Presentation of Hamlet in Act 2 Scene 2 and 3 in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

Presentation of Hamlet in Act 2 Scene 2 and 3 in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

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Presentation of Hamlet in Act 2 Scene 2 and 3 in William Shakespeare's Hamlet


It is hard to determine the intentions of William Shakespeare when he
wrote "Hamlet" without looking at the social, historical and ethical
context in which it was conceived. From the cover notes found within
the 'Longman Literature' edition, we can deduce that it is
Shakespeare's most well known play and, written during the year 1602,
it was one of his later works. At this time, revenge was a very
popular theme for plays and there is evidence if this in the vast
number of plays about revenge that were written at the start of the
seventeenth century.

Throughout the play, Hamlet is shown as being a planner and this is
highlighted with his organisation of the dumb show and the play within
a play in act three, scene two. He gives the players clear
instructions as to the performance of the play, an adaptation of "The
murder of Gonzago" which Hamlet uses to try to prompt a reaction from
his Uncle, the king. At the end of the performance, Hamlet sees the
play as a success and he orders music, "Ah, ha! Come, some music…"
However, dramatic irony is used at this point because the audience can
see that Hamlet's plot has backfired because the king is "red with
choler" and although there is now no doubt that the king was
responsible for the unprovoked murder of Claudius, Hamlet's father,
Hamlet underestimates the extent of the King's anger and does not
realise the danger that he is in.

It is to my belief that William Shakespeare intended the seventeenth
century audiences to see Hamlet's ostensibly excessive planning as a
negative feature of his character beca...


... middle of paper ...


... society who an excessive amount of time thinking about matters that
would benefit most from a prompt reaction. Evidence for this becomes
apparent at the end of the play when many of the characters (including
Hamlet) die due to this particular trait; had Hamlet killed the king
sooner, he would not have slain Laertes who would not have killed him,
Ophelia would not have committed suicide and Gertrude would not have
been poisoned. Fortinbras is a direct contrast to Hamlet as he has a
much more 'direct' style of leadership. William Shakespeare emphasises
this with Fortinbras' army marching through Denmark on their way to
Poland and theoretically conquest and glory. The reality is, however,
that he is sending thousands of men to their deaths in the space of
time Hamlet is taking to engineer the death of just one man: Claudius.

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