Essay about Importance of the Players and Their Play within Hamlet

Essay about Importance of the Players and Their Play within Hamlet

Length: 779 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet, the players and their play emphasizes the importance of theatre and its’ power. The players arrive in Act2 Scene2. They are announced by a flourish of trumpets, which is the usual occurrence upon the arrival of actors; yet, this is the second time in the scene we have heard such a grand entrance, the first being that of the King and Queen at the start of the scene, therefore a similar feeling of importance is evoked for the players Immediately.

Hamlet himself welcomes them with great warmth and ‘entertainment.’ He has great admiration for these people and their lifestyle, which has the freedom from duties and of expression that Hamlet lacks. Through them we see him explore role-play and word-play in a way which he himself cannot, in Shakespeare’s use of Hamlet as our guide to the world of theatre, and as an overly contemplative avenger.
Already, in Act2 scene2, we see that Hamlet is conceiving plans and deception, as he warns of his contrived madness:

“I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.” (2, 2, 374-5)

and so we see that he is already taking on some of the wiles of a player in order to conceal his true ideas, posing as a madman.
Later in the scene we see Hamlet trying to gain further some affinity with the players, promoting a speech from the first players, prompting a speech from the first player, which refers to the attack on troy. Shakespeare has used Marlowe’s Dido as his source and manipulated it to create greater relevance to ‘Hamlet’ and Hamlet who is mirrored by the character Phyruss, who is made more of a dark thinker than rash avenger, reflecting back to our first images of Hamlet in his ‘inky cloak.’
Yet, Hamlet plays...

... middle of paper ...

... so this alternative questioning of our key protagonist could in some way be viewed as fulfilling, an abstract fool role. The player king delves into views on takking action, such as:

“What to ourselves in passion we do propose, the passion ending, doth the purpose lose.”
(3, 2, 189-190)

Yet Hamlet is too caught up in the purpose, he needs ‘passion,’ like that of the players in order to avenge. Instead he is waiting for the ‘wripe fruit’ to fall-fall, a sign that the time is ripe or right.

The players and their play serves to underline the analysis of theatre and its power in ‘Hamlet’, and as functions to make objective comparisons to the ‘real’ characters in the play as well as provoke their actions and thoughts in their reflections of what is past and what is to come in the murders of the old King Hamlet and the inevitable murder of Claudius.


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

William Shakespeare 's Hamlet - The Murder Of Gonzago Essay

- Many critics regard Shakespeare’s “plays within a play” revolutionary for his time. One of his more famous demonstrations of this was in his play Hamlet. At the beginning of the play Hamlet learns his father was killed by Claudius. In the beginning he does not know how to confront the situation, or if he can really trust his father’s ghost. He later settles on creating a play titled “The Murder of Gonzago”, in which Hamlet plans to affect Claudius’ mind and bring him face-to-face with what he has done....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Prince Hamlet, Ghost]

Better Essays
1407 words (4 pages)

Analysis Of Shakespeare 's ' Hamlet ' Essay

- The explicit behaviors and reactions of characters within a dramatic tragedy serve not only to augment the play’s action and plot, but also to underscore the distinct qualities of each persona. William Shakespeare, in particular, establishes the discrepancies in personality among the characters of Hamlet through clear conditions that markedly portray the motives and ambitions of even minor characters. By combining complex attitudes and manners, Shakespeare develops immensely multifaceted individuals who present variety as well as conflict for the piece as a whole....   [tags: Gertrude, Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet]

Better Essays
1221 words (3.5 pages)

The Importance of Fear in Hamlet Essay

- The Importance of Fear in Hamlet       Fear plays an important role in Shakespeare's tragic play, Hamlet. Within the play, the main character, Hamlet, attempts to overcome his fear and fulfill his father's revenge. Hamlet's apprehension toward death prevents him from carrying out the murder of Claudius. Although confrontation with death is avoided for as long as possible, Hamlet comes to recognize his weakness, and faces this anxiety.   Displaying an 'antic disposition', Hamlet first attempts to side step his trepidation by feigning madness....   [tags: Essays on Shakespeare Hamlet]

Better Essays
1064 words (3 pages)

Hamlet Essay : Hamlet Assignment- Branagh Film Version

- Hamlet Assignment- Branagh Film Version 1. In this specific version of Hamlet there are various characters that demonstrate an exaggerative and dramatic persona; Brain Blessed chose to interpret the role of the ghost in the traditional eerie, spooky, and mysterious manner. He does this by being portrayed as a reoccurring pale figure that is only visible to certain people (the traditional characteristics for a ghost). Also he does this by deepening his voice to sound more frightening. In my opinion, I do not think that the performance of the apparition was believable in any scenes in which it appeared simply because I do not think that something that does not exist in reality can be displaye...   [tags: Characters in Hamlet, Hamlet, Ghost, Gertrude]

Better Essays
1152 words (3.3 pages)

Hamlet, By William Shakespeare Essay

- Hamlet is and always will be one of many aspects of the story. This range goes from affecting his girlfriend, Ophelia, to affecting Shakespeare’s most famous pieces of literature. This play does well portraying multiple themes, which are apparent in the story line, through the eyes of many difference characters. A few examples of these themes are revenge, madness, women, and mortality. However, one of the most obvious ones is madness. Throughout this play, there are several examples of Hamlet’s madness which affects the lives of several people....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude, Polonius]

Better Essays
1351 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on William Shakespeare's Hamlet

- William Shakespeare's Hamlet The tragedy of Hamlet was a very interesting play with many very interesting characters that did a great many heroic and disappointing things despite the complexity and difficulty to understand the true personality William Shakespeare intended for each. Ophelia, one of the minor characters, represents one of the two women captured between men set out for revenge. Despite the minor role this character played, her impact on the play was quite significant. However, one of the most important questions to analyze, and the question this paper will explore below is why she went mad....   [tags: Hamlet Shakespeare]

Free Essays
1750 words (5 pages)

Hamlet's Soliloquy - To be, or not to be Essay

- Hamlet's Soliloquy - To be, or not to be Hamlet's "To be, or not to be" soliloquy is arguably the most famous soliloquy in the history of the theatre. Even today, 400 years after it was written, most people are vaguely familiar with the soliloquy even though they may not know the play. What gives these 34 lines such universal appeal and recognition. What about Hamlet's introspection has prompted scholars and theatregoers alike to ask questions about their own existence over the centuries. In this soliloquy, Shakespeare strikes a chord with a fundamental human concern: the validity and worthiness of life....   [tags: Hamlet essays]

Free Essays
1219 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Hamlet -- Theme

- Hamlet -- Theme         There is lively critical debate about the themes in the Shakespearean drama Hamlet and their proper ranking in importance. This paper hopes to discuss the some of the main themes and their significance in the play.   Is procrastination the main theme of the drama. D.G. James in his essay, “The New Doubt,” expresses his view:   But few of us will deny that Hamlet’s procrastination is the major fact in the play and that it was intended by Shakespeare to be so. But are we really to find his procrastination a mystery and to leave it a mystery....   [tags: Essays on Shakespeare Hamlet]

Better Essays
1942 words (5.5 pages)

The Marxist Hamlet Essay

- The Marxist Hamlet In his article "'Funeral Bak'd Meats:'  Carnival and the Carnivalesque in Hamlet," Michael D. Bristol mingles Marxism and Bakhtin's notion of double discoursed textuality into an unique reading of Shakespeare's drama as a struggle between opposing economic classes.  Bristol opens with a two paragraph preface on Marxism, highlighting Marx's own abnegation of Marxism:  "Marx is famous for the paradoxical claim that he was not a Marxist" (Bristol 348).  While he acknowledges some of the flaws inherent in Marxist criticism, Bristol uses the introductory paragraphs to assert the "enormous importance" of "the theory of class consciousness and class struggle" which Marxist the...   [tags: Essays on Shakespeare Hamlet]

Better Essays
869 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Hamlet

- Hamlet Drama Exam 1)Shakespeare’s revenge tragedy, “Hamlet,” critiques the society of Denmark using powerful mononlogues and dramatic action. On the other hand, Wilde’s comic drama pokes fun at the high morality of Victorian Society. One serious theme that I noticed in “The Importance of being Ernest” was the consistent act of deception throughout the entire play. However this lack of honesty was not lonesome for insightful comedy and a visible foreshadowing of upcoming events accompanied it....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Better Essays
828 words (2.4 pages)