The circumstances he has to manage emotionally are difficult, to say the least. Succumbing to physical violence when under extreme stress shows that Hamlet has deeper-set issues than merely acting mad. In reflection, Hamlet's choices and impulses beg the question, what gives him the right to act as such without consequences?
The presence of only two named female characters says something about the role of women within Hamlet. The death of both women also indicates a social commentary. Hamlet is at his most agitated state when talking to either female character. Although he cares for both, he's suspicious, as well. In the case of his mother, Gertrude , Hamlet feels she remarried too quickly and that her remarriage means she didn't love her first husband all that much.
The idea freaks Hamlet out. From the way the characters talk, we know Hamlet has been wooing Ophelia for some time. But after Hamlet starts to act mad, it doesn't take long for him to assume that Ophelia is in cahoots with Gertrude, Claudius, and Polonius.
In reality, Ophelia obeyed her father and her monarch. In both cases, Hamlet feels as if each woman has let him down, respectively.
He's critical and quick to point out flaws though puns and backhanded comments. Ophelia is usually viewed as a true victim, while Gertrude's role is interpreted with more flexibility. In either case, the role and treatment of women in Hamlet is essential to discuss with an open mind.
The state of the nation in Denmark is deteriorating. The death of a king throws any nation into political turmoil. With a new king on the throne and the deceased king's son acting erratically, something's clearly off. When the guard Marcellus famously says "[s]omething is rotten in the state of Denmark" Act I, Scene IV , he's not being ironic about Hamlet's bathing habits. Marcellus's words refer to how something evil and vile is afoot.
This moment could be interpreted as foreshadowing of the impending deaths of most of the principle characters. But it also refers to the political unrest Denmark is feeling as a nation. The political livelihood of Denmark can be directly linked back to the mental state of Hamlet at many points throughout the play. Previous William Shakespeare Biography. Next Yorick's Skull as a Major Symbol. Removing book from your Reading List will also remove any bookmarked pages associated with this title.
Are you sure you want to remove bookConfirmation and any corresponding bookmarks? Scene 1 Act I: Scene 2 Act I: Scene 3 Act I: Scene 4 Act I: Scene 5 Act II: Scene 1 Act II: Scene 2 Act III: The recurring motif of acting, seeming, illusion, and deceit as opposed to sincerity, being, reality, and honesty illustrates this underlying duplicity throughout the play.
Hamlet tells Gertrude his grief is genuine: Polonius instructs Reynaldo to use indirection to learn how Laertes is comporting himself in Paris. Hamlet laments that he, who has cause, cannot avenge his father, while the actor is able to convincingly portray the emotions over imaginary characters and actions. Claudius and Polonius set Ophelia as bait to Hamlet, to try to learn the cause of his madness.
Hamlet is totally honest with Horatio about the Mousetrap plot because Horatio is beyond flattering, or being beguiled by falseness. Claudius discovers that his true thoughts cannot give way to his desired action of praying; yet Hamlet is fooled by the appearance of Claudius at prayer and does not murder him.
Shakespeare clarifies character traits as well as central issues in Hamlet by the use of foils, characters who parallel yet contrast one another. Hamlet and Laertes A. Both love Ophelia and mourn her death.
Laertes moves to seek immediate redress, while Hamlet hesitates. Hamlet and Horatio A.
Hamlet study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and .
ESSAY QUESTIONS ON HAMLET Note: Some of the questions are examination-type questions; others are questions for learners to answer as .
Get free homework help on William Shakespeare's Hamlet: play summary, scene summary and analysis and original text, quotes, essays, character analysis, and filmography courtesy of CliffsNotes. William Shakespeare's Hamlet follows the young prince Hamlet home to Denmark to attend his father's funeral. Hamlet is shocked to . Important questions about Shakespeare's Hamlet to use as essay ideas.
Possible essay questions. What does Shakespeare suggest about the role of women in Hamlet?; How does Shakespeare present the idea of madness in Hamlet. 'Hamlet' is a play with so many different important themes that students can focus on. This lesson offers ideas for essays students can write.