Hamlet Essay

2330 words - 9 pages

This essay is going to discuss the works of Shakespeare's Hamlet and John Updike's Gertrude and Claudius. It will look to compare and contrast certain aspects of each book in relation to each other. Some central characters in each book will be looked at and how they are similar in each book, along with the views that would lead you to believe that Gertrude and Claudius are truly in love or just lusting over each other. The ghost in each writing will be looked at to see if they relate to each other or not and the character of Polonius will be examined in each of the two works. Also some foreshadowing from Gertrude and Claudius on to Hamlet will be addressed. Shakespeare's Hamlet has a lot to do with the character of Hamlet himself, as he is the central character in the play. It starts off with the introduction of a ghost who turns out to be in the image of Hamlets murdered father, Old Hamlet. This Ghost plays a vital role in the play because it is the ghost that enduces Hamlet to get revenge for his father murder. In this first act we are introduced to basically all the main characters. We learn that Hamlets mother, Gertrude the queen, is no married to Hamlets uncle, now the King, Claudius. This puts unrest on the kingdom of Denmark because it is almost seen as incest and the fact that it takes place so close to the funeral of the late king. Its also told that a Young Fortinbras is building and army to attack Denmark so there is uneasiness in the land of Denmark. We see a love interest for Hamlet by the name of Ophelia and her father and brother, Polonius and Laertes respectively, are introduced. For the first while we are just let known who the characters are. Then Hamlet himself sees his father's ghost and learns that Claudius murdered him and the ghost wants Hamlet to enact revenge on Claudius. This in turn gives Hamlet the idea to act mad so he can set up a plot to murder his uncle. Hamlet comes up with the idea to put on a play that reenacts the murder of his father so as to see if the king's reaction proves his guilt, and it does. As Hamlet acts mad this in turn makes people ask questions as to why he is doing so and with this we get the death of Polonius, by Hamlets sword, he tries to ease drop on Hamlet and the queen arguing. This, along with the denial of affection by Hamlet toward Ophelia, causes her to go mad and kill herself. With this the king orders Hamlet to England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern with the intention of Hamlet getting murdered but Hamlet turns it around and escapes and gets his accompaniers killed. Upon return we learn that Laertes and the king are planning to have Hamlet and Laertes have a 'playful' dueling match with rapiers but the weapon that Laertes uses is laced with poison and as a back up the king will have a chalice full of poison for Hamlet to drink should the first plan fail. When the dueling begins it turns out that the queen drinks the poisoned chalice and both Hamlet and Laertes get cut...

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