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Hamlet

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After reading the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, I utilized much time in comparing and contrasting whether or not the young people of 2014 relate to Hamlet. There are some thoughts that had come across me as to why I could see some similarities of Hamlet to the young people of 2014, but in the end, I realized there was a lot more to Hamlet that I have not seen in any children of the present day. Therefore, I do not believe the young people of 2014 relate to Hamlet.
William Shakespeare was the most influential writer in English literature. He was born in 1564 to a successful middle-class glove maker in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Shakespeare attended grammar school, but his formal education proceeded no further. In 1582 he married an older woman, Anne Hathaway, and had three children with her. Around 1590 he left his family behind and traveled to London to work as an actor and playwright. Public and critical success quickly followed, and Shakespeare eventually became the most popular playwright in England and part-owner of the Globe.
The play of Hamlet is mainly about a boy named Hamlet who is trying to avenge his father’s death. Throughout the play he has many thoughts and suspicions of the cause and of the murderer but being as contemplative and thoughtful by nature, he holds back from entering a state of craziness and madness. The two watchmen discover the ghost that walks the ramparts of Elsinore Castle in Denmark and believe it to resemble the recently deceased King Hamlet, whose brother Claudius took over the throne and married the kings’ widow, Queen Gertrude. When Prince Hamlet is taken to see the ghost, it speaks to him and ultimately verifies that he is indeed the ghost of the dead King Hamlet and also tells Prince Hamlet that his murderer is in fact his brother Claudius and orders Prince Hamlet to seek revenge on the man who took over his throne and married his wife. The play of Hamlet is a very interesting, yet dark story based and the more times I have read different parts, the more I understand what is really going on and I try to put that type of situation into one that could happen in 2014. For one thing, Prince Hamlet has a lot of rage over his father’s death which shows the same type of compassion of those young people we have in 2014. I believe that we still live in a society where most kids protect their parents if they are in trouble or danger. Prince Hamlet’s character however does not seem as if he is a young teenage boy. When I was reading this play, it was really hard for me to imagine him as a teenager because of his actions and what he is thinking. Prince Hamlet is a teenage boy who is out with his mind set on getting revenge on his Uncle for killing his father and he goes through much time and many trials in finding his Uncle Claudius guilty of this murder and trying to kill Claudius himself. Hamlet gets the courage to go confront his mother about the situation and hears a noise of someone hiding behind the tapestry and believes it to be the king, so he stabs through the tapestry killing Polonius, the Lord Chamberlain, the man he was not supposed to kill. In all, Prince Hamlet’s character was not the average teenage boy we have in present day, 2014.
The play of Hamlet has a setting of old time 15-16 hundreds I would be led to believe right from the beginning, however it has sort of a turn-of –the- 17th century vibe. In Hamlet there are many allusions it gives to the Protestant Reformation. The Protestant Reformation was when Martin Luther laid out his beef with the Catholic Church in his Ninety-Five theses. Denmark was a protestant nation around the time when William Shakespeare wrote this play and Prince Hamlet seems to be a very protestant kid. He goes to school in Germany and he seems to be skeptical of the ghost that claims to be his father’s spirit and Protestants often rejected this notion. Though there are many versions of this play and some even give it a nineteenth and twenty-first century feel to some parts of it, we are aware that Hamlet has a setting of an older, fifteenth century ruling. The teenagers today would not have this sort of feel to them. We live in a more open minded society as to ghosts than superstitions and this is different from that time period. There are many themes in Hamlet and they all seem to tell who Prince Hamlet is as a character if we critically think about it. All of the words that we hear over and over again such as, madness, killing, revenge, sex, lies, and deceit, we know that this is a play that has a lot of twists and turns and we are probably not going to see anything nice come out of the end of Hamlet. We know something is going to go wrong. Hamlets revenge he seeks for his father is quickly taken care of, what is really going on through most of the play is Hamlets inner struggle to take action. As I said earlier, it is hard to stay with the idea that Hamlet is a teenage boy because of the mindset Shakespeare has portrayed for him. The kids of 2014 are more worried about their cell phones, computers, going out with friends than all the things talked about above which has more characteristics to me as an adult if this play would have been written in modern day. I feel that Hamlet would have been older if he was written in the 21st century rather than in the fifteenth century because kids today do not have all those brooding characteristics to them. The summary review of critics is mainly positive. Many critics find this play to be compelling. There is nothing boring from even the beginning of the story. “You can tell this is a smart take on Hamlet from the first wordless opening shot.” Hamlet stems from the fact that every time we look at him, he is different. In understanding literary characters, just as in understanding real people, our perceptions depend on what we bring to the investigation. We understand Hamlet at times and then there are times where we don’t know who he is as a person, if he is bringing good and evil. We have to really dig deep at times to predict the outcome of the scene or what is to come in the next scene. Hamlet is the kind of play that the more you revisit it, the more you understand it and start to feel the relation to Hamlet. Hamlet is a play that allows you to see many different sides to this teenage boy. Believing that Hamlet is a teenage boy is what I found most difficult to keep in mind because he is so different from the teenagers we see today. This seems like a dark, and vengeful play between all grown adults but Prince Hamlet is in fact a teenager who goes through many emotions and feelings which leads from one scene to another and it is important in our analysis during and after the play to keep that in mind.

Works Cited http://shakespeare.mit.edu/hamlet/full.html http://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/h/hamlet/character-analysis/hamlet http://www.shmoop.com/hamlet/ http://www.essayforum.com/literature-review-5/academic-research-essay-critical-analysis-hamlet-prince-50082/

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