Description

Hamlet and the Canon

Hamlet is widely regarded as one of Shakespeare’s most important and difficult plays, and one of the most interesting things about the play is the character of Hamlet. He has been played in many, many different ways, from a devious trickster who is the brilliant master of every situation to a neurotic mess who can’t make up his mind to do anything and is completely ineffectual, from a robust, tragic hero to a pathetic and suicidal wimp. All of these variations are plausible, given the text of the play. Hamlet is one of the most complex characters in literature, and the plot of Hamlet is one of the most complex plots in Renaissance drama.

Compare the character of Hamlet or the plot (and maybe also the theme or themes) of Hamlet to a character or plot of another work we’ve read this term. Who does Hamlet remind you of? Why? What other work does the plot or the themes of Hamlet remind you of? Why? (You may want to use a quote or two to develop your ideas.)