Hamlet using a deconstructive and Marxist view

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Hamlet by William Shakespeare is one of the most complex plays in the English language. By approaching Hamlet from different perspectives, one can come to realize the subtle meanings interworked with this entertaining play. Two such perspectives are the Marxist view and the deconstructionist view. Marxism refers to the plays social impact and ability to undercut the foundations of government; deconstructionism attempts to show the inability of language to support the intricacies of human life.

Hamlet is the tale of Denmark’s royalty and the “tragedy” that struck the Prince of Denmark, the play’s namesake, Hamlet. The play centers on the murder of the previous King, and his brother’s marriage to the widowed queen a month later. Early in the play, Hamlet finds out from the ghost of his father that he was murdered by Claudius, Hamlet’s uncle and the deceased king’s brother. The ghost tells Hamlet that he must avenge his father’s murder by killing Claudius. The rest of the play is an act of inaction on Hamlet’s part. Hamlet goes back and forth between insanity and sanity while constantly avoiding killing Claudius. In the final scene, Hamlet; Laertes (son of Polonius, Polonius was killed by Hamlet); the Queen, Gertrude; and the King, Claudius all die. While this play is foremost looked upon as a tragedy by most readers, a Marxist critique could show this play in the light of a farce.

The cycle of any monarchy is fraught with assassinations, deceit, and injustice throughout the ruling family; however, in Hamlet, this cycle is broken in an almost amusing way. Hamlet not only defies logical pretense by missing many opportunities to easily kill Claudius, but also displays an ethical streak unusual in the Prince of a ruling dynasty. The...

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...ous examples include Hamlet’s scene with Ophelia. By using the word nunnery, Hamlet leaves it to the reader whether or not to define nunnery as the slang for brothel or the place in which nuns reside. Gertrude moves from “reluctant lover, adulteress, and murderess depending upon the connotations placed on the text.

In conclusion, by applying multiple view points to Hamlet, one kind find innumerable ways of interpreting the play. The Marxists satirize the ruling monarchy and show the debilitating uselessness of the cycle of royal families while deconstructionists show the incapability of language to make a concrete account of happenings. Not even the author of a work of literature can unquestionably prove that their own work has but one meaning, because that work will elicit multiple responses from people based upon their own ideology, beliefs, and experiences.

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