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Themes in Shakespeare’s “The Tragedy of Hamlet”

Hamlet is one of the most significant works by Shakespeare. More so, this is one of the most famous plays in the world literature. The author considers various important issues and this makes the play so influential. This play makes people think of some of the most meaningful issues.

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Some of the central themes of the play are revenge and justice. Hamlet tries to find out what has happened to his father and eventually tries to avenge. The issues concerning justice as well as revenge have always evoked interest in me. Admittedly, the world is full of injustice, sorrow and crime. People have always wanted to understand whether we can live in the just world. Shakespeare gives quite a specific answer to the question. At least, I have found the answer.

In the first place, the play confirms that people cannot live in an ideal world as they are not ideal. Thus, Hamlet seems to be a kind and fair young man. He could be a good king. Nonetheless, he is also subjected to doubts, anger, jealousy, etc. He wants to do the right thing. He understands that the kings’ murder should be punished. He also understands that it is important to be sure that the accused is really guilty.

Hamlet’s desire to find out the truth appeals to me. I also think that any vice should be punished. However, another question rises. Who can be the judge? Shakespeare’s answer is rather definite. The human cannot become the judge as only God can punish. Thus, Hamlet who decides to become the judge and the executor is also punished. Hamlet dies as he decides he can be the judge. Interestingly, the queen, the uncle and other vicious people die. Basically, all sinners are punished. Thus, there is justice in the world. The play is the illustration of this superior justice.

Some may claim that innocent people die and this cannot be the world of justice. However, Shakespeare is really precise. Ophelia is the character that enhances the idea of justice. This is the most innocent character of the play. Nonetheless, she dies and she is deprived of the opportunity to find her happiness. As for me, the girl’s madness can be regarded as the case of superior justice. The poor girl does not fit the unjust world. She is granted the new ideal world.

As for me, though this can seem rather pessimistic, Ophelia’s madness is one of the most optimistic parts of the play. The girl manages to escape the vicious world. Of course, one should not understand this literally. This is a metaphor. The way I see it, Shakespeare shows that an innocent person can find the way to remain innocent.

Thus, the play has revealed the picture of our world which is full of injustice and can corrupt people. However, I also understand that only sinful people can be corrupted. Hamlet had the dark side and he was corrupted by the world. Ophelia was totally innocent and she managed to remain pure and innocent. Thus, the play teaches people to remain faithful to principles of morality.

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Shakespeare makes people understand that though there is injustice in the world, people cannot become the judges. I also think that vicious people will be punished, so we cannot possibly decide who can live and who should die even if the person is guilty. Revenge does not free people, but becomes an unbearable burden which makes the individual miserable.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Themes in Shakespeare’s “The Tragedy of Hamlet”'. 24 April.

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