Hamlet In Comparison With The Lion King

1333 words - 5 pages

Many literary works can be compared due to vast amounts of similarities between theme and characters; Hamlet and the Lion King

Many literary works can be compared due to vast amounts of similarities between theme and characters; Hamlet and the Lion King are two literary works in which character and theme are surprisingly similar throughout each work. The Lion King is thought to be just an animated children's film, however, it is in fact a modern translation of Shakespeare's Hamlet. The main characters in the Lion King are definite parallels to those in Hamlet. Along with the main characters and plot details, the stories were similar in the representation of the secondary characters. "Here's my little secret, I killed Mufasa." The theme in Hamlet can be compared to the Walt Disney movie The Lion King. Hamlet and Simba are betrayed by their uncles whom murder their fathers in order to fulfill their own ambitions.

The characters in the Lion King closely parallel Hamlet. Simba, the main character in the Lion King, embodies Hamlet. They are both the son of the King and rightful heir to the throne. The King of the Pridelands, Mufasa, can be compared to Hamlet Senior, who is killed by the uncle figure. Both Scar and Claudius have an unpleasant image of the uncle. They are presented as cold and evil. Laertes, the henchman and right-hand man of Claudius, becomes, in the movie, the Hyenas. The Hyenas collectively act as hero-worshippers to Scar, loyal subjects, and fellow doers-in-evil. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are the comic reliefs in Hamlet, and in the Lion King, this role is fulfilled by Timon and Pumbaa.

The main character in The Lion King is Simba. Simba is quite similar to Hamlet in that both are sons of the wrongfully murdered kings. Both princes delay their decisions to seek vengeance for their murdered fathers. Each prince runs from their responsibilities after the death of their respected fathers, although they both know what they must do deep inside. Simba escapes reality from running away, however Hamlet escapes by feigning madness. However, in both situations, the rightful heirs to the throne escape though one way or another. Film techniques used in the Lion King to depict Simba can relate to ways in which Hamlet is portrayed. At the beginning of the film the camera angle looks up towards him, the lights shine on young Simba; the importance of his birth is immense, although Simba may be oblivious to the fact at the time. Another parallel is the fact that both Simba and Hamlet at one stage wish to be dead. When Timon and Pumbaa find him, they believe Simba to be dead when they first find him. He is not - but wishes to be. The same could be said about Hamlet when he questions his life - "To be, or not to be". Like Hamlet, Simba tends to need to be on his own to reflect. Hamlet and Simba are near perfect examples of tragic heroes. Both are tested to the extent of their inner strength and faith in...

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