- Respond to one of the following quotations by a Shakespearean Scholar:
a. “Part of Hamlet’s mystery is why the audience and readership, rather like the common people
of Denmark in the play, should love him. Until Act V, Hamlet loves the dead father (or rather
his image) but does not persuade us that he loves (or ever loved) anyone else. The prince has
no remorse for his vicious badgering of Ophelia into madness and suicide, or for his gratuitous
dispatch of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to their undeserved deaths… There is indeed a
considerable ‘case against Hamlet’ [suggesting he] is a hero-villain” (Harold Bloom). How does
Hamlet inspire such love in people?
b. “Doubting is strenuous business; in the case of Hamlet it is heroic. His spiritual heroism is
ironically contrasted throughout the play with the physical heroism of Fortinbras who blindly
carries through his own revenge action without questioning its morality. Hamlet may torment
himself with his inability to redeem his family honour by mass slaughter, indeed must torment
himself, but the way he has chosen though painful and dangerous is the right way” (Germaine
Greer). Why does Hamlet delay? Is he right to do so?
c. “In tragedy, the typical effect on the audience is traditionally assumed to be a catharsis, a word
that has something to do with purification, whatever else it means. Hamlet seems to be a
tragedy without a catharsis, a tragedy in which everything noble and heroic is smothered
under ferocious revenge codes, treachery, spying and the consequences of weak actions by
broken wills” (Northrop Frye). Is Hamlet a satisfying tragedy?
- If you are struggling with the idea of writing an essay in response to literary criticism provided by
a Shakespearean scholar you also have the option of formulating your own question based on one
of the topics listed below.
d. The Role Language Plays in Shaping Reality
e. Gender Roles
In the novel Hamlet, characters depict many aspects of human nature. The most important of those is the impulse to seek out revenge. Hamlet, Laertes and Fortinbras lose their fathers and share a mutual purpose which is to seek revenge for the murder of their father. Hamlet and Laertes lose their father by an unnatural death while Fortinbras’s father dies in battle. Throughout, the novel all these three characters react very differently to the situation. When Fortinbras and Laertes discovered that their fathers were murdered, they are outraged and want to seek revenge whereas Hamlet is upset and wants to do the same, but he gives a lot of thought to the situations and the consequences he might have to face. Shakespeare’s main theme in the novel is revenge, explaining how human nature can affect its outcome through the characters of Hamlet, Laertes and Fortinbras who react to the theme of revenge differently. In the beginning of the play, Hamlet comes home from college to mourn the death of his father and his mother, Gertrude is married with his uncle, Claudius. He is devastated and contemplates suicide, he says “to be or not to be”(III,1, )which shows his reaction to everything going on his life and that he is depressed and conflicted. Later, he finds out by an apparition that his father was murdered by King Claudius and had to murder him for his father to go to heaven. He reacts to all the chaos in a calm manner and plans to act crazy to find evidence that proves Claudius is a murderer. Hamlet being a madman works and people start to believe that he has lost his sanity. He over analyzes every step he takes towards killing King Claudius and eventually succeeds. While Hamlet was thoughtful about the revenge, Laertes was not. As soon Laertes found out his father was murdered by Hamlet, he comes back from France angry and determined to kill him and says “let come what comes only i’ll be revenged most thoroughly for my father” (IV.5.135)). He was quick to take action against Hamlet, so he organized a mob to attack on Denmark and threatens the King Claudius to overthrow but he calms him down because he did not want to give up his throne and together they team up to plot the murder of Hamlet. Laertes is driven by emotions and does not overanalyze any step he takes because he is easily influenced by the king, he reacts swiftly and recklessly. Both Laertes and Hamlet react differently to their father’s murder, Hamlet seeks evidence and then decides to kill King Claudius while Laertes is filled with rage and acts out of his anger rather than out of reason.>GET ANSWER