In many of William Shakespeare’s plays, the main character is driven to make decisions based ironic situations they are faced with. Oftentimes, these decisions ultimately lead to their downfall. In William Shakespeares, Hamlet, the author uses both situational and dramatic irony to facilitate the downfall of his characters. In this tragedy,Shakespeare exemplifies this irony through Hamlet’s sexual tension for his mother, the irony surrounding the role of Laertes in relation to Hamlet as well as the situational irony surrounding the role of Claudius. As the play progresses, it is obvious through Hamlet’s jealousy for Gertrudes love of Claudius creates situational irony which drives the plot.
Certainly, the most critical theme in the play by far is that of revenge; it fuels the plot and story of Hamlet, reveals the hamartia of the protagonist, and is used successfully to develop some of the main characters. Anne Barton says, "As a structural and thematic center for tragedy, revenge has much to recommend it," (Barton 11) and that, "For most Elizabethan dramatists, the attraction of revenge plots lay precisely in their tragic potentiality," (Barton 14). Shakespeare would undoubtedly agree. There are three rings of revenge at the center of the story of Hamlet. The first is that of Fortinbras Jr. who seeks vengeance against Hamlet Sr. for killing Fortinbras Sr.
King Lear and Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, are two plays that reveal similar thematic elements, yet possess fundamentally different plot structures. Driven by the suffering and rage of two complementary characters, both plays suggest injustice through ‘good’, but ultimately flawed characters. This shared overarching theme is, however, conveyed differently within each of the works, as one employs two mainly disparate plot threads, while the other relies more heavily on the interaction between the two central plots. Yet the ultimate purpose of this dualism remains the same within both King Lear and Hamlet, in that Shakespeare’s use of the double plot illuminates the tragic elements within both plays, emphasizing core injustices through the interwinding parallelisms of two distinct groups. In King Lear, this parallel structure reflects the tragic nature of the plot primarily in the symmetries between Lear and Gloucester.
The tragedies “Hamlet”, by William Shakespeare, and “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead”, by Tom Stoppard, are complementary plays. Each address parallel subjects, themes, and apprehensions, turning around completely diverse backgrounds, standards and cultures. Each text experiments the audience’s indulgence of the other, and both reveal the context in which they were produced. This paper compares the plays “Hamlet” and “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead”, details how the plays are related, and set outlines the standards presented in each play with comments and notes. “Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead” encounters the readers’ indulgence of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and reveals the background in which Stoppard composed his play.
Columbia University Press. 1993. Evans, Gareth Lloyd. The Upstart Crow-An Intro. to Shakespeare's Plays.
Shakespeare's Hamlet presents the generic elements found in Renaissance revenge tragedies ("Revenge Tragedy"). However, although Hamlet is a revenge tragedy by definition, Shakespeare complicates the basic revenge plot by creating three revenge plots out of one. By adding significant innovations, Shakespeare creates "three concentric rings of revenge" (Frye 90), depicting an indecisive protagonist who is an intellectual rather than a physical hero, an ambiguous ghost, and several problematic aspects of the play, such as the reason for Hamlet's delay, the confusion of time, and the truth behind Hamlet's apparent madness. In a typical revenge tragedy, a hero is called upon by the ghost of a family member to avenge his death ("Revenge Tragedy"). Hamlet is the main protagonist and hero called upon by the spirit of his father to "revenge his foul and most unnatural murder" (1.5.31).
When analyzing Shakespeare's Hamlet through the deconstructionist lens various elements of the play come into sharper focus. Hamlet's beliefs about himself and his crisis over indecision are expounded upon by the binary oppositions created in his soliloquies. Hamlet’s first soliloquy comes in act one scene two, as Hamlet reflects on the current state of events. The chief focus of this soliloquy is essentially the rottenness of the king, queen and the world in general. In this passage the reader is introduced to Hamlet pseudo-obsession with death and suicide, which later will become a chief point of indecision.