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This paper presents an overview of William Shakespeare's works, focusing on the tragedy "Hamlet." First, the paper describes what is known of Shakespeare's life. It further highlights his major works and their themes in the context of the Elizabethan Era. Then, the paper analyzes many aspects of "Hamlet", one of Shakespeare's finest and most powerful works. In particular, the paper explores the themes of predestination, reality and superstition in the play. Additionally, the paper questions whether Hamlet was insane or simply portraying madness in order to preserve his right to the crown. Next, the paper examines the role of characters within the story, especially the Ghost. Finally, the paper states that Hamlet was indeed insane, not just play-acting, leaving the court of Denmark in crisis.
From the Paper:"To begin to understand Shakespeare, though, it is first necessary to have a basic understanding of his time period - Elizabethan England (roughly 1558-1603). Also called the "Golden Age" in English history, this time period was the height of the English Renaissance and English poetry, literature, and theater. The importance of this time period comes due to its many contrasts, however, and although one looks back at it as a relatively calm period, it was filled with intrigue, concern about invasion, court issues, religious war and strife, and a Crown that never quite had enough money. Too, there was a large gap between the rich and the poor, a fact that many poets and authors used to their advantage since so much of the population was illiterate.
"Additionally, after the rather tumultuous reign of her father, Henry VIII, there was strife but not open war between the Protestants and Catholics and relative peace between Parliament and the Queen. Spain vexed England and even tried to invade in 1588, but was routed back. Trade began to improve and expand, and science and technology in the guise of Sir Isaac Newton and followers, and explorations (some say piracy) of Sir Frances Drake, which thankfully enriched the treasury."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Cahn, Victor. (2001). The Plays of Shakespeare: A Thematic Guide. Greenwood Publishing.
- Bloom, Harold.(1999). Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. Riverhead Publishers.
- Boyce, Charles. (2005). Critical Companion to William Shakespeare. Facts on File.
- Bradley, A.C. and J. Bayley. (1991). Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet Othello, King Lear and MacBeth. Penguin.
- Egan, M. (1906). "The Ghost in Hamlet." Theaterhistory.Com. Cited in:http://www.theatrehistory.com/british/ghost_in_hamlet.html
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Shakespeare's "Hamlet" - An Analysis (2012, September 25) Retrieved September 22, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/shakespeare-hamlet-an-analysis-151807/
"Shakespeare's "Hamlet" - An Analysis" 25 September 2012. Web. 22 September. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/shakespeare-hamlet-an-analysis-151807/>