The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare

Decent Essays
Somewhere between the years of 1599 and 1602, William Shakespeare wrote his longest, most influential and powerful tragedy, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Set in the Kingdom of Denmark, the play stages the revenge that a young prince seeks against his uncle for murdering his father, inheriting the throne, and subsequently marrying his mother.
Prince Hamlet, a university student, is an extremely philosophical and thoughtful character. When his father the King of Denmark dies, Hamlet returns home only to be presented with evidence that suggests his uncle Claudius may have been responsible for his father’s murder. In the initial acts of the tragedy, Hamlet seeks to prove his uncle’s guilt and contemplates all of his actions and
…show more content…
He does not believe that it is truly his father. Even after seeing the ghost himself, Hamlet remains cynical, although he does in fact emotional upon seeing it. The ghost tells Hamlet that his brother killed him in order to steal both his wife and the throne. Hamlet becomes confused after seeing his father’s ghost and is unsure of how he should react. However, he vows to seek revenge against his uncle, although he refuses to do so without first having sufficient evidence to prove his uncle’s guilt. A few months later, with the help of actors from his university in Wittenberg, Hamlet decides to stage a play of his father’s poisoning for Claudius. Hamlet believes that Claudius’ reaction to the play will either confirm or deny his guilt. In act three, Hamlet returns to the theme of suicide. He examines the moral and immoral aspects of suicide in a world that he considers to be so anguished and corrupt in his most famous soliloquy: To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? —To die, —to sleep, —
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, —’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, —to sleep; —
To sleep: perchance to dream… (III.i.58-67)
Hamlet poses the question of: “To be, or not to be,” (III.i.58) or in other
Get Access