Hamlet by William Shakespeare is one of the greatest classics. It belongs to all ages. A revenge tragedy written in the sixteenth century is still contemporary in approach. The conscious, subconscious and unconscious layer of psyche has been delicately represented by Shakespeare. In Denmark, death of Hamlet’s father and his mother’s hasty marriage with his uncle Claudius has broken him to the core. The revelation by the Ghost of King Hamlet that he was killed by his own brother has driven Hamlet mad to take the revenge. He was overshadowed by melancholy.
From ‘Frailty thy name is woman’ to the soliloquies ‘to be or not to be’ have an impactful effect on the readers. Oedipus complex was the reason of Hamlet’s delay in taking the revenge and it shows that he was guilty conscious of wanting to commit the same sin which Claudius have committed by marrying Gertrude. From sanity to insanity, this play reveals layers of human psyche. Hamlet’s mouse trap scene reveals the treachery of Claudius which was quite visible on his face to Hamlet. Ophelia commits suicide, the grave digger scene is heart rending but leads to Laertes and Hamlet’s fight by Ophelia’s grave.
During the course of final duel Gertrude drinks the poisonous wine meant for Hamlet. Laertes slashes Hamlet with poisonous sword and in scuffle their swords are switched, in next turn Hamlet gives a deadly wound with the exchanged poisonous sword. Finally Laertes reveals the plan of Claudius and Hamlet kills Claudius. Almost all the characters die in the end apart from Horatio whom Hamlet begs to live on and tell his story.
Complexity of action, mystery of death and theme of incestuous relationship runs throughout the play. Shakespeare is the master dramatist who took care of even the minutest details which was the reason of his success. It’s the inherent darkness of human heart and the depth of human mind that has been exposed by Shakespeare in Hamlet. In spite of being a play that is highly read; much is left to be discovered. Hamlet is one of the greatest tragedy ever written by William Shakespeare and is highly recommended for those who have not read it so far and those who have read it must read it again to discover something new. Hamlet deserves nothing less than 5 stars.
Dr. Rashmi Jain is a Poet/ Writer/ Reviewer and is presently working as a Guest Faculty in the Department of English and Modern European Languages, University of Allahabad, Allahabad. Her email is– firstname.lastname@example.org