Themes in Shakespeare's Hamlet and Antony & Cleopatra

3142 Words13 Pages
Hamlet and Antony & Cleopatra are quite dramatic plays, they require an in depth look since they are significant in their own ways. Both of them have quite a lot of similarities and differences altogether. In terms of themes specifically they both have quite similar themes, ones that can be analyzed psychoanalytically and are represented and portrayed in a variety of different ways using characters, imagery, etc. These are quite interesting ways of portraying certain themes or ideas. Shakespeare with the help of these assets could properly project many ideas to the audience and appeal to them psychologically. Three major themes that are psychologically dominant and unique but present in both plays would include the constant struggle between reason vs. emotion, betrayal, and love being a strong asset. There is quite a bit of chaos present in both plays this is all due to the struggle between reason and emotion, this struggle puts quite a lot of characters in dilemma’s, causes quite a disruption in characters lives etc. a small example of this would be how in Hamlet Ophelia lost in Hamlet’s love and in despair goes crazy and eventually dies. In Antony and Cleopatra it is noticed that Antony abandons all military reasoning and the fact that he is indeed a “military hero” and pursues his love for Cleopatra. Thus is the idea of reason vs. emotion present. Betrayal is also present in both plays, although it is presented and portrayed quite differently. In Hamlet betrayal is quite an essential and obvious theme. Specifically in Hamlet betrayal is what further thickens the plot and arises many situations alike. King Claudius for example is known as a murderer and betrays his brother King Hamlet by intentionally murdering him. Hamlet sees ... ... middle of paper ... ...state “Yet if thou say Antony lives, is well, or friends with ceaser, or not captive to him, I’ll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail rich pearls upon thee” (II.v.). This quote highlights and signifies Cleopatra’s love for Antony since she doesn’t want to hear any negative remarks or news of her lover; she offers a reward for good news on Antony and is quite straightforward and upfront with her love. Thus with a small contrast made it can be extrapolated that indeed love is presented differently in both plays one more evident and obvious and one more personal and private, each character sees love and feels differently on how to act upon it. Psychologically both are madly and truly in love, one is a step ahead in expressing it but nonetheless, fate is not in their hands and end their lives end in a horrific manner their love for each other falling to utter ruins.
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