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Book Review Of Shakespeare’s Hamlet

There are many elements held within William Shakespeare’s work of Hamlet that are consistent with drama, and support themes of justice, loyalty and love. Hamlet is an expression of compassion and understanding, a profession of honor and faith in the existence of friendship, camaraderie, love and justice. Hamlet reveals that friendship exists in the idea that regardless of whether or not they all would believe what one would say, they all believe that the experience affected the comrade in some form and would prove sympathetic toward their emotional state.

Honor and loyalty are expressed continually as Horatio, Marcellus, Francisco and Bernardo as they discuss the ghostly form of the king. The four mirror the expressions of the king, Hamlet’s brother, and the queen as well. The expressions of madness and fear are evident in the words expressed by Hamlet and Ophelia and then followed soon after in the actions Hamlet employs in the third act. Yet, regardless of the occurrences in this play and the drama involved in the murder, the madness, the love and passion, you see how easily Hamlet can be translated forward into present day.

You can hear the fear in the words spoken in the first act by the four guards as they change places in the night and day after sighting the ghostly form. The fact that the ghost would be sighted, feared and then revered all at the same time would be quite the intriguing dramatic formula. Hamlet, the young son of the king and queen, have brought forward in the second act a bit of playfulness, a bit of a play on words and more in the desperation and frustration evident in Ophelia’s words as well as those of Hamlet and his parents. You feel the horror in the actions of Hamlet as his mother sees him run his uncle through in her boudoir.

Hamlet shows his fear, his anger, and his pain at the knowledge that his mother would betray his father’s memory in such fashion. He then shows his madness as the ghost of his father appears and he would hear truly what would be said, if heard nowhere but in his own mind. The spirit of what should have been upon the murder of his father, which wrought havoc, fear and pain throughout. Hamlet appears mad in his raving, in his actions upon the murder of his uncle; yet, he sees only the betrayal of his father’s love for his mother in the actions his mother employs.

Hamlet views justice served in the era where the play is set as being the death of his uncle upon discovery that infidelity even posthumously would have occurred, and that outside the marriage bed, as would be forbidden in the times, should be effectively tried and convicted, executed and such. You hear it earlier in the play in the pride and conviction expressed in the life of young Hamlet. You would also hear the fear for safety in the potential for travel to Wittenberg as Hamlet considers such a voyage. You hear the worry and the anguish expressed by both Queen Gertrude and King Claudius.

(Shakespeare, 245-246, 4-2) The dramatic turns and the expressions of justice, love, and loyalty are threaded throughout in the actions of the guards, the king, Hamlet and others. The sense of honor, no matter how far beyond the death of his father, would be evident in his passionate plea toward his mother to consider the actions she would take as being betrayal upon allowing another in her bed. You sense his fear for the same condition to be found should he ever consider marriage to the woman that loves him, Ophelia.

Ophelia, as can be heard in her words, adores Hamlet, yet she fears his moods, his anger and his reaction to the emotions that have come into existence in the death of the king and the appearance of the ghost he sees, hears and understands. The fact that he sees ghosts, and would hear the words spoken would in fact strike fear in the hearts of Hamlet’s family, his friends and his colleagues. The emotions are palpable throughout the play in its dramatic twists and turns. Understanding Shakespeare’s development of drama in the story of Hamlet requires an understanding of the particular elements that are considered.

Those elements include a sense of pride, a sense of honor, justice, loyalty and camaraderie, love and devotion that are translated regardless of the era in which the reader would exist. The wondrous ability of Shakespearean works would be the very fact that translation into modern times is a simple endeavor and that the emotions, the reactions, in fact, the very basic instincts which are portrayed would and could easily be seen in this world as they were in the imagination of William Shakespeare.

References

Shakespeare, William; Complete Works of William Shakespeare; Alliance Publishers Pvt. Ltd; 2000

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