Analysis of Shakespeare's Hamlet

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About this sample


Words: 763 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jan 30, 2024

Words: 763|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jan 30, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Background Information
  3. Plot Summary
  4. Analysis of Themes
  5. Character Analysis
  6. Analysis of Language and Dramatic Techniques
  7. Evaluation of Shakespeare's Writing Style
  8. Critical Reception and Legacy
  9. IX. Conclusion
  10. References:


William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" has been one of the most studied and analyzed plays in the English language. Set in Denmark, the play explores themes such as revenge, justice, madness, and appearance versus reality. This essay will provide an in-depth analysis of the play, examining its plot, characters, themes, and literary techniques.

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The thesis of this essay is that "Hamlet" is a masterful work of literature that explores timeless themes and employs effective literary techniques to convey its message.

Background Information

"Hamlet" was written in the early 17th century, during the Elizabethan era. It was first performed in 1609 and has since been adapted for stage, screen, and other media. The play is set in Denmark, a country with a complex political and social history. Shakespeare's writing style was characterized by his use of poetic language, complex characters, and a blend of tragedy and comedy.

Plot Summary

The play follows the young Prince Hamlet, who is grieving the death of his father and the subsequent marriage of his mother to his uncle, Claudius. Hamlet is visited by the ghost of his father, who tells him that he was murdered by Claudius and urges him to seek revenge. Hamlet begins to act erratically, pretending to be mad and plotting his revenge against Claudius. The plot is complicated by the relationships between Hamlet, Ophelia, and Polonius, as well as the political maneuverings of Claudius and his courtiers. The play ends with a tragic showdown between Hamlet and Claudius, resulting in the deaths of several characters.

Analysis of Themes

"Hamlet" explores several themes that are relevant to human nature and society. Revenge and justice are prominent themes, as Hamlet seeks revenge against Claudius for his father's murder. Madness and sanity is another theme, as Hamlet's mental state becomes increasingly unstable throughout the play. Appearance versus reality is also a crucial theme, as many of the characters in the play are not what they seem, and the truth is often hidden or distorted. These themes contribute to the overall meaning and message of the play, which suggests that the world is a complex and uncertain place, and that individuals must grapple with their own desires and motivations in order to find meaning and purpose in life.

Character Analysis

The central characters in "Hamlet" are complex and multi-dimensional, reflecting the nuanced approach that Shakespeare took to his characterizations. Hamlet is the tragic hero of the play, torn between his desire for revenge and his moral qualms and existential fears. Claudius is the primary antagonist, a manipulative and corrupt ruler who seeks to hold onto power at all costs. Gertrude is Hamlet's mother and Claudius's wife, caught between her loyalty to her husband and her love for her son. Ophelia is Hamlet's love interest, whose fate is intertwined with Hamlet's as she becomes increasingly isolated and unstable.

Analysis of Language and Dramatic Techniques

Shakespeare's use of language in "Hamlet" is masterful, utilizing poetic devices such as metaphors, similes, and allusions to convey the themes and emotions of the play. Dramatic techniques such as soliloquies and dramatic irony also play a significant role in engaging the audience and creating tension and suspense. These techniques help to heighten the emotional impact of the play and make it a powerful work of literature.

Evaluation of Shakespeare's Writing Style

Shakespeare's writing style is considered one of the greatest in the English language, and "Hamlet" is a prime example of his skill and creativity as a writer. His use of metaphors, imagery, and symbolism help to convey the play's themes and messages in a powerful and memorable way. The play's complex characters and intricate plot also demonstrate Shakespeare's ability to create compelling and timeless stories that resonate with audiences across the centuries.

Critical Reception and Legacy

"Hamlet" has been widely praised and studied since its debut, with many critics regarding it as one of the greatest plays of all time. The play's impact on literature, theater, film, and other media has been significant, with countless adaptations and interpretations produced over the years. Its themes and characters have also become part of the cultural lexicon and continue to resonate with audiences today.

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IX. Conclusion

In conclusion, "Hamlet" is a profound and complex work of literature that explores timeless themes and employs effective literary techniques to convey its message. Shakespeare's writing style and skill as a storyteller make this play a masterpiece that continues to captivate and intrigue audiences around the world.


  1. Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Ed. Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor. London: Arden Shakespeare, 2006. Print.
  2. Frye, Northrop. "The Mythos of Autumn." Shakespearean Criticism, edited by Laurie Lanzen Harris, vol. 4, Gale, 1986, pp. 157-66.
  3. Bloom, Harold, ed. William Shakespeare's "Hamlet." New York: Chelsea House, 2008. Print.
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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Analysis of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. (2024, January 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 17, 2024, from
“Analysis of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.” GradesFixer, 30 Jan. 2024,
Analysis of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 17 Jun. 2024].
Analysis of Shakespeare’s Hamlet [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jan 30 [cited 2024 Jun 17]. Available from:
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