critical view of life at the court; court seen as place of corruption
medieval Danish court and characters as a mirror of Renaissance
English courts and historical figures.
Ophelia engulfed by and forced to participate in the evil around
and uncertainty of love and loyalty.
A drama not
of indecision but of misguided decisions, of ambition and inability
to reject and escape from the place of danger (the court at Elsinore);
the university at Wittenberg portrayed as possible place of escape
Hamlet as both feigned and real--a strategic device intended to
help in his fight against his enemies and an unintended effect
of his decision to stay in Elsinore and avenge his father's murder.
murder as central targets of Shakespeare's criticism. The obsession
with revenge is portrayed as diametrically opposed to genuine
Christian virtue and becomes the reason for Hamlet's downfall.
problem which Shakespeare tackles is that of the critique of worldly
ambition--Hamlet's participation in the tragic action appears
to be secretly motivated by his own desire to be king. The drama
is then one of struggle for power and of what people are capable
of in the pursuit of that power.
In his desire
for revenge and for the throne, Hamlet is not all that different
from the villainous Claudius and is forced to descend to his own
level: lying, scheming, and murdering in order to accomplish his