The Theme Of Death Is Abundant Throughout William Shakespeare 's Hamlet Essay

The Theme Of Death Is Abundant Throughout William Shakespeare 's Hamlet Essay

Length: 1243 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The theme of death is abundant throughout William Shakespeare play “Hamlet”, and even more evident in Laurence Olivier’s movie Hamlet. At the start of both the play and the movie there two soldiers Bernardo and Marcellus along with Horatio (Hamlets friend) who see a ghostly figure. In the movie this scene is portrayed as very dark, and cold, and is a similar scene throughout the movie. The next person to die is Lord Chamberlin Polonius, who was killed by Hamlet. The deaths continue with Ophelia’s (Hamlets true love) suicide. Then in a remarkable sword fight that lead to Hamlet, Claudius, Gertrude and Laertes all dying from poison. William Shakespeare wrote Hamlet in a time when people were unsure about death, the afterlife and Shakespeare did a wonderful job of depicting these fears, by using Hamlet fascination and fears of death.
Hamlets Fascination with Death
As I stated earlier, Horatio along with Bernardo and Marcellus see a ghost, but I failed to mention how scared these men were by this ghost. Why were these brave Soldiers so scared? The issues of ghost, witches or anything demonic was also a problem that effected the English especially during Elizabeth’s time. Prior the Protestant movement in England the Roman Catholic Church whom had ecclesiastical power and provided rituals (exorcisms) for the people of England, which made the people feel safe and kept their minds at ease. After the disillusionment of the monasteries and the reformation people were no longer content with or assured about what happens when you die. We see this in the witch trials, and how with little to no evidence people were tried and executed for being a witch, mostly poor women.
When the ghostly figure does appear it is only late at night and never sp...

... middle of paper ...

...ey are not admitted into heaven. You see this in the play at Ophelia’s burial, the priest does not given you rights or certain blessings. This again goes back to the fear the English had, what happens at the time of their death, if there are not rights or blessing how would they get into heaven.
My analysis of Hamlet’s fascination and fear of death has led me to think that William Shakespeare created this play for the people of England. The play was used as a podium that allowed for the concerns of the common English people to be seen and heard. It is not a coincident that Hamlet was written after the Reformation. It is not a coincident that the fears that Hamlet had of death could have been eased with Catholic traditions. Finally it is not a coincident that they all die in the end of the play, because in the end the Catholic traditions died in England.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

William Shakespeare 's The Fire At The Globe Theatre Essay

- Although scholars and literary critics continue to question the true authorship of his plays long after his death in 1616, William Shakespeare is still considered one of the greatest writers of all time. Throughout Shakespeare’s career, up until the fire that destroyed the Globe Theatre in 1613, many people believe that Shakespeare wrote thirty-six full length plays (Literary Cavalcade). Shakespeare has also written over 150 sonnets, all demonstrating his genius and skill as a writer. Regrettably, several of Shakespeare’s unfinished works were believed to be destroyed in the fire at the Globe Theatre, which initiated Shakespeare to never write again (Literary Cavalcade)....   [tags: William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Writing]

Better Essays
1558 words (4.5 pages)

Essay on Criticism of Shakespeare's Hamlet

- Criticism of Shakespeare's Hamlet Over the past several centuries the tragedy of Hamlet has divided both critics and readers alike. T.S. Eliot deemed it an artistic failure, while Sir Laurence Olivier called it pound for pound, the greatest play ever written. Perhaps T.S. Eliot was caught in the tunnel of his own criticism and failed to see the larger picture. Through Shakespeare's brilliant use of language, characterization, and Hamlet's soliloquies, Hamlet has stood as a literary masterpiece for almost four hundred years....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
435 words (1.2 pages)

The Death Of Hamlet By William Shakespeare Essay example

- The basis of one 's mortality and the complications of life and death are talked about from the opening of Hamlet. In the mist of his father 's death, Hamlet is having a hard time not thinking about and considering the meaning of life and how life ends. Many questions emerge as the story progresses. There was so many question that Hamlet contemplated. He was constantly worrying that is he revenged on his fathers’ death then what would happen. He would ask himself questions like, what happens when and how you die....   [tags: Hamlet, Gertrude, Characters in Hamlet, Death]

Better Essays
1174 words (3.4 pages)

The Death Of Hamlet By William Shakespeare Essay

- Throughout the book Hamlet, by Shakespeare there are various deaths that occur first is the death of King Hamlet, the death of Ophelia and the death of Queen Gertrude. King Hamlet was assassinated by his own brother Claudius, who is now married to the Queen Gertrude. Ophelia was Hamlet love who died by drowning in a river. Queen Gertrude has different views towards her husband 's death King Hamlet, towards Ophelia, Polonius and her own death. Shakespeare portrays Gertrude as a strong and emotionally distant character....   [tags: Characters in Hamlet, Hamlet, Gertrude, Death]

Better Essays
907 words (2.6 pages)

William Shakespeare 's ' Hamlet ' Essay

- The Meaning of Hamlet When I think of argumentative writing or impressive use of speech I immediately refer to the famous Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Reading the popular monologue from Hamlet- “to be, not to be—that is the question” is a tremendous way of displaying balance in a rhetorical situation. As many of you all know the first line of this monologue because those legendary words have been used in conversations today. In reality does anyone really know William’s purpose for his passage....   [tags: Hamlet, William Shakespeare, Question, Death]

Better Essays
1010 words (2.9 pages)

Hamlet, By William Shakespeare Essays

- To be, or not to be, that is the question. To live, or not to live…that is the “question” in this play, Hamlet which is written by William Shakespeare, that plays a big role, such as when there seemed to be a tension between Hamlet and Horatio at the beginning of the play, especially towards the end where a strong friendship that occurred is tested. Also, finding out and being able to trust what we now call a “bff” (best friend forever) is easy for this current generation, but for Hamlet, it was not as easy....   [tags: Hamlet, William Shakespeare, Death, Friendship]

Better Essays
1249 words (3.6 pages)

The Death Of Hamlet By William Shakespeare Essay

- Murder is always more than a dead body; but majority of the time, people focus more on the reason behind the murder, not knowing that the method of killing can also reveal useful informations, such as cause, motive and significance. In the last two acts of Hamlet, many characters die in various ways under William Shakespeare’s pen. Polonius, the former courtier for the late king Hamlet, is killed by Hamlet behind the arras when he is eavesdropping for Claudius in Gertrude’s closet. His death inflict pain on Ophelia, causing her to suffer and allegedly commit suicide....   [tags: Characters in Hamlet, Hamlet, Gertrude]

Better Essays
1250 words (3.6 pages)

The Death Of Hamlet By William Shakespeare Essay

- In Williams Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, there are many themes. Revenge is the biggest theme in this play. The idea of Revenge plagues Hamlet and causes many tragic deaths in its wake. Hamlet who consumed by the need of revenge is the cause of all of the deaths in the play. The deaths that are directly caused by the sense of revenge is in order, Polonius, Ophellia, Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, Gertrude, Laertes, Claudius, and Hamlet himself. Revenge is the downfall of all of the characters in the play....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude, Love]

Better Essays
741 words (2.1 pages)

William Shakespeare 's Hamlet : A Course Of Meditation On Life, Death, Responsibility, And Fate

- It is undeniable that every character in a literature work holds importance to that piece. If not the case, there would be no point of any individual characters. In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, there are numerous characters who are created to enhance the plot line. However, one of the most discussed and analyzed is Prince Hamlet himself. According to Anne Hacht, “Hamlet is set on a course of meditation on life, death, responsibility, and fate” (206). The play is based on Hamlet whose father recently passed, and whose mother remarried to his uncle months after his father’s passing....   [tags: William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Suicide]

Better Essays
1544 words (4.4 pages)

Death in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet Essay

- “So shall you hear of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts, of accidental judgments, casual slaughters, of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause,” (Hamlet, Act V, Scene 2, Lines 381-384). So says Horatio, best friend of Prince Hamlet in the final few lines of the play. He speaks these words after the deaths of Hamlet, Claudius, King of Denmark, Gertrude, Queen of Denmark, and Laertes, son of Polonius. Also dead are Hamlet, King of Denmark, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, former friends of Hamlet, Polonius, councilor to the King, and Ophelia, daughter of Polonius....   [tags: William Shakespeare Hamlet]

Better Essays
956 words (2.7 pages)