Doubt in Hamlet

1256 WordsFeb 18, 20136 Pages
‘Her death was doubtful.’ Analyse the theme of doubt in Hamlet. In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, doubt is one of the most important themes. In fact, the whole play is based on the story of a ghost who claims to be Hamlet’s father, and nobody can be sure if what he says is the truth. In this essay, I am going to focus on the theme of doubt throughout the play. I will first speak about the opening scene, and then I will talk about the ghost, which is a supernatural element used by Shakespeare to create doubt in the play. I will also analyse the passage in which Hamlet declares his love to Ophelia. Finally, I will briefly discuss Hamlet’s sanity. What happens in the opening scene is very relevant and foreshadows the atmosphere of the whole…show more content…
However, I think that at the end of the play we can be sure that Claudius was Hamlet’s father’s murderer, but we cannot be sure about Hamlet’s sanity at all; it remains one of the most important doubts at the end of the play. In conclusion, I would say that the whole play of Hamlet is founded on doubt. In fact, the main plot is built on a doubtful accusation of a ghost, which is something that we cannot even be sure exists. Moreover, doubt is present in different passages throughout the play, like in the opening scene. Doubt is also present in Hamlet’s speech, and Shakespeare manages to introduce the theme of doubt almost everywhere in his play. Bibliography: Hattaway, Michael, Hamlet (Houndsmills, Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1987) Jump, John Davies, Shakespeare: Hamlet: a casebook (London: Macmillan, 1968) Shakespeare, William, Hamlet / edited by Harold Jenkins (London; New York: Methuen, 1982) The Norton Shakespeare / Stephen Greenblatt, general editor; Walter Cohen, Jean E. Howard, Katharine Eisaman Maus, [editors]; with an essay on the Shakespearean stage by Andrew Gurr (New York: W.W. Norton, 1997) -------------------------------------------- [ 1 ]. All the quotations I am going to refer to in this essay are from The Norton Shakespeare (New York: W.W. Norton, 1997). [ 2 ]. John Davies Jump, ‘The Opening Scene of Hamlet’, in Shakespeare: Hamlet: a casebook, ed. by
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