seen to be very sneaky, and most of their work is done in the shadows. Both of the characters are jealous of their successful brothers, which leads to their premeditated murder of them both. Furthermore, Zazu can also be made equivalent to Shakespeare’s character, Polonius. They are both unrelated to their respective kings, and they are each the king’s advisor or right hand man. At the beginning of The Lion King, Zazu is sent by Sarabi to watch over Simba and Nala, which is a scene very related to Hamlet, which has Polonius hiding behind the curtain to watch Hamlet and Ophelia. There are also several minor character comparisons such as Ophelia to Nala, Gertrude to Sarabi, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to Timon and Pumba. The cast of these two works seems to be thoroughly comparable.
The movie also has some scenes that seem to be based on Hamlet. First of all, Hamlet begins with the appearance of the ghost of King Hamlet. The ghost desires Hamlet to avenge his death by killing his murderer, Claudius. Later in the play, after Hamlet has procrastinated his duty, the ghost appears to Hamlet again to refocus him on his task. Likewise, in the movie, Simba is visited by the ghost of his father who tells him to remember that he has a duty to do since he is heir to the throne. The ghost talks Simba into taking action and returning to pride rock to bring Scar to justice. The two scenes are very similar to each other since each of the main character’s father is visiting them from the dead. Also, each of the ghost’s appearances are meant to spur his son into action.
Secondly, after his father died, Hamlet starts to go crazy, and whether it was staged or perfunctory, his mental illness separates him from reality. In like manner, after Mufasa’s death, Simba, believing he is the one responsible, runs away to a far off land where he adopts a “no worries” attitude and delays his responsibilities. These were also two scenes that seemed to be very similar as in each of them the characters escape reality after their father’s death.
Furthermore, yet another scene from The Lion King can directly to compare to one from Hamlet. After Hamlet accidentally killed Polonius, he was banished by Claudius to leave to England, to which Claudius sent a letter demanding Hamlet’s death. In the same fashion, after Simba believed he had caused the death of his father, Scar convinced Simba to run away and never come back. After Simba ran, Scar sent hyenas after him to kill him.
Lastly, it is very ironic how the king and his brother in each story...