Ethical Dilemmas in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”


Hamlet is William Shakespeare’s tragedy play that was written in the late 14th century. It is believed to be the most popular of his literary works owing to the catchy phrases that have found their way in today’s conversations such as “to be or not to be” (Shakespeare 110).

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The imagery in this play is both entertaining and creative and should be a student’s guide to learning how best to write and know what constitutes a masterpiece in literature. In this regard, the graveyard scene where we get to understand hamlets personal struggles should be mentioned.


The play contains extremely rich literature artistry that is believed to have impacted almost all the artwork written after Hamlet. The intense events that carefully reveal the well-developed characters and develop the story to completion make up the most important research opportunity for an English lesson.

Despite the fact that the play has been interpreted and analyzed countless number of times, Shakespeare’s Hamlet should continue to be used as the topic for the research paper assignment in this ENGL 1302 class not only because of its literary characteristics, i.e., the literary devices used in the play, the original structure, the incredibly fleshed-out characters, but also because it opens a set of ethical dilemmas that help shape the students’ moral standpoint and reinvent their vision of the world and their place in it.

Concerning the Significant Elements: What Needs to Be Included in the Program

Listing every single advantage of the play is practically impossible – there are too many to count. However, some of its elements stand out especially, which calls for taking a closer look at them. Speaking of the formal analysis of the play, it is a perfect specimen of the classical standard, with a five-act structure and an obvious dramatic climax (Brown 17). Next, the unique plot is worth analyzing in a more detailed way.

The characters are memorable and compelling; for instance, the villain is far from being a diabolical hell spawn that would, later on, become a cliché, but an interesting person that stands on his own (MacCary 51). Hamlet is extremely relatable and, therefore, will be a perfect target for students’ analysis. Finally, the ethical dilemma that Hamlet faces will make the students ponder over the issues of morality.

What Should Be Reconsidered: The Possible Concerns

Despite its numerous advantages as a work used for a literature class analysis, Hamlet does have a few problems that students might be too inexperienced to tackle. To start with, the story, as well as its key elements, including the conflict, the characters, and the basic ideas, is too well-known to be enticing for the students.

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As a result, they can easily get bored unless the poem is viewed from a very specific angle. Also, it will take considerable effort from the students to consider every single critical interpretation of the ideas conveyed in the play, for there are too many of these interpretations.

Rebuttal: Hamlet Lives

Despite the issues above, the story of Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, is filled with too much talent and emotion to be missed. Unique in its structure and plot, the tragedy will offer the students an opportunity to sneak a peek at the point where vengeance crosses philosophy and produces tragedy. The given play must be included in the school curriculum at least for the sake of giving students an opportunity to experience a new kind of aesthetical delight.


Because of its timelessness in both its technical and aesthetic aspects, Hamlet should be used as a research paper in English class because of the vast learning experience it offers to literature students. True, the play does have a few controversial issues that could be left out, yet it still offers students the literary and aesthetical experience that they must not miss.

Furthermore, the study of this play offers more academic knowledge to students as compared to them studying three of the best plays by the current writers. Thus, I highly recommend the use of Shakespeare’s most popular play for this class.

Works Cited

Brown, John Russell. Hamlet: A Guide to the Text and its Theatrical Life. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. Print.

MacCary, Thomas. “Hamlet”: A Guide to the Play. Greenwood Guides to Shakespeare. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998. Print.

Shakespeare, William. The Complete Works. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, May 22). Ethical Dilemmas in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”. Retrieved from

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"Ethical Dilemmas in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”." StudyCorgi, 22 May 2020,

1. StudyCorgi. "Ethical Dilemmas in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”." May 22, 2020.


StudyCorgi. "Ethical Dilemmas in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”." May 22, 2020.


StudyCorgi. 2020. "Ethical Dilemmas in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”." May 22, 2020.


StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Ethical Dilemmas in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”'. 22 May.

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