Exploring the Depths of Hamlet's Character Essay

1192 Words 5 Pages
Introduction
Hamlet’s madness, authentic? This question has been debated by scholars and professors throughout the ages.

This lecture will explore the depths of Prince Hamlet’s character in Shakespeare’s original play, as well as Michael Almereyda’s modern interpretation of this tragedy.
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Through the use of cinematic tools and critical literacy, the Bard and Almereyda both equally portray the theme of madness, in their respective media. Shakespeare and Almereyda carefully constructed their representations of the Prince based on the surrounding cultural and religious attitudes, values and beliefs of the eras they lived in.
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Shakespeare portrays Hamlet’s madness as spurious with purpose towards the deception of the king; in
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On return from his exile later in the play, his insanity remains comparatively hidden as Hamlet now confronts the paradoxical truth in that, in order to avenge his father, he must commit the very same act for which he seeks revenge.
This representation of the Prince is created through both direct and indirect characterisation and critical literacy. Hamlet says more than once that his madness is unauthentic and is only acting in order to fool the king.
Evidence of his acting is presented on screen;

Hamlet to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern:
"I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw."
(Act 2, Scene 2)

Hamlet to Gertrude:
"I essentially am not in madness,
But mad in craft."
(Act 3, Scene 4)

Polonius to Hamlet:
"Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.”
(Act 2, Scene 2)

Shakespeare makes it evident that Hamlet’s madness was merely feigned so that there would be no intervention in his plan for revenge against the King.
Prince Hamlet expresses himself in a manner which would be somewhat familiar to an Elizabethan audience; through the use of soliloquies he dramatises his words. In context of the Elizabethan era, Shakespeare’s Prince Hamlet is able to appeal to such an audience as the majority of

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