Essays on the main themes of Hamlet

Revenge, deception and appearance versus reality and madness

 The Main Themes of Hamlet

#11: Main Themes

Hamlet Essay Kits #11: Main Themes of Hamlet

Deception, revenge, madness, corruption, decay and death. No more than dramatic characters can rewrite their playwright's script, Prince Hamlet is not free to choose his own destiny.

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Hamlet Essay Kits #11: Main Themes of Hamlet

#12: Revenge

Hamlet Essay Kits #12: Hamlet: Theme of Revenge

Two young men journey from revenge, through madness and anger, to forgiveness. And a Ghost is granted the forgiveness he needed more than the revenge he demanded.

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Hamlet Essay Kits #12: The Theme of Revenge

#13: Appearance versus Reality

Hamlet Essay Kits #14: Theme of Appearance versus Reality

When almost everyone else hides their true intentions behind masks of goodwill, Hamlet must not only discover what is right—but also what is real and what is only pretence.

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Hamlet Essay Kits #14: Theme of Appearance versus Reality

Also in the Hamlet Essaykit series:

#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 both the tragic hero and victim of a story he did not want to be in.

#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.

#3: The Character of Gertrude

“Have you eyes?”, Prince Hamlet asks 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.

#4: The Character of Ophelia

Ophelia’s sanity is overwhelmed by Elsinore’s maddening world of deception and betrayal. Her “self-slaughter” is her revenge against everyone who dismissed, silenced and humiliated her.

#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” the forgiveness his suffering soul needed more than the revenge he demanded.

#6: Relationship of Hamlet and Claudius

The relationship between uncle and nephew begins with mutual suspicion and dislike, escalates into a psychological battle of wits and ends with defeat for both and victory for the rival kingdom of Norway.

#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.

#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.

#9: Relationship of Hamlet and Horatio

A genuine friendship in an Elsinore poisoned by betrayal. But does Hamlet exploit his friend’s loyalty with his improbable tale of divinely-inspired rescue by pirates?

#10: Relationship of Claudius and Gertrude

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

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