Hamlet's Struggle and Disillusionment

1148 words 5 pages

"Shakespeare's Hamlet continues to engage audiences through its dramatic treatment of struggle and disillusionment."

In the light of your critical study, does this statement resonate with your own interpretation of Hamlet?


In the light of my critical study, the statement that "Shakespeare's Hamlet continues to engage audiences through its dramatic treatment of struggle and disillusionment" resonates strongly with my own interpretation of Shakespeare's play, Hamlet. It clearly continues to engage audiences as it presents ideas of duty and corruption. Shakespeare presents these ideas largely through the protagonist, Hamlet's, struggle with his duty to his father and his disillusionment with himself and the
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Hamlet describes himself very negatively as a "dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause, and can say nothing." This contrast of Hamlet as a daydreamer who is incapable of taking revenge with the player who is so passionate over imaginary things emphasises Hamlet's struggle with his duty and how he admires and envies those able to take decisive action.

Shakespeare clearly conveys the ideas of struggle and disillusionment not only through Hamlet's disillusionment with himself as he struggles to carry out the duty of avenging his father's death, but also his disillusionment with the corrupt world around him. This corruption is obvious from very early in the play where Barnardo asks in the opening line, "Who's there?" This creates a sense of mystery and uncertainty, and a sense that things are not as they should be. This is further emphasised as it is Barnardo, the newcomer, who challenges Francisco, the guard on duty, which is the opposite of military practice and so suggests events against the natural order and a sense of corruption. Hamlet's disillusionment with the corrupt world around him is also obvious in his first soliloquy where he reveals to the audience his innermost thoughts on his mother's marriage to his uncle and the current situation in Denmark. Hamlet uses the metaphor of "an unweeded garden" to convey the idea of a state that is overgrown with "things rank