The Problem with “Hamlet and His Problems”

1862 Words Mar 30th, 2008 8 Pages
Throughout the years, playwrights, especially William Shakespeare, have created some of the most stirring and thought provoking stories to be performed on stage. One of the most famous of Shakespeare’s plays is the tragedy of “Hamlet”. Most people would read “Hamlet” and come to the conclusion that Shakespeare is a playwright mastermind, however, there are a few that would call it a disaster. One of these few people is T. S. Eliot, who wrote an essay called “Hamlet and his Problems” in which he verbally attacks Shakespeare and claims that the storyline of “Hamlet” is more mixed up than the character himself. He firmly believes that because of the main characters random lunacy in almost every scene, that “Hamlet” was a failure in its …show more content…
There were probably thousands of plays and operas in existence when Shakespeare was alive, but that does not mean that they are “strong evidence” that he copied them. Shakespeare most likely never even knew that the “Spanish Tragedy” existed.

Eliot claims to have more evidence that Shakespeare has attempted and failed to copy Kyd. This evidence is found within Hamlet the play, in its characters and scenes. He claims that there are “unexplained scenes” such as when Polonius speaks with Laertes, and later when he speaks to Reynaldo about Laertes. Eliot argues that these scenes exist in Hamlet only because they previously existed in “The Spanish Tragedy”. However, once again Eliot is mistaken. These scenes are vastly important to the development of Polonius’ character. And help to introduce him into the play. The both show his long–windedness and the fact that he loves to hear himself talk. The scene with Laertes not only highlights Polonius’ character, but Laertes also. In this scene we discover that Laertes is an obedient child, who loves his family, wants to protect his sister, and wants to go to school. The second scene with Polonius and Reynaldo then shows us the other side of Polonius. By sending Reynaldo to report to him about Laertes actions, it shows that Polonius is paranoid. He is afraid that his son’s actions in the presence of high class people will destroy
Open Document