Book Review: “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare

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Book Review: “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare

Hunter Brown, Life Editor

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Grade: 10/10

“This above all: to thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Madness, revenge, mortality, and religion are words that can describe the theme of Hamlet. Not the play “Hamlet,” but Hamlet as a character. The only word that I need to describe “Hamlet,” the play, is tragedy. “Hamlet” is a difficult read, being written in the Shakespearian voice that we are all used to seeing from early years of English class in high school, but if you look past the words on the paper and see the meaning of “Hamlet” you may find that the young prince Hamlet isn’t so different from you and me.

The story of the prince robbed of his father and of his rightful seat on the throne of Denmark, “Hamlet” has, over the years, became one of literature’s most thrilling dramas we have ever read. The love and betrayal coincide in this story to make one of the most shocking endings of Shakespeare’s work ever.

Prince Hamlet’s father, King Hamlet of Denmark, is dead. The king’s brother, Claudius, has attained the throne and married widowed Queen Gertrude — all done with such tasteless haste that “the funeral bak’d meats did coldly furnish forth the wedding tables.” On top of all the sneaky corruption, Denmark is under threat of invasion from Norway. But as everything seems to be falling out of place for the young prince of Denmark, he seems to have struck gold of the sorts.

The life of the dead rests uncomfortably and one night appears to Hamlet on the castle walls. As Hamlet receives the message, to set out revenge of the death of his father, the castle stirs after Hamlet’s remarks to seeing the spirit.

In order to complete the quest, Hamlet has to blanket himself to make himself seem mad, but is this actually a blanket, or true madness? This is the one question that all English teachers will ask their students, and no one truly knows except for the writer himself. Troubled by his recent actions toward her, the lovely Ophelia – whose father is the great lord of Denmark – is asked by the king to spy on Hamlet to witness and make sense of his actions. But what will she figure out about Hamlet, and will it be beneficial to the king?

For centuries, “Hamlet” has been literature’s cornerstone of the diversion of madness and revenge, and when these two are mixed, they create something much bigger than all of us. But what is Hamlet’s true nature? Does Hamlet know his own nature? At the end of the examination of the play, what we get from this literature gold is a hero caught of in a villainous situation – a young man of full of anger-filled mourning, who has no idea how to proceed in his corrupt world. Therefore, this is why we can all relate to Hamlet, as we are all stuck in a corrupt world with no idea how to proceed.