Literary Analysis: DRAMA
SUB-GENRE: Revenge Tragedy, Mystery
AUTHOR: William Shakespeare
1, Loyola HS
THE AUTHOR AND HIS TIME:
William Shakespeare, a playwright and actor, was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England
in 1564 and died in 1616.
His father was an important glove maker, so Shakespeare was
fortunate to receive a free education at King's New School. Though Shakespeare left school
when he was around fourteen, he was already proficient in Latin because schoolboys were
expected to memorize and recite Latin texts.
He married Anne Hathaway in 1582, but left his
family behind around 1590 and moved to London, where he became the most popular playwright
of the day as well as a part-owner of the Globe Theater.
Despite the dearth of biographical
information that has left many details of Shakespeare’s personal history shrouded in mystery,
Shakespeare is widely regarded as the most influential writer in English literature.
FORM, STRUCTURE, and PLOT:
is a revenge tragedy in which a series of disastrous actions involving
deception and malice eventually result in the protagonist’s demise.
The tragic hero, Hamlet, who
has been violently wronged and is justified in seeking revenge, vows revenge at an antagonist,
Claudius. The hero ultimately attains "poetic justice," achieving a crucial mission at any cost; so
in Hamlet’s case, at the cost of his own life, Hamlet killed Claudius as retribution for his father.
In term of plots, many key characters have their own agendas that ultimately intertwine.
Hamlet feigns madness while contemplating how to avenge his father feigning insanity. Claudius
will do anything to preserve his power, even by eliminating threats like Hamlet.
Once his father
was killed, Laertes vowed to slay Hamlet. Polonius follows Machiavellian principles to get what
he wants at any cost, even by manipulating his daughter Ophelia.
Meanwhile, Fortinbras is