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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Hamlet by Shakespeare

The classic drama Hamlet by William Shakespeare written in the early 1600s, follows the melancholy Prince Hamlet who is grieving the recent death of his father when his mother marries his Uncle Claudius, the new king of Denmark. Hamlet soon encounters the ghost of his father, who claims he was murdered by Claudius. Hamlet vows revenge in this iconic story. This story explores the themes of betrayal, madness, and revenge. With its depth of character and poetic dialogue, Hamlet is still hugely relevant today. Give it a read for a true Shakespearean tragedy.

Summary of Hamlet

William Shakespeare’s classic play Hamlet. Set in Denmark in the 1600s, it’s about this prince named Hamlet who’s really bummed because his dad the king just died. But then bam, his uncle marries his mom the queen?!

Hamlet’s like whoa, not cool. Then the ghost of his dad appears and is like “Yo Hamlet, I was actually murdered by your uncle”. So now Hamlet by Shakespeare wants revenge but he’s also kinda depressed and uncertain what to do. There are a lot of dark themes like betrayal, madness and revenge as Hamlet tries to figure out how to get back at his uncle. It’s still a gripping story today, so give ol’ Billy Shakespeare’s tragedy a read!

Themes covered in the classic play Hamlet

Here are some important themes in Hamlet explored in more depth


Hamlet is tasked with avenging his father’s murder but discovers revenge can be corrosive. His delaying shows how vengeance breeds more violence as it poisons his mind and leads him to kill Polonius in haste. Revenge consumes Denmark.

Appearance vs Reality

Denmark seems fine externally but internally decays as people hide behind masks. Claudius replaces his brother hastily and conceals his evil deed. Hamlet feigns madness to uncover the truth behind people’s facades in a world where nothing is as it seems.


Old Hamlet’s ghost reminds us of death’s inevitability which hangs over fragile Denmark. Ophelia’s and Polonius’ deaths show life ends abruptly. “To be or not to be” explores suicide but concludes we must endure life’s pains and assume mortality’s burden rather than flee its uncertainty.

Corruption of Authority

When Claudius, the play’s most powerful man, murders his own brother to steal his wife and crown, the natural order breaks down. This shakes the foundation of the state and unravels social bonds as characters lose their way in a world without clear leadership or rules.

Delaying of Action

Hamlet contemplates revenge philosophically instead of acting, showing how thinking can be paralyzing. His delay enables more murder, proving that while wrong action has consequences, inaction itself is not risk-free and can perpetuate evil through hesitation and doubt.

Major Characters in Hamlet

Here are some of the major characters in Hamlet analyzed:


The melancholy prince struggles with his duty for revenge amid his tumultuous inner thoughts on death, corruption and the human condition. His contemplations drive the play’s intellectual depth.


The ambitious, deceptive uncle who murdered his own brother to steal the crown and queen represents the rotten core infecting Denmark through duplicitous acts of regicide and compact with evil spirits.


Hamlet’s mother whose hasty remarriage to her dead husband’s brother sparks his disdain for women’s frailty yet complicity in undermining rightful succession and family principles.


The pompous yet reasonably prudent royal counsellor whose death by Hamlet’s hand propels tragedy but also satirizes windbag politicos’ vulnerabilities when chaos reigns.


Her descent into lunacy and suicide echoes Denmark’s and represents innocent casualties of corrupt patriarchal maneuverings too incomprehensible to withstand by vulnerable women and youths.


Hamlet’s loyal friend anchoring his reason who helps expose the plot yet survives as a beacon of conscience amid corruption’s impacts on greater Denmark sunk in evil.

Minor characters in Hamlet

Here are some analyses of minor characters in Hamlet

Ghost of Hamlet’s Father

His ominous visits charging Hamlet to avenge his death incite the action, though his veracity and nature remain enigmatic like truth amid Denmark’s collapse into shadowy deceits.


Ophelia’s brother whose botched murder plot against Hamlet shows betrayed familial loyalty driving men mad as betrayals fester where respect for fathers used to anchor social bonds.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

Hamlet’s former friends are sent to spy on him yet meeting ominous ends, their profane comradeship manipulation underscores the isolation any man may face when states weaponize intimacies.


Their black humour amid chambering Yorick grimly juxtaposes laughter and mortality’s equalizing of all men’s earthly ends whether royal or plebeian.


The Norwegian prince heir marching his men through Denmark toward pointless war represents barbarism ever threatening civilization when moral order disintegrates within amid men’s basest instincts.

Gertrude’s new husband helps corroborate her first’s spectre yet remains an ancillary figure, likeVoltrage truth in Hamlet’s chaotic Denmark occluded for nobles yet discernible by lesser men ironically nearer reality’s centre.


In the end, Hamlet is truly one of the greatest plays ever written. It really makes you think about life, death, honour and what it means to be human. Through such a compelling character like the sad Danish prince Hamlet, Shakespeare was able to say so much about the darkness that lives inside us all and how easily power can corrupt. Even with all the tragedy, it leaves you feeling somehow wiser to have spent time in such a rich fictional world.

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