It is not until late in the play, after his experience with the pirates, that Hamlet is able to articulate his feelings freely.
Written at a time of religious upheaval, and in the wake of the English Reformation , the play is alternately Catholic or piously medieval and Protestant or consciously modern. The ghost describes himself as being in purgatory , and as dying without last rites. This and Ophelia's burial ceremony, which is characteristically Catholic, make up most of the play's Catholic connections. Some scholars have observed that revenge tragedies come from Catholic countries like Italy and Spain, where the revenge tragedies present contradictions of motives, since according to Catholic doctrine the duty to God and family precedes civil justice.
Hamlet's conundrum, then, is whether to avenge his father and kill Claudius, or to leave the vengeance to God, as his religion requires. Much of the play's Protestant tones derive from its setting in Denmark—both then and now a predominantly Protestant country, [l] though it is unclear whether the fictional Denmark of the play is intended to portray this implicit fact.
Dialogue refers explicitly to Wittenberg , where Hamlet, Horatio, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern attend university, implying where Martin Luther in first proposed his 95 theses and thereby initiated the Protestant Reformation.
Hamlet is often perceived as a philosophical character, expounding ideas that are now described as relativist , existentialist , and sceptical. For example, he expresses a subjectivistic idea when he says to Rosencrantz: Hamlet reflects the contemporary scepticism promoted by the French Renaissance humanist Michel de Montaigne. Hamlet's " What a piece of work is a man " seems to echo many of Montaigne's ideas, and many scholars have discussed whether Shakespeare drew directly from Montaigne or whether both men were simply reacting similarly to the spirit of the times.
In the first half of the 20th century, when psychoanalysis was at the height of its influence, its concepts were applied to Hamlet , notably by Sigmund Freud , Ernest Jones , and Jacques Lacan , and these studies influenced theatrical productions. In his The Interpretation of Dreams , Freud's analysis starts from the premise that "the play is built up on Hamlet's hesitations over fulfilling the task of revenge that is assigned to him; but its text offers no reasons or motives for these hesitations".
A Study in Motive"  Ernest Jones —a psychoanalyst and Freud's biographer—developed Freud's ideas into a series of essays that culminated in his book Hamlet and Oedipus Influenced by Jones's psychoanalytic approach, several productions have portrayed the "closet scene", where Hamlet confronts his mother in her private quarters, in a sexual light. Ophelia's madness after her father's death may also be read through the Freudian lens: Ophelia is overwhelmed by having her unfulfilled love for him so abruptly terminated and drifts into the oblivion of insanity.
In the s, Lacan's structuralist theories about Hamlet were first presented in a series of seminars given in Paris and later published in "Desire and the Interpretation of Desire in Hamlet ". Lacan postulated that the human psyche is determined by structures of language and that the linguistic structures of Hamlet shed light on human desire.
In the Bloom's Shakespeare Through the Ages volume on Hamlet, editors Bloom and Foster express a conviction that the intentions of Shakespeare in portraying the character of Hamlet in the play exceeded the capacity of the Freudian Oedipus complex to completely encompass the extent of characteristics depicted in Hamlet throughout the tragedy: Eliot, who preferred Coriolanus to Hamlet , or so he said.
Who can believe Eliot, when he exposes his own Hamlet Complex by declaring the play to be an aesthetic failure? Joshua Rothman has written in The New Yorker that "we tell the story wrong when we say that Freud used the idea of the Oedipus complex to understand Hamlet ". Rothman suggests that "it was the other way around: Hamlet helped Freud understand, and perhaps even invent, psychoanalysis". He concludes, "The Oedipus complex is a misnomer.
It should be called the 'Hamlet complex'. Gontar turns the tables on the psychoanalysts by suggesting that Claudius is not a symbolic father figure but actually Prince Hamlet's biological father. The hesitation in killing Claudius results from an unwillingness on Hamlet's part to slay his real father.
If Hamlet is the biological son of Claudius, that explains many things. Hamlet does not become King of Denmark on the occasion of the King's death inasmuch as it is an open secret in court that he is Claudius's biological son, and as such he is merely a court bastard not in the line of succession. He is angry with his mother because of her long standing affair with a man Hamlet hates, and Hamlet must face the fact that he has been sired by the man he loathes. That point overturns T.
Eliot's complaint that the play is a failure for not furnishing an "objective correlative" to account for Hamlet's rage at his mother. Gontar suggests that if the reader assumes that Hamlet is not who he seems to be, the objective correlative becomes apparent. Hamlet is suicidal in the first soliloquy not because his mother quickly remarries but because of her adulterous affair with the despised Claudius which makes Hamlet his son. Finally, the ghost's confirmation of an alternative fatherhood for Hamlet is a fabrication that gives the prince a motive for revenge.
In the 20th century, feminist critics opened up new approaches to Gertrude and Ophelia. New Historicist and cultural materialist critics examined the play in its historical context, attempting to piece together its original cultural environment.
In this analysis, the essence of Hamlet is the central character's changed perception of his mother as a whore because of her failure to remain faithful to Old Hamlet. In consequence, Hamlet loses his faith in all women, treating Ophelia as if she too were a whore and dishonest with Hamlet. Ophelia, by some critics, can be seen as honest and fair; however, it is virtually impossible to link these two traits, since 'fairness' is an outward trait, while 'honesty' is an inward trait. This analysis has been praised by many feminist critics, combating what is, by Heilbrun's argument, centuries' worth of misinterpretation.
By this account, Gertrude's worst crime is of pragmatically marrying her brother-in-law in order to avoid a power vacuum. This is borne out by the fact that King Hamlet's ghost tells Hamlet to leave Gertrude out of Hamlet's revenge, to leave her to heaven, an arbitrary mercy to grant to a conspirator to murder. Ophelia has also been defended by feminist critics, most notably Elaine Showalter. Laertes leaves, Hamlet abandons her, and Polonius dies. Conventional theories had argued that without these three powerful men making decisions for her, Ophelia is driven into madness.
Showalter points out that Ophelia has become the symbol of the distraught and hysterical woman in modern culture. Hamlet is one of the most quoted works in the English language, and is often included on lists of the world's greatest literature.
Academic Laurie Osborne identifies the direct influence of Hamlet in numerous modern narratives, and divides them into four main categories: English poet John Milton was an early admirer of Shakespeare, and took evident inspiration from his work. As John Kerrigan discusses, Milton originally considered writing his epic poem Paradise Lost as a tragedy.
As scholar Christopher N. Henry Fielding 's Tom Jones , published about , describes a visit to Hamlet by Tom Jones and Mr Partridge, with similarities to the "play within a play".
When Baum had been touring New York State in the title role, the actor playing the ghost fell through the floorboards, and the rural audience thought it was part of the show and demanded that the actor repeat the fall, because they thought it was funny. Baum would later recount the actual story in an article, but the short story is told from the point of view of the actor playing the ghost. In the s, James Joyce managed "a more upbeat version" of Hamlet —stripped of obsession and revenge—in Ulysses , though its main parallels are with Homer 's Odyssey.
In Angela Carter 's Wise Children , To be or not to be  is reworked as a song and dance routine, and Iris Murdoch 's The Black Prince has Oedipal themes and murder intertwined with a love affair between a Hamlet -obsessed writer, Bradley Pearson, and the daughter of his rival.
There is the story of the woman who read Hamlet for the first time and said, "I don't see why people admire that play so. It is nothing but a bunch of quotations strung together. Shakespeare almost certainly wrote the role of Hamlet for Richard Burbage. He was the chief tragedian of the Lord Chamberlain's Men , with a capacious memory for lines and a wide emotional range. Firm evidence for specific early performances of the play is scant.
What is known is that the crew of the ship Red Dragon , anchored off Sierra Leone , performed Hamlet in September ;    that the play toured in Germany within five years of Shakespeare's death;  and that it was performed before James I in and Charles I in All theatres were closed down by the Puritan government during the Interregnum. The play was revived early in the Restoration. When the existing stock of pre- civil war plays was divided between the two newly created patent theatre companies , Hamlet was the only Shakespearean favourite that Sir William Davenant's Duke's Company secured.
Although chided for "acknowledging acquaintances in the audience" and "inadequate memorisation of his lines", he became a national celebrity. Of these, Booth remained to make his career in the States, fathering the nation's most notorious actor, John Wilkes Booth who later assassinated Abraham Lincoln , and its most famous Hamlet, Edwin Booth. In the United Kingdom, the actor-managers of the Victorian era including Kean, Samuel Phelps , Macready, and Henry Irving staged Shakespeare in a grand manner, with elaborate scenery and costumes.
What is the Lyceum coming to? In London, Edmund Kean was the first Hamlet to abandon the regal finery usually associated with the role in favour of a plain costume, and he is said to have surprised his audience by playing Hamlet as serious and introspective. In contrast to the "effeminate" view of the central character that usually accompanied a female casting, she described her character as "manly and resolute, but nonetheless thoughtful In France, Charles Kemble initiated an enthusiasm for Shakespeare; and leading members of the Romantic movement such as Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas saw his Paris performance of Hamlet , particularly admiring the madness of Harriet Smithson 's Ophelia.
Konstantin Stanislavski and Edward Gordon Craig —two of the 20th century's most influential theatre practitioners —collaborated on the Moscow Art Theatre 's seminal production of — Hamlet is often played with contemporary political overtones. Leopold Jessner 's production at the Berlin Staatstheater portrayed Claudius's court as a parody of the corrupt and fawning court of Kaiser Wilhelm. In this production, the actors playing Hamlet, Claudius and Polonius exchanged roles at crucial moments in the performance, including the moment of Claudius's death, at which point the actor mainly associated with Hamlet fell to the ground.
Notable stagings in London and New York include Barrymore's production at the Haymarket ; it influenced subsequent performances by John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier. The staging, known as the "G. Olivier does not speak poetry badly. He does not speak it at all. Richard Burton received his third Tony Award nomination when he played his second Hamlet, his first under John Gielgud's direction, in in a production that holds the record for the longest run of the play in Broadway history performances.
The performance was set on a bare stage, conceived to appear like a dress rehearsal, with Burton in a black v-neck sweater, and Gielgud himself tape-recorded the voice for the ghost which appeared as a looming shadow. It was immortalised both on record and on a film that played in US theatres for a week in as well as being the subject of books written by cast members William Redfield and Richard L.
Other New York portrayals of Hamlet of note include that of Ralph Fiennes 's in for which he won the Tony Award for Best Actor — which ran, from first preview to closing night, a total of one hundred performances. It respects the play, but it doesn't provide any new material for arcane debates on what it all means.
Stephen Lang 's Hamlet for the Roundabout Theatre Company in received mixed reviews   and ran for sixty-one performances. David Warner played the role with the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Off Broadway , the Riverside Shakespeare Company mounted an uncut first folio Hamlet in at Columbia University , with a playing time of under three hours.
Fellow actor and friend, Sir Ian McKellen , said that Charleson played Hamlet so well it was as if he had rehearsed the role all his life; McKellen called it "the perfect Hamlet". The critically acclaimed production was directed by Niel Armfield.
The production officially opened on 3 June and ran through 22 August In , American actor Paul Giamatti won critical acclaim for his performance on stage in the title role of Hamlet , performed in modern dress , at the Yale Repertory Theater , at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
The Globe Theatre of London initiated a project in to perform Hamlet in every country in the world in the space of two years. Titled Globe to Globe Hamlet , it began its tour on 23 April , the th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth.
As of 23 February , the project had performed in countries. Benedict Cumberbatch played the role for a week run in a production at the Barbican Theatre , opening on 25 August It was called the "most in-demand theatre production of all time" and sold out in seven hours after tickets went on sale 11 August , more than a year before the play opened. Tom Hiddleston played the role for a three-week run at Vanbrugh Theatre that opened on 1 September and was directed by Kenneth Branagh.
In , The Globe Theatre 's newly instated artistic director Michelle Terry played the role in a production notable for its gender-blind casting. The earliest screen success for Hamlet was Sarah Bernhardt 's five-minute film of the fencing scene, [z] which was produced in The film was an early attempt at combining sound and film , music and words were recorded on phonograph records, to be played along with the film.
The story is a comedy about a troupe of Polish actors in the Nazi era. A key plot point revolves around the famous soliloquy. The story was remade in in a film starring and produced by Mel Brooks. Laurence Olivier 's moody black-and-white Hamlet won Best Picture and Best Actor Oscars , and is still, as of [update] , the only Shakespeare film to have done so. His interpretation stressed the Oedipal overtones of the play, and cast year-old Eileen Herlie as Hamlet's mother, opposite himself, at 41, as Hamlet.
In , actor Jack Manning performed the play in minute segments over two weeks in the short-lived late night DuMont series Monodrama Theater. A live film of the production was produced using "Electronovision", a method of recording a live performance with multiple video cameras and converting the image to film.
In Franco Zeffirelli , whose Shakespeare films have been described as "sensual rather than cerebral",  cast Mel Gibson —then famous for the Mad Max and Lethal Weapon movies—in the title role of his version ; Glenn Close —then famous as the psychotic "other woman" in Fatal Attraction —played Gertrude,  and Paul Scofield played Hamlet's father. In contrast to Zeffirelli, whose Hamlet was heavily cut, Kenneth Branagh adapted, directed, and starred in a version containing every word of Shakespeare's play, combining the material from the F1 and Q2 texts.
Branagh's Hamlet runs for just over four hours. The film is structured as an epic and makes frequent use of flashbacks to highlight elements not made explicit in the play: Hamlet's sexual relationship with Kate Winslet 's Ophelia, for example, or his childhood affection for Yorick played by Ken Dodd.
There have also been several films that transposed the general storyline of Hamlet or elements thereof to other settings. For example, the Bollywood film Haider is an adaptation set in Kashmir.
There have been various "derivative works" of Hamlet which recast the story from the point of view of other characters, or transpose the story into a new setting or act as sequels or prequels to Hamlet.
This section is limited to those written for the stage. The best-known is Tom Stoppard's play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead , which retells many of the events of the story from the point of view of the characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and gives them a backstory of their own. Several times since , the American Shakespeare Center has mounted repertories that included both Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern , with the same actors performing the same roles in each; in their and seasons the two plays were "directed, designed, and rehearsed together to make the most out of the shared scenes and situations".
Gilbert wrote a short comic play titled Rosencrantz and Guildenstern , in which Hamlet's play is presented as a tragedy written by Claudius in his youth of which he is greatly embarrassed. Through the chaos triggered by Hamlet's staging of it, Guildenstern helps Rosencrantz vie with Hamlet to make Ophelia his bride.
Lee Blessing 's Fortinbras is a comical sequel to Hamlet in which all the deceased characters come back as ghosts. The New York Times reviewed the play, saying it is "scarcely more than an extended comedy sketch, lacking the portent and linguistic complexity of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Fortinbras operates on a far less ambitious plane, but it is a ripping yarn and offers Keith Reddin a role in which he can commit comic mayhem".
Caridad Svich 's 12 Ophelias a play with broken songs includes elements of the story of Hamlet but focuses on Ophelia. In Svich's play, Ophelia is resurrected and rises from a pool of water, after her death in Hamlet. The play is a series of scenes and songs, and was first staged at public swimming pool in Brooklyn. David Davalos ' Wittenberg is a "tragical-comical-historical" prequel to Hamlet that depicts the Danish prince as a student at Wittenberg University now known as the University of Halle-Wittenberg , where he is torn between the conflicting teachings of his mentors John Faustus and Martin Luther.
The New York Times reviewed the play, saying, "Mr. Davalos has molded a daft campus comedy out of this unlikely convergence,"  and Nytheatre.
All references to Hamlet , unless otherwise specified, are taken from the Arden Shakespeare Q2. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the play by William Shakespeare. For other uses, see Hamlet disambiguation. Hamlet —Son of the late King and nephew of the present King, Claudius.
Critical approaches to Hamlet. Literary influence of Hamlet. Hamlet in performance and Shakespeare in performance. The day we see Hamlet die in the theatre, something of him dies for us. He is dethroned by the spectre of an actor, and we shall never be able to keep the usurper out of our dreams. Hamlet in popular culture. However Harold Jenkins, the editor of the second series Arden edition of the play, considers that there are not grounds for thinking that the Ur-Hamlet is an early work by Shakespeare, which he then rewrote.
Craig and Stanislavski began planning the production in but, due to a serious illness of Stanislavski's, it was delayed until December In the dark, shadowy foreground, separated by a gauze , Hamlet lay, as if dreaming. On Claudius's exit-line the figures remained but the gauze was loosened, so that they appeared to melt away as if Hamlet's thoughts had turned elsewhere.
For this effect, the scene received an ovation , which was unheard of at the MAT. Archived from the original on 13 February Retrieved 13 February Bate, Jonathan ; Rasmussen, Eric, eds.
The Royal Shakespeare Company. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Houghton Mifflin for Riverside Shakespeare Company. The First Quarto of Hamlet. The Arden Shakespeare , second series.
New Swan Shakespeare , Advanced series New ed. Thompson, Ann; Taylor, Neil, eds. The Arden Shakespeare , third series. The Texts of and Wells, Stanley; Taylor, Gary, eds. The Oxford Shakespeare Compact ed. Alexander's Introductions to Shakespeare. The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. Benedetti, Jean . His Life and Art Revised ed. Billington, Michael 4 May Billington, Michael 6 August The Invention of the Human Open Market ed. Bloom, Harold ; Foster, Brett, eds.
Bloom's Shakespeare through the ages. A Pictorial History of the American Theatre, 5th ed. Brandes, Philip 5 July Retrieved 20 December The Director and the Stage: From Naturalism to Grotowski.
The New York Times. Archived from the original on 18 February Retrieved 29 May From Formalism to Poststructuralism. Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Shakespeare in the Movies: From the Silent Era to Today. Retrieved 18 February Brown, Mark 1 April Retrieved 22 July Brown, Mark 11 April Burian, Jarka . Contemporary Performance New ed. Burnett, Mark Thornton Communicating Technology in Michael Almereyda's Hamlet ". Burrow, Colin 19 May Calia, Michael 11 August The Wall Street Journal.
Canby, Vincent 3 May Retrieved 21 July The Problem of Hamlet: A Solution Reprint ed. The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Film. Cambridge Companions to Literature. Cecil, William [First published in ]. A Study of Facts and Problems. The Theater of Trauma: American modernist drama and the psychological struggle for the American Mind.
The Relationship Between Text and Film. Crystal, David; Crystal, Ben Retrieved 14 July Davison, Richard Allan Ian Charleson and Richard Eyre's Hamlet ". Shakespeare, Text and Theater: Essays in Honor of Jay L.
University of Delaware Press. In Wells, Stanley ; Stanton, Sarah. The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Stage. Fine, Marshall 10 April Retrieved 11 July Fox, Margalit 18 September Retrieved 14 September Freud, Sigmund . The Interpretation of Dreams. The Penguin Freud Library. Translated by Strachey, James. Gardner, Lyn 8 November Retrieved 27 June Globe to Globe Hamlet. Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays. New English Review Press. Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare.
Greenblatt, Stephen 21 October The New York Review of Books. Grode, Eric 30 March Retrieved 10 December Illustrated by Al Hirschfeld illustrated ed. Gupta, Priya 7 February The Times of India. Retrieved 10 February Gussow, Mel 3 April Retrieved 13 July Gussow, Mel 14 October Retrieved 26 June It shall be so: Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go 3.
Act 3, Scene 2 Hamlet coaches three of the Players and stresses the importance of the upcoming performance. They must not overact or improvise, for that will ruin the purpose of the play. Hamlet then confesses his plan to Horatio and asks him to watch the King's face during the poisoning scene. Hamlet, nervous and excited, lies down at Ophelia's feet.
She tries to make conversation, but again, his answers are confusing and hostile. The Murder of Gonzago begins, and the King is visibly shaken. The King rises and Hamlet responds "What, frighted with false fire? The King calls for lights and the performance comes to an abrupt end. Hamlet and Horatio are left alone to discuss what has happened. They agree that the King has indeed behaved as a guilty man would, and Hamlet is overjoyed.
When Rosencrantz comes in to tell Hamlet that the Queen wishes to see him, Hamlet revels in the idea of finally confronting her. Act 3, Scene 3 Polonius tells the King that Hamlet plans to visit his mother. The King is now aware that Hamlet knows his secret, and that he is no longer safe in his own castle. He soliloquizes on the crimes that he has committed, and falls to his knees to pray for forgiveness. But, he knows the prayer will remain unanswered, for he still enjoys the fruits of his treachery: But O, what form of prayer Can serve my turn?
That cannot be, since I am still possess'd Of those effects for which I did the murder, My crown, mine own ambition and my queen. May one be pardon'd and retain the offence? Hamlet, on his way to his mother's chamber, sees the King kneeling in prayer, and his first thought is how simple a task it would be to plunge a sword into his uncle's back.
But that will not do, for the King would be murdered in a state of repentance and would surely go to heaven. This would be a benefit and not revenge. He wants to kill Claudius in the same state of sin as his father was in when Claudius poisoned him -- that is, not "full of bread" -- not penitent and fasting. Hamlet wants the King to die when he is drunk or enraged or in his incestuous bed with the Queen. So the Prince goes, and the King is left to finish his empty prayer. Act 3, Scene 4 Polonius is already in the Queen's chamber, unable to resist telling her exactly what she should say to the Prince.
As he is speaking, they hear Hamlet down the hall, screaming "mother, mother, mother! Polonius hides behind the wall hanging, intending to report every word that is said to the King. The Queen, terrified that Hamlet has come to murder her, cries out for help, and foolish Polonius echoes her cry from behind the curtain. Hamlet, thinking the King has followed him into the room, thrusts his sword into the drapery and pierces Polonius.
When Hamlet realizes he has killed the wrong man, he stops to briefly address the situation, but shows no deep regret for taking Polonius' life. Hamlet holds Polonius himself directly accountable: Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell; I took thee for thy better; take thy fortune; Thou find'st to be too busy is some danger.
She is bewildered, and begs Hamlet to have mercy, but he is relentless. The Ghost, who has before expressed his concern for Gertrude, appears before Hamlet and reminds him to take pity on the Queen and to "step between her and her fighting soul.
He bids her goodnight and looks again upon the body of Polonius. Hamlet is aware of the severity of his deed: Hamlet leaves, dragging Polonius' body behind him. Act 4, Scene 1 The Queen informs the King that Hamlet has killed Polonius in a fit of madness, and he orders Rozencrantz and Guildenstern to find the body. Claudius, happy he now has a reason to send Hamlet away, tells Gertrude that they will report Hamlet's crime to his council.
They confront him, asking "[w]hat have you done my lord, with the dead body? Hamlet, scornfully contemptuous of the two courtiers, calls Rosencrantz a "sponge", and is outraged that they dare demand an answer from him: They persist and order him to accompany them back to the King.
Although this makes perfect sense -- Polonius is with the King, Hamlet's father, but Claudius remains alive -- the courtiers believe him to be incoherent. Hamlet agrees to see the King and runs off stage. He yells out to begin a game of hide-and-seek: The fox is Polonius, for whom everyone is searching. Act 4, Scene 3 In a meeting room in the castle, Claudius sits with his lords, and reports to them that Hamlet has killed his lord chamberlain.
He tells them that the Prince must be exiled to England, but the public, who love Hamlet, must not know the true reason why he is leaving. Rosencrantz brings the guarded Hamlet before the King: Now, Hamlet, where's Polonius?
Not where he eats, but where he is eaten: Your worm is your only emperor for diet: The King informs Hamlet that he must leave for England, for his own safety. Hamlet slyly replies that he knows the King's real purpose for sending him away, but he nonetheless gladly obliges and bids farewell to his mother.
When Hamlet exits the room, the King demands that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern follow the Prince closely, and they rush off. Claudius is now alone to reveal his sinister plan: Hamlet is impressed by the idea of so many soldiers preparing to die for an inconsequential piece of land, and he admires their resolve.
He longs to be more like Fortinbras and his men -- they do not lament and waste time pondering when honour is at stake: Hamlet vows that, if he must still think at all, he will think only bloody thoughts.
For more on Hamlet's meeting with the Captain and why these lines are considered corrupt, please click here. Act 4, Scene 5 Scene 5 opens back at the castle in Elsinore, where Hamlet has been gone a few days. The Queen, Horatio, and a gentleman are discussing poor, tormented Ophelia, who has shattered under the strain of her father's death and Hamlet's cruelty and has gone completely insane. Ophelia enters the room and begins to sing a song about a dead lover and another about Saint Valentine's Day.
The King arrives and speaks gently to Ophelia. She leaves, mumbling good night to the court, and the King asks Horatio to follow her. A messenger enters and reports to Claudius that he prepare himself, for Laertes has heard of Polonius's death and holds the King responsible. He has raised a rebellion, and his men are crying "Choose we; Laertes shall be king! Suddenly, the doors burst open and Laertes rushes into the castle.
He holds his Danish rebels at bay and speaks to Claudius alone: But Claudius knows how to control the young and impetuous Laertes, and soon directs Laertes's rage towards Hamlet. From outside the meeting room Laertes hears footsteps. It is his sister, Ophelia, and he greets her with a outpouring of grief, vowing that her "madness shall be paid with weight.
Laertes, overcome with sorrow, cries "Do you see this, O God? They move to another room to discuss a course of action, and the scene comes to a close. Act 4, Scene 6 A sailor brings Horatio a letter from Hamlet.
He writes of his capture by pirates on his way to England.
Reaction Paper For Hamlet. plaguing those who cannot afford to deal with the trouble and despair that comes with it. In Shakespeare's play, Hamlet gets “infected” with the .
I think Hamlet acts in a very noble way in the first soliloquy (Shakespeare I. ii. ). Instead of jumping to a conclusion, and acting in an immature way. He reasonably thinks about his current problems silently in his head.
Since this is a personal reaction question, it really calls for your own response, yet here are some ideas - First of all, Hamlet is viewed as a heroic tragic figure even though his indecision cripples him in an understandably crippling situation. His mother has taken on a new husband, his uncle, when his father is not "two months dead" (). Reaction Paper: "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark," By William Shakespeare Joshua Newton November 20, This preview has intentionally blurred sections%(3).
Open Document. Below is a free excerpt of "Hamlet Reaction Paper" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples. Reaction Paper Fiction-Drama Stephanie Willis March 3, ENG Catharine Bramkamp The play s the thing, he declares, wherein I ll catch the conscience.