Shakespeare - Hamlet

1389 Words6 Pages
Summary: A mystery ghost has been roaming around the Elsinore Castle in Denmark, for the past few nights, as the castles guards have reported many sightings. Horatio, friend of Hamlet, arrives and is discussing the sightings when suddenly the ghost appears. The ghost refuses to speak to Horatio, who is becoming sceptical of the appearance, stating that it may be a bad omen of things the come. Horatio reveals that it is the ghost the Old Hamlet, former King of Denmark, who died but a few months ago, and has been succeeded by his brother Claudius (now King). After another appearance Horatio and the guards decide to tell Prince Hamlet about the sittings of the ghost, who returns again the next night. Hamlet confronts the ghost, who reveals himself to be Old Hamlet. He tells Hamlet how he was wrongfully murdered by his brother, Claudius, and forces Hamlet to seek revenge by killing the new King. Hamlet, with new news of his father's death, and the revengeful request put upon him, seems to slip into a state of madness. Furthermore, Hamlet seems to be having trouble with a woman friend, named Ophelia, which leads Claudius and Gertrude (mother of Hamlet, now wife of Claudius) to believe that Hamlet's rash behaviour as of late has been do to love. Wanting to know more, the King and Queen summon Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, school friends of Hamlets, to follow him and report on his unorthodox behaviour. Polonius, counsellor of the King and father of Ophelia, enters and insists Hamlet is mad in love with his daughter who will not receive him, thus the reason for his melancholic disposition. However, after viewing a confrontation between Ophelia and Hamlet, the King does not believe that love is the reason. To cheer Hamlet's spirit... ... middle of paper ... ...sidered sinful, and route to hell. Furthermore, religious laws included suicide to be a serious offence. This is seen in Hamlet when Ophelia, daughter of Polonius, takes her own life and is hence denied proper burial by the priest. Also, religious customs are displayed as Hamlet refrains from killing Claudius as he prays. At that time, it was thought that if a person was killed while performing a holy act, there soul would immediately retreat to heaven. Furthermore, family structure at this time was also very different compared to today. It would not be uncommon for a man to marry the wife of his deceased brother, as seen with Claudius. Also, it was ordinary for Kings to have many wives, as women were often treated as inanimate objects. Families were usually much larger and like any ordinary family, problems often arose as we see here with the Royal Family of Denmark.

More about Shakespeare - Hamlet

Open Document