Essay about Hamlet's Struggle and Disillusionment

1137 Words Oct 25th, 2011 5 Pages
QUESTION:

"Shakespeare's Hamlet continues to engage audiences through its dramatic treatment of struggle and disillusionment."

In the light of your critical study, does this statement resonate with your own interpretation of Hamlet?

RESPONSE:

In the light of my critical study, the statement that "Shakespeare's Hamlet continues to engage audiences through its dramatic treatment of struggle and disillusionment" resonates strongly with my own interpretation of Shakespeare's play, Hamlet. It clearly continues to engage audiences as it presents ideas of duty and corruption. Shakespeare presents these ideas largely through the protagonist, Hamlet's, struggle with his duty to his father and his disillusionment with himself and the
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Hamlet is insure of whether the ghost is good or evil. This is evident when the ghost appears and Hamlet questions him repeatedly while contrasting ideas of good and evil. Hamlet asks the ghost if it is "a spirit of health, or goblin damned," whether it "bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell" and if its "intents [are] wicked or charitable." This repetition of questions emphasises Hamlet's uncertainty about the ghost and highlights his fear that it may be a dishonest and evil spirit trying to damn Hamlet to hell by getting him to commit murder, and so Hamlet struggles to undertake his duty to avenge his father's death.

Shakespeare's dramatic treatment of struggle is clear through Hamlet's inability to take action and carry out his duty to his father. Before avenging his father's death, Hamlet first puts on a play "to hold...the mirror up to nature," in an attempt to reinact the events of his fathers death and "catch the conscience of the king" to ensure that what the ghost has told him is true. While by arranging this play, Hamlet is in a sense taking some action by trying to ascertain the truth, Hamlet reproaches himself in a soliloquy for his lack of decisive action. Shakespeare's use of a soliloquy allows Hamlet to reveal his feelings and innermost thoughts to the audience and he admires one of the players' passion and emotion. Hamlet marvels at the