One of the key themes in Hamlet is suicide with two major characters giving audiences the opportunity to reflect on its implications to society. Hamlet reflects upon suicide in his famous soliloquies while Ophelia actually commits suicide. Using research from scholarly articles and books to support your argument, discuss Shakespeare’s treatment of the theme of suicide.
Themes have large implications for a play's outcome, a play in particular that this essay will be focusing on is William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The context written and the relevance in regards to a historical viewpoint will be discussed, also following this will be the characters themselves and how they affect the text itself and the plays final outcome. Further discussion on the play and its relevance will be brought forward in regards to today’s society vs. Elizabethan era and how they receive the text, how they handle the social theme of suicide and how it affected them, socially, mentally and physically.
The Context Hamlet was written and relevance (historical view point):
One major element of a play's outcome is the theme which is brought to the forefront, a successful play and a play in which the likes of William Shakespeare used to write made certain themes pivotal to the final outcome. One theme in particular; suicide pertains to the well-known play Hamlet. This play was seen as well beyond its time due to Shakespeare’s clever use of soliloquys he was able to engage with the audience and gain their empathy; something that had not yet been seen before within the theatre. It was said that ‘no work in the English literary canon has been so closely identified with the beginning of the modern age (Grazia) He remains constantly...
... middle of paper ...
... the following impacts upon other characters and the overall outcome of the play.
Baker, Susan. "Hamlet's Bloody Thoughts and the Illusion of inwardness." Comparative Drama (1987-1988): 303.
Camden, Carroll. "On Ophelia's Madness." Shakespeare Quarterly (1964): 247-255.
Dane, Gabrielle. "Reading Ophelia's Madness." Exemplaria (1998): 1-8.
Grazia, Margreta De. "Hamlet Before its Time." MLQ: Modern Language Quarterly, Volume 62, Number 4, December (December 2001): 355-360.
Petronella, Vincent F. Hamlet's "To Be or Not to Be" Soliloquy: Once More Unto the Breach. University of North Carolina Press, Janurary 1974.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. London: Harper Press, 2011.
Simmonds, W.G. Hamlet Conundrums. n.d. 25 04 2014
Zeil, Michael. "Suicide in pre-industrial England." Social History (2008): 1-16.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- William Shakespeare has become one of the most famous and influential writers in the English literature, and his work has been reenacted and studied all over the world for several decades. However, we often do not get the chance to admire all of his other plays as the school curriculum in high school only covers his four most famous tragedies plays like Rome and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, and Othello. Now, as a college student, I am able to appreciate his work more as I have recently seen Shakespeare Midwinter Night’s Dream which is based on Shakespeare’s real play Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, a comedy that portrays the events that surround the marriage of a Duke, the love of four young lovers a... [tags: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Love]
1300 words (3.7 pages)
- Hamlet is a dramatic play written by William Shakespeare. It’s about how Prince Hamlet takes revenge on his uncle Claudius for murdering King Hamlet, Claudius 's own brother and Prince Hamlet 's father. Shakespeare’s main objective was to impress his Elizabethan audience because entertainment through theater was very important to everyone in that era. This essay will explain how an Elizabethan audience was targeted by Hamlet’s speech (act 4, lines 32-66). This speech effectively targeted Elizabethan audience because its format, revenge, and exciting nature caused the audience to sympathize with Hamlet’s decisions and feelings, and become involved in the play.... [tags: Hamlet, Prince Hamlet, William Shakespeare]
1565 words (4.5 pages)
- Our personal response to William Shakespeare’s play ‘Hamlet’ (1603) is informed by our knowledge of the composer’s contextual and political milieu which aids to highlight aspects of the human condition which permeate not only Elizabethan England but also that within our modern context. Shakespeare utilises a variety of dramatic and language techniques, to delve deeply into elements of human nature, thus through the play’s textual integrity, Shakespeare is able to strike a chord with contemporary audiences as we too consider the perilous nature of human attributes such as deception, corruption, and mortality.... [tags: Hamlet, Prince Hamlet, William Shakespeare]
1197 words (3.4 pages)
- 'Hamlet ', one of William Shakespeare longest and finest piece of literary work. Hamlets play hones in on characteristics such as, sadness, madness, insanity, morbidity, and mortality. While many scenes depict many of these characteristic’s if not more than one, Act 5 Scene 1 is renownedly known for exhibiting all five of these characteristics in just a few paragraphs. With Shakespeare’s writing technique imagery, repletion, and metaphors expressed throughout this scene, it allows for the reader to receive a clear image of what is going through Hamlets mind.... [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, William Shakespeare]
721 words (2.1 pages)
- "Hamlet" is a revenge tragedy written by William Shakespeare. The setting of the story is in the middle ages around the 14th or 15th century. The play is mainly set in the royal palace in Elsinore, a city in Denmark. The story features plenty of deaths and a grueling revenge plot set by our main protagonist, Hamlet. What made "Hamlet" famous was not only it 's classic murderous story line, but also the way that Shakespeare puts together complex scenes. Act III, scene ii was a particular scene in "Hamlet" that captured Shakespeare 's literary genius because he used this scene to advance the play even further.... [tags: Hamlet, William Shakespeare, Characters in Hamlet]
1310 words (3.7 pages)
- In the original play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, Hamlet is funneled into a situation where he feels obligated to avenge his murdered father. Disease imagery is evident all throughout the play ranging from the beginning with the King’s ghost, to the end with Hamlet’s confrontation with his mother. Through disease imagery, William Shakespeare illustrates the human nature of corruption that drives an individual to benefit his own greed at the expense of others. Through the usage of vivid imagery, King Hamlet’s ghost describes the awful method that Claudius used in order to satisfy his selfish desires.... [tags: Hamlet, William Shakespeare, Characters in Hamlet]
1208 words (3.5 pages)
- William Shakespeare 's play Hamlet focuses on Hamlet, a 30-year old man who tries to seek revenge for his father. Reading the play and looking at it through a contemporary lens, one can assume the title character is homosexual. Even though Shakespeare does not mean for hamlet to be a homosexual, a contemporary reader can assume this argument; through Hamlet’s characterization, portraying his relationship with men all around. As well as his misogynistic relations. Hamlet’s characterization have had an apparent fluctuation ever since he encountered his father’s ghost.... [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, William Shakespeare]
1632 words (4.7 pages)
- In most of William shakespeare 's plays the theme of tragedy is well emphasized. In his play Hamlet, this theme of tragedy has been observed again. The protagonist, Hamlet faces many dilemmas that lead him to undergo many transformations in his personality such as: before the stress of avenging his father he disliked the relationship of the queen and Claudius but after he was introduced with this duty he turned his dislike into the feeling of vengeance towards Claudius, He pursued his burden by acting insane but, later on this acting deeply impacts his nervous system and forces his sanity to lose control.... [tags: Hamlet, William Shakespeare, Characters in Hamlet]
1199 words (3.4 pages)
- William Shakespeare's Hamlet Shakespeare’s works are rife with metatheatrical self-references; as Polonius blathers on about madness early in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Gertrude ends the excessive bombast with the quip, “More matter with less art” (Hamlet, II.i.97). Shakespeare mocks his own poetic form and that of his classical influences with this line, yet his plays are full of lyricism. However, the Greek and Roman texts Shakespeare studied as a boy as well as those of his contemporaries are so full of “art,” (meaning that they emphasize form over content) that they are often considered by the masses as arcane.... [tags: William Shakespeare Hamlet Essays]
3617 words (10.3 pages)
- William Shakespeare's Hamlet Hamlet has been praised and revered for centuries as one of William Shakespeare's best known and most popular tragedies. Based on its popularity, critics alike have taken various viewpoints and theories in order to explain Hamlet's actions throughout the play. The psychoanalytic point of view is one of the most famous positions taken on Hamlet. Psychoanalytic criticism is a type of literary criticism that analyzes and classifies many of the forms of psychoanalysis in the interpretation of literature.... [tags: William Shakespeare Hamlet Essays]
1274 words (3.6 pages)