Hamlet | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Course Hero. "Hamlet Study Guide." September 2, 2016. Accessed September 27, 2023. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Hamlet/.


Course Hero, "Hamlet Study Guide," September 2, 2016, accessed September 27, 2023, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Hamlet/.

Hamlet | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about William Shakespeare's Hamlet. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

hamlet-william-shakespeareCopyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Folger Shakespeare Library, Royal Shakespeare Company, UNESCOhis above all: to thine own self be true.Polonius, Act I, Scene IIIHamletProtagonistOpheliaPoloniuss daughterHoratioHamlets friendRosencrantz +GuildensternClaudiuss hired spiesPoloniusKings chief counselorOld King (Ghost)Hamlets fatherClaudiusHamlets uncleGertrudeHamlets motherLaertesPoloniuss sonFriendsRomanceMarriedCritics have argued over Hamlets delayed revenge against his uncle—especially contrasted with the decisive action taken by Poloniusson Laertes.Love and its internal contradictions is central to the play. Hamlet examines the love between his father and mother, and the betrayal that he feels disturbs him.The pursuit of impossible fulfillment runs through the play. Much of Hamlets angst comes from the realization that selfishly following desires leads only to disappointment.RevengeDesireLoveThemesHamletby the Numbers4,042Lines in Hamlet, the longest of Shakespeare's plays, according to the Folger Shakespeare Library1574Year construction began on Denmark's Kronborg Castle inHelsingør (Elsinore), the setting for Hamlet2000Year in which the play was translated into Klingon, the constructed language of Star Trek Chronologically, Hamlet falls in the center of Shakespeares plays. The Bards most frequently performed work, the play is a pillar of literature, theater and film—as relevant today as it was 400 years ago.Arguably the most famous playwright of all time, Shakespeare is credited with 38 plays. Often referred to simply as the Bard,” his wit and wordplay are bested only by his nuanced portrayal of human nature. 158916131599-1601WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE1564–1616ContextACT IACT IIACT IIIACT IVACT VIIIIIIIVVIIIIIIIIIIVIIIIIIIVVVIVIIIIIPoisonSwordDrowningExecutionThe Play KingPoloniusOpheliaGuildensternRosencrantzHamletLaertesClaudiusGertrudeThe Old KingMurder (Power)Murder (Revenge)AccidentSuicideOtherDeaths and MotivesDeath—intentional and accidental—is the thematic cornerstone of Hamlet. The chart below maps the demise of principle characters, revealing how death drives the action and momentum of the play.Charting Death in HamletOVERVIEWSomething is rotten in the state of Denmark.”Act I, Scene IVTo be or not to be: that is the question.”Act III, Scene IAuthorMain CharactersWilliam Shakespeare1599-1601 EnglishPlayAuthorYears WrittenOriginal LanguageHamletTragedy

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