Free Essay Example: The Hamlet Analysis

Published: 2023-01-23
Free Essay Example: The Hamlet Analysis
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Shakespeare Character analysis Hamlet Dramatic literature
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1355 words
12 min read

The Hamlet, written by Willian Shakespeare is considered as one of the greatest piece of work by the playwright. Over the years, scholars have dedicated their efforts towards analyzing some of the themes within the play. Some of the literary works analyzing the play include: Hamlet: Father and Son by Peter Alexander, The Psychology of Hamlet by Eileen Cameron, The Seven Paradoxes In Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' by Edmund Bergler, and Understanding 'Hamlet' by Lysander Kemp. Because people face conflicts with one another daily, themes such as vengeance and meaning of life in The Hamlet highlight some of the psychological dilemmas which people undergo in their daily lives.

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Peter Alexander, throughout his book Hamlet: Father and Son tries to identify some of the elements which Shakespeare seeks to address in his play Hamlet. The play focuses on the everyday struggle that human beings face to which the author tries to analyze. According to Alexander, The play Hamlet lacks a tragic aspect to it (Alexander 182). The author tries to justify the term tragedy in plays as a struggle by a hero to affirm the truth. The author states that the play loses meaning if the audience assumes that the main protagonist should have a tragic flaw.

The author throughout the book emphasizes on redemption as a means of building up tragedy throughout the play (Alexander 24). It is the author's perception that the use of tragedy is what brings about art. Some of the statements to which the author reverberates throughout the book coincide with the play Hamlet. The author uses some of the statements to build the character of a hero in a play. The book provides a clear indication of what is expected to a protagonist's character, which fits the general description of Hamlet (Alexander 173-176). The author also follows up on the dynamics of the father-son relationship, which helps build the theme of redemption. It is through the author's mind that one can understand how King Hamlet helps drive the theme of revenge using the son to avenge his father's death (Alexander 168). The book provides a means to build the character of the main protagonist and also highlights how the father-son relationship drives the theme of vengeance throughout the play.

Eileen Cameron, in her book The Psychology of Hamlet, identifies some of the challenges to which Hamlet undergoes through in executing his deeds. Throughout the book, Cameron shows some of her appreciation to the literary creativity of the play Hamlet in conveying different emotions and themes. The author identifies some of the themes which include finding the meaning of life, revenge, and friendships (Cameron 176). One of the key characters which the author identifies to driving the play is Horatio who helps keep Hamlet's secrets and also help Hamlet in dealing with his fears, such as seeing his father's ghost.

Cameron also highlights the themes of revenge, such as Fortinbras's dream to take over his father's kingdom in Denmark after his death. The book highlights the many roles to which the characters play in developing the narrative and also how all their actions are intertwined with one another. The book further highlights the emotions which the characters display and how it affects their actions.

Cameron identifies throughout the book the conflicts between good and evil (Cameron 163). The author notes that some of the characters' internal conflicts exist as a result of the evil done in the past (Cameron 164). One of the key areas which the author focuses is redemption. The author challenges the beliefs which characters such as Claudius possess as it pertains to killing people and justifying his deeds (Cameron 176). The author also notes the psychological breakdown which Hamlet has as a result of seeing his father's ghost.

The book provides some data on the psychological perspectives which dictates Hamlet's and Claudius actions. Some of the key points which the author highlights help drive the main themes of Hamlet such as revenge and the meaning of life.

Throughout the book, The Seven Paradoxes In Shakespeare's 'Hamlet', Bergler focuses more on internal conflicts that exist within the character Hamlet and particularly those on personal beliefs. The author notes that Hamlet harbors suicidal thoughts, and by all means, tries to justify his death (Bergler 380). The author plays more with the theme of self-doubt as he tries to connect Hamlet's justifications of suicide with his religious beliefs (Bergler 381). An analysis of the fourth paradox helps in the understanding of the author's mind as to how he perceived Hamlet's death. The author notes that suicide and death in Hamlet stem more from a psychological perspective as the characters try to justify death as a beautiful endeavor rather than as a crime as it would be in the modern world (Bergler 382).

The book adds a key twist on the concept of death and suicide in psychology by providing the paradoxes which existed during the Renaissance period. The book is an essential part of the study as it provides a connection between the past and the present on matters related to psychology.

The article Understanding 'Hamlet' by Lysander Kemp provides in-depth insight as to who killed King Hamlet. The author's perception is that it was Horatio and not Claudius that killed the king (Kemp 10). According to Kemp, it is Horatio who would stand to benefit from the death of Hamlet as he would inherit the kingdom of Denmark. The author highlights the theme of betrayal, particularly that of King Hamlet. However, in uncovering the truth, the author discovers that it was all a fallacy as Hamlet is led to believe that it was Claudius that killed King Hamlet by his father's ghost (Kemp 13). Another theme that the author highlights is the theme of revenge. Kemp takes a different stance on the concept of revenge, indicating that the play was set up to allow Claudius to come to an understanding that Hamlet intended to kill him. Kemp highlights that Hamlet's vengeance mortifies Claudius who becomes aware of the ploy to have him killed.

Kemp also notes that some of the key suspects to King Hamlet, particularly Horatio, were far from the murder scene to be even considered suspects (Kemp 10). The article primarily focuses on the sole reason as to why Horatio killed the king. Some of the themes which the author highlights as he uncovers the plot is that of love, death, and violence. Throughout the play, there are many instances of violence which helps develop the play (Kemp). The author, however, questions the credibility of the king's ghost as a witness to his murder (Kemp 13). Kemp's suspicions are highlighted throughout the book, particularly the accusations from the king's ghost towards his brother. The author also focuses on the wrongful accusations towards Claudius (Kemp 13).

The play helps shed light on the case of wrongful accusations and particularly the paranoia that exists inside Hamlet's head. The article helps understand the psychological consequences that result from paranoia.


The play Hamlet provides a lot of literal themes. Scholars note that the central theme in Hamlet is vengeance. When King Hamlet dies, he comes back as a ghost and states the culprit behind his death. It is through Hamlet's eyes that the theme of vengeance develops as authors such as Alexander, Cameron and Kemp note. The primary cause surrounding vengeance is Hamlet's paranoia towards his killers and heeding advice from a ghost. Another theme developed pertains to the meaning of life. Hamlet contemplates suicide throughout the play. Bergler identifies the seven paradoxes within the play among them the meaning of life. Some of Hamlet's views clash with modern society's values on the meaning of life. Therefore, the core themes in Hamlet are vengeance and the meaning of life.

Works Cited

Alexander, Peter. Hamlet, Father and Son: the Lord Northcliffe Lectures, University College, London, 1955. Clarendon Press, 1955.

Bergler, Edmund. "The Seven Paradoxes In Shakespeare's 'Hamlet.'" American Imago, vol. 16, no. 4, 1959, pp. 379-405. JSTOR, www.jstor.orgistable/26301689. Accessed 19 June 2019.

Cameron, Eileen. "The Psychology of Hamlet." International Journal of Language and Literature, vol. 2, no. 3, 2014, pp. 161-177., doi:10.15640/ijll.v2n3a11.

Kemp, Lysander. "Understanding 'Hamlet.'" College English, vol. 13, no. 1, 1951, pp. 9-13. JSTOR, Accessed 19 June 2019.

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