There’s Something Rotten in the State of Denmark – And It Isn’t the Eggs in Our Hamlet

There’s a major problem with trust between the characters in William Shakespeare’s most famous play – Hamlet. How can you blame them? They’re not the most upright, honorable bunch. In fact, they make Dexter look like a sweetheart.

A couple of these Hamlet quotes pretty much say it all in a nutshell:

GHOST: “Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast..”

(1.5.9)HAMLET: “O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!”

(1.5.10)POLONIUS: “At such a time I’ll loose my daughter to him;Be you and I behind an arras then.”

(2.2.12)LAERTES: “I am justly kill’d with mine own treachery.” (5.2.12)

Sounds like these guys have got some issues to work out. Let’s break it down and take a look at who’s doing what to whom:

  • Claudius kills the king, Hamlet’s father, takes over the throne and snags his own brother’s wife while he’s at it
  • Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, betrays her ex-husband the king by jumping into the sack with Claudius immediately after his death
  • Laertes interferes in his sister Ophelia’s love life and demands that she stop trying to become involved romantically with Hamlet
  • Hamlet pretends to be crazy. Sure, he’s just doing so to catch his uncle in a trap, but still – deceitful.
  • Hamlet plots to kill Claudius.
  • Polonius hides behind a curtain to spy on Hamlet. What – were there no closets in this castle?
  • Hamlet (thinking he is Claudius) stabs and kills Polonius (wouldn’t have been so easy if he were in a closet – we’re just saying),
  • Claudius conspires to have Hamlet’s friends usher him to England where he’ll be out of the way for at least a little while.
  • Claudius and Laertes plot to kill Hamlet.
  • Hamlet, upon discovering an incriminating letter ordering his own death, decides to serve Rosencrantz and Guildenstern a dose of their own medicine and has them killed. (That’s some costly medicine.)
  • Claudius unintentionally poisons Gertrude.
  • Laertes kills Hamlet.
  • Hamlet kills Laertes and Claudius.
  • Horatio is caught cheating on the PSAT.

Now that’s some treachery and deceit. If this isn’t a FOX reality show in the making, we don’t know what is.

There are plenty of aspects of Shakespeare’s masterpiece that make Hamlet his most performed and most acclaimed effort, but you just have to give a shout-out to the element of duplicity that runs rampant throughout the text. It’s no wonder that practically everyone ends up lying in a pool of blood and/or poisoned wine by the end of it.

Hopefully the above list will inspire you to go home, tell your mother you love her, hide the cutlery, and stop acting so crazy.

Rethinking the Classics – Top 10 Fresh Hamlet Research Paper Topics

The Vitality of “Hamlet’ in Shakespearean Literature

Students of English literature continue to be virtually mesmerized by Shakespeare. Such is the importance of the writer and his work that no amount of research and probing has been able to completely cover all dimensions of his literary excellence. He has always been a subject of intense research by scholars, teachers and student. Each and every faculty of his work, style, storytelling, language, etc. are just a class apart. His works are considered a gift to English literature. All works of Shakespeare are classics. One gem among his classics is “Hamlet’ with a storyline in an altogether different dimension that is considered to be unconventional. This unusual bent of mind has opened the door to many a debate in the literary world; which has created a type of hot bed of research. Some of the topics of research or probe — which comes to one’s mind from the persona of this classic — can be enumerated…

No 1

Brittany New once said, “Drama is in us all… ” Students may establish connectivity of this quote to Hamlet and discuss if one can replicate some of the situation portrayed in Shakespearean drama to real life situations. Support your essay with arguments.

No 2

In the perspective of Hamlet, research the topic of revenge. Discuss whether it ought to or not to be. Discuss the pros and cons of “forgiveness”.

No 3

Hamlet remarks “His madness is poor Hamlet’s enemy.” Explain Hamlet’s rationale behind his comment and explain the validity of his remark.

No 4

Critically analyze the use of descriptions and images in Hamlet. How does Shakespeare use descriptive language to heighten visualization and subsequent stage plays? Discuss his deft and scuttle use of imagery to highlight emotions of tension, suspense, fear and despair?

No 5

Critically analyze the use of comedy in Hamlet, with particular focus to the gravediggers, Osric and Polonius. Does comedy serve merely to relieve the tension of the tragedy, or do the comic scenes serve a more serious thematic purpose as well?

No 6

Critically analyze Hamlet’s relationship with Ophelia. Does he love her? Does he cease to love her? Did he ever love her? What circumstantial evidence can you find in the play to support your opinion?

No 7

Is Hamlet primarily a tragedy of revenge?

No 8

What critical role do ghosts and spiritualism have in “Hamlet”?

No 9

“Antic Disposition” is the core of Hamlet’s character. Is his madness feigned or real?

No 10

Why does Hamlet delay taking revenge on Claudius?