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Hamlet:
Model
Essays for
Students

Paperback
and Ebook

For students and teachers of Shakespeare’s Hamlet: 42 easy-to-read, written-to-inspire 1,500-word sample essays. Covers characters, relationships, and themes.

Hamlet Model Essays for Students

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Write your best Hamlet essay

Write your best
Hamlet essay

Use these 42 model Hamlet essays as:

  • Building blocks to help you organize and structure your own personal response to the characters, relationships and themes of Hamlet.
  • Starting points for you to express, in your individual writing style, your own thoughts about Shakespeare’s most celebrated but also most challenging play.

Every format.
All Hamlet.

Hamlet: Model Essays for Students is available as a 320-page paperback directly from Amazon with a cover price of just $19.99.

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Hamlet: Model Essays for Students: Paperback and Kindle Ebook

Hamlet Sample Essays: Characters

King Claudius deceives everyone—except Prince Hamlet. Queen Gertrude deceives only herself. From Elsinore’s maddening world of deception and betrayal, Ophelia sees only one route of escape.

Character Analysis of Hamlet: Free Sample Essays

#1: The Character of Hamlet

Born a prince, parented by a jester, haunted by a ghost, destined to kill a king rather than become one, and remembered as the title character of a play he did not want to be in.

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Character Analysis of Claudius in Hamlet: Free Sample Essays

#2: The Character of Claudius

His “ambition” for Denmark’s throne leads him to commit one murder only to find that he must plot a second to cover up the first. When this plan fails, his next scheme leads to the death of the woman he loves.

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Character Analysis of Gertrude in Hamlet: Free Sample Essays

#3: The Character of Gertrude

“Have you eyes?”, Prince Hamlet demands of his mother. Gertrude‘s “o’erhasty marriage” dooms her life and the lives of everyone around her when her wished-for, happy-ever-after fairytale ends in a bloodbath.

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Character Analysis of Ophelia in Hamlet: Free Sample Essays

#4: The Character of Ophelia

As she struggles to respond to the self-serving purposes of others, Ophelia’s sanity collapses in Elsinore’s “unweeded garden” of falsity and betrayal. Her “self-slaughter” is her revenge for her silencing and humiliation.

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Hamlet Sample Essays: Relationships

The “mirth in funeral” union of Claudius and Gertrude means another marriage can never happen. In the “unweeded garden” of Elsinore, the unwed couple of Hamlet and Ophelia are united only in death.

Relationship of Hamlet and the Ghost: Free Sample Essays

#5: Relationship of Hamlet and the Ghost

By surrendering Denmark to his rival’s son, Hamlet grants to the angry Ghost of his “dear father murdered” the forgiveness his suffering soul needed more than the revenge he demanded.

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Relationship of Hamlet and Claudius: Free Sample Essays

#6: Relationship of Hamlet and Claudius

Uncle and nephew are two men at war with each other—and themselves. Claudius is haunted by the murder he has committed (“O heavy burden!”); Hamlet by the one he hasn’t yet (“Am I a coward?”).

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Relationship of Hamlet and Gertude: Free Sample Essays

#7: Relationship of Hamlet and Gertrude

Gertrude’s marriage to Claudius and her collusion with the prince’s confinement at Elsinore creates a barrier between mother and son who are as different from one another as is humanly possible.

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Relationship of Hamlet and Ophelia: Free Sample Essays

#8: Relationship of Hamlet and Ophelia

Begins in uncertainty, descends into mutual deceit and rejection, and ends with their double surrender to death: she, to the water; he, to Claudius’ rigged fencing duel.

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Relationship of Hamlet and Horatio: Free Sample Essays

#9: Relationship of Hamlet and Horatio

“Those friends thou hast … Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel.” Horatio is Hamlet’s trusted confidant in life and vows to remain the keeper of his memory after the prince’s death.

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Relationship of Claudius and Gertrude in Hamlet: Free Sample Essays

#10: Relationship of Claudius and Gertrude

A marriage of mutual self-interest. Claudius wanted something (the kingship) he did not have; Gertrude had something (the status of queen) she wanted to hold onto.

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Hamlet Sample Essays: Themes

In “purposes mistook” conflicts between revenge and justice, acceptance and action, and remembering and forgetting, all the characters’ “deep plots” rebound on their “inventors’ heads.”

Main Themes of Hamlet: Free Sample Essays

#11: Main Themes of Hamlet

A king murdered, an inheritance stolen, a family divided: Elsinore’s older generation destroys its younger when two brothers—one living, one undead—battle in a “cursed spite” over a crown and a queen.

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Theme of Revenge in Hamlet: Free Sample Essays

#12: The Theme of Revenge

Two young men journey from revenge, through obsession and anger, to forgiveness. And the revenge sought by the Ghost on King Claudius becomes the revenge of old King Fortinbras on old King Hamlet.

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Themes of Deception and Appearance versus Reality in Hamlet: Free Sample Essays

#13: Deception and Appearance versus Reality

“Who’s there?” The characters struggle to distinguish between truth and falsehood in a play-long triple pun on the verb ‘to act’: to take action, to behave deceitfully, and to perform in theater.

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Theme of Madness in Hamlet: Free Sample Essays

#14: The Theme of Madness

“Your noble son is mad”, Polonius tells Denmark’s king and queen. But is Hamlet ever really insane? If not, why is he pretending to be? And is the prince’s behavior the cause of Ophelia’s traumatic breakdown?

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The most helpful book ever for students and teachers of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

42 x 1,500-word model essays

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