What Is Hamlet’S Opinion About Theater?

Updated 30 September, 2023
Hamlet uses theater to come up with a probable reason to put Claudius to trial. He asks the actors to perform a play, The Murder of Gonzago, in order to determine whether or not Claudius is guilty or not, trying to catch Claudius' scruples towards the death in the play.
Detailed answer:

In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet is commended with the task of avenging his father's death given by his ghost who divulged the truth of his murder. Hamlet decides to use theater to come up with a probable reason to put Claudius to trial. He asks the actors to perform, The Murder of Gonzago, with revisions in hopes of catching the conscience of Claudius.
When Claudius arrives and asks Hamlet about the play’s name, he answers: “The Mousetrap. Marry, how? Tropically. This play is the image of a murder done in Vienna. Gonzago is the duke’s name, his wife Baptista. You shall see anon… Your majesty and we that have free souls, it touches us not. Let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung”.
The Murder of Gonzago, also known as The Mousetrap, is a play that mirrors the events that have taken place in Denmark, for example Claudius’ murder of King Hamlet. The play centres around a king that is poisoned by another man, depicting Hamlet’s father’s death. The play reveals Claudius’ guilt in the death of his father as he reacts in a way that makes him appear culpable. The Mousetrap is a symbol for illusion that is directed towards Claudius as it reveals his reality, which exposes his appearance. He constantly acts as though he feels sympathy and sorrow for the death of his brother. But in actuality he has no remorse as he fakes it to gain compassion and support from the people of Denmark.
Claudius as the king does not hear words of distrust or disagreement to him from people. While during the play however, the actions and words of the actors soon get to him. After the death of Gonzago in the play Claudius rises and says “Give me some light. Away!”. It is apparent that Claudius is in outrage and dismay from the actions of Lucianus within the play. He gets so mad and stops the play because he feels the guilt of what he did to his brother.

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