Hamlet: King of the Jungle

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Hamlet: King of the Jungle

“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it you can either run from it or learn from it.” Many words from Disney's The Lion King still ring true in the minds of those who watched as a child. Besides teaching children an important lesson about “The Circle of Life”, the animated film also serves as a strong interpretation of William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. While this connection is lost on the audience of children, it seems obvious to those who are familiar with both works. The relationship between Hamlet and the Lion King is evident through its overall premise as well as its choice of characters.

The Lion King and Hamlet share a very similar premise. Each story tells of a young prince who loses his father, the king, to a power-hungry and murderous uncle. The main character in both tales is faced with a tough decision between revenge and responsibility. In the Lion King, the main character is a young lion cub named Simba. Hamlet, a young human living in Denmark in late medieval times, is the protagonist in Shakespeare's work. In the beginning, each character is naive and confused, and as the story goes on, each character grows, but in slightly different ways.

Anybody who analyzes the two stories will notice one major source of variation. Hamlet is a long play which was written for adults, and the Lion King is a short animated movie made for children. The differences between the two main characters can be largely
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