Hamlet and the Impact on the Audience Essay

1238 Words Jul 31st, 2012 5 Pages
Hamlet Essay

Many of the plays written by Shakespeare in his time were performed to influence his audience and provoke thought and debate the social, cultural and economic events that were taking place at that time. Shakespeare’s Hamlet, in particular, was a reflection of the events happening during the Elizabethan era. In this essay, the focus is mainly on Act IV scene IV and the speech of Hamlet and the essay focuses on answering the question of the effect Hamlet had on the audience in the Elizabethan era, specifically culturally, socially, and economically. It is the purpose of this essay to demonstrate that due to the religious turmoil of the Elizabethan era, Hamlet’s reference to God in Act IV was significant to show that
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This action taken by Shakespeare affects the attitude the audience may have towards either Catholics or Protestants at the time by creating a mutual understanding of the religions. In doing so, Hamlet does not create disagreements and succeeds in meeting the rules of the Queen, for it is not a religion-oriented play.
Nothing is more interesting than to analyse the behaviours of a psychotic person. In an attempt to draw the audience into the play, Shakespeare uses the physiological processes of the body and their relation to the mind and soul.3 In the Elizabethan era, many were fascinated with medicine and the psychological behaviour of others. This is shown from the play where Hamlet’s sanity level is based on the four humours- Blood, Phlegme, Choler and Melancholie; all seasons mixed and mingled together within the veins, though not alike for everyone: for even as it is not possible to finde the partie in whom the foure elements are equally mixed...there is alwaies someone which doth over rule the rest and of it is the partie's complexion named: if blood doe abound, we call such a complexion, sanguine; if phlegme, phlegmatic; if choler, cholerike; and if melancholie, melancholike (Laurentius 84)2 This explains that when one contains too much of a certain humour in his blood, they will have the characteristic traits of this humour. From
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