SHAKESPEARE AND HIS TIMES: William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564 and died on April 23, 1616. The history plays Richard II and Henry IV reflect ideas on kingship, the use of power, the changing meaning of honor. The tragedy of Macbeth shows how a man can lose everything including his wife because of power, while King Lear explores the sufferings of an old man as he learns to understand the interdependence of humanity. Romeo and Juliet, together with the comedy of A Midsummer Night's Dream, explore courtship and marriage. The enduring popularity of Shakespeare's works, especially his plays, and even in translation, shows how applicable his ideas are to all times and cultures. The re-created Globe theatre in London allows modern audiences to see and hear the plays as nearly as possible as they would have been in his day.
POINT OF VIEW: The point of view is in third person. Shakespeare knows the audience might be confused so he arranged soliloquies to show what the important characters are thinking and what’s in their hearts. Hamlet’s soliloquies talk about the pressure he’s going through and the suicide he wants to commit to end it all. Claudius’ soliloquies talk about how he is guilty for his wrongful deeds and Hamlet’s madness. These structures of soliloquies help the audience understand the character.
FORM, STRUCTURE, AND PLOT: One month after the old King of Denmark dies, his wife remarries to his own brother. Hamlet is not happy to have his uncle as his new step-father. While young Prince Fortinbras of Norway plans to invade Denmark. The conflict is revenge, a ghost shows up on the castle battlements, looking like the old dead King of Denmark. The ghost has a message for Hamlet saying his death was no accident. The unfortunate complication is Hamlet doesn’t kill Claudius fast enough all he manages to do is go crazy. And then there are some fake friends named Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and Ophelia is no longer talking to Hamlet, and finally there's some play that Hamlet put on, which is supposedly going to prove whether or not Claudius is guilty of murdering the old Hamlet. The climax is when Hamlet scolds Gertrude and stabs Polonius. The suspense really builds when we wonder if Hamlet is going to die on or after the trip to England. We feel more suspense as Claudius and Laertes plot Hamlets death. At the end everyone dies, except for Horatio to tell of what really happened to the people of Denmark so his name isn’t shamed.
CHARACTER: Hamlet- Main character of the play. Hamlet is a very complex character who mad banters make no sense to does that don’t understand and pay attention. Hamlet is the protagonist because he fights for his dad and revenge. Hamlet is a handsome thirty year old man guy who is loved by the public. Three words to describe Hamlet are crazy, religious, and avenger. Hamlets purpose in the play is to fix what’s rotten in Denmark. One quote that describes Hamlet is “"I am but mad north-northwest: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.”This quote shows that Hamlet is clever and cunning when it comes to his plans.
Claudius- Claudius is the new king of Denmark and Hamlets new farther. Claudius is the antagonist of the play because he is the villain and he goes against Hamlet the protagonist. Claudius is an old fool of a king. Claudius is a incestuous, deceptive, murderer. Claudius is what’s rotten in Denmark and it’s up to Hamlet to fix it. One quote that represents Claudius is “O, my rank, its smells to heaven; it hath the primal eldest curse upon’t, a brothers murder!” even though Claudius know what he did was bad he refuses to repent and give up his rank.
Gertrude- Old Hamlet's widow and Claudius' wife. She seems unaware that Claudius killed her former husband. Gertrude loves Hamlet tremendously, while Hamlet has very mixed feelings about her for marrying the infernal Claudius after