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Where is the beauteous majesty of Denmark?

Hamlet: Act 4, Scene v.

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

42 x 1,500-word model essays

Hamlet: Model Essays for Students Get it from Amazon  >

Chapter-by-chapter guide to Hamlet Model Essays

IN THIS BOOK ARE THREE 1,500-WORD SAMPLE ESSAYS ON EACH ONE OF THE FOLLOWING 14 CHARACTERS, RELATIONSHIPS, AND THEMES. THAT’S 42 SAMPLE ESSAYS IN TOTAL.

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. If at the cost of his life, Hamlet does in the end “win at the odds.

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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 followed by his own.

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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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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

A haunted-by-the-past Hamlet seeks the truth about his father’s death (“Do you see nothing there?”). A live-in-the-present Gertrude seeks to protect her second husband and throne (“No, nothing but ourselves”).

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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: Ophelia, to the water; Hamlet, 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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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

Hamlet and Laertes 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 “antic disposition” the cause of Ophelia’s traumatic breakdown?

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