Hamlet is the title of one of the most recognized tragedies by the English dramatist William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616). This theatrical work was written between 1599 and 1601 during the Elizabethan period and according to most studies its author was inspired by an old Norse legend.
Main idea of this reference work
Hamlet is the son of the late king of Denmark, who finds himself dejected and full of doubts because his mother married Claudius – his father’s brother – and became the new king. Hamlet’s story revolves around two axes: the desire for revenge upon discovering that Claudius is his father’s murderer and the constant constant doubts that plague him.
Other minor themes
In addition to Hamlet ‘s thirst for justice and existential doubt, other issues are addressed: reason in the face of madness, the forces of fate opposed to bad luck, the confrontation between good and evil and the binomial freedom – responsibility : In the famous monologue that begins with the illustrious phrase “To be or not to be” Hamlet expresses his personal hesitations.
Psychological analysis of characters and Shakespeare
In addition to its undisputed literary quality, “Hamlet” provoked all kinds of analysis and evaluations. Among them we can mention the psychological analysis of the characters and of William Shakespeare himself, a writer whose life is involved in legend.
Hamlet is a disturbed individual , having been dethroned and seen his father’s murderer establish a corrupt kingdom. He is a dejected and disappointed man who struggles internally to know what his destiny should be: not acting in the face of injustice and feeling like a coward or fighting for his convictions by staining his hands with blood.
Claudio is a man who is envious, unfair, full of ambition and an inordinate inclination towards pleasure and vice
Gertrude, Claudio’s wife and Hamlet’s mother, is a dissatisfied, peaceful woman trapped in the family conflict she is experiencing, as she is torn between her love for her son and the passion she feels for Claudio.
Ophelia, Hamlet’s desired wife, is a sweet young woman who belongs to the nobility and who feels her love for Hamlet is threatened by family pressures. Polonius (father of Ophelia and a close collaborator of Claudio) is a character who adapts to circumstances, services and opportunism.
Finally, studies carried out on Shakespeare’s personality state that he was a person with some psychosomatic disorder, sensitive, a lover of organized life, egocentric, fanciful and with an unwelcoming spirit.