Hamlet by Shakespeare: A Play Review

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Hamlet by Shakespeare is a brilliant piece of classical literature that is immortal in its ability to be always relevant. It tells a tragic story about the young prince of Denmark, who is tortured by nihilism and vengeance for his father. Throughout the narrative, prince Hamlet encounters numerous challenges, including murdering an innocent man and the death of a beloved one. Murder and death are among the main subjects in the play, and which plot is driven by the prince’s revenge for his father. On his path, Hamlet thinks through fundamental philosophical questions, like the meaning of life and how to define good and evil.

Hamlet by Shakespeare

The story begins with Hamlet discovering the death of his father. The prince is haunted by the ghost of the king, who tells him about the murder committed by his brother, Claudius, who has planned to capture the throne and marry Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother. The killing of one’s own brother to gain power initiates the sequence of events driven by vengeance and madness. As a result, Hamlet decides to kill the man who has stolen the crown and the queen. The narrative vividly describes how vices, like greed and jealousy, can produce dramatic consequences. The play illustrates how one murder can lead to a dramatic cycle of vengeance, death, and suffering.

Consequently, the prince creates a plan to avenge the king’s death. Firstly, he decides to confirm his uncle’s guilt and expose him. Hamlet stages a play inside a play that tells a story similar to the killing of his father to evaluate Claudius’s emotional response. During the play’s intense moment of murdering a king, Claudius escapes the room and starts to pray. Interestingly, Hamlet decides not to kill his uncle during the prayer since he will be forgotten by God, hence taken to Heaven. Here, the prince shows that there is something more important than immediate revenge and ponders on his further actions. Finally, after Hamlet’s brutal argument with his mother, the prince conducts his first murder. However, the victim is not his uncle but Polonius, the father of Hamlet’s beloved Ophelia. By mistake, the prince kills the wrong man, resulting in even more deaths and suffering. For instance, Ophelia, tortured by her father’s death, commits suicide, and her brother Laertes is now the one who seeks revenge. Therefore, Hamlet’s desire for revenge creates a murderous cycle of hatred and vengeance.

The narrative about prince Hamlet’s vengeful path is filled with philosophical questions and problems. “To be or not to be” is one of his most famous questions illustrating the prince’s deep mental struggle with whether life is worth living (Shakespeare, 2003). Hamlet seems concerned with the occurring events and is unsure if his actions are correct. However, he realizes that there is nothing apart from vengeance that gives him a reason to live now. Since his beloved Ophelia and his father are dead, between “survival or destruction,” Hamlet chooses the latter (Shakespeare, 2003). He goes to his final battle, where he finds his death from a poisonous blade but revenges the murder of the king. The story ends with all the main characters dead, except for Hamlet’s friend Horacio, who has promised to live to write about these events.


In conclusion, the tragic narrative provides a capturing image of Hamlet’s struggle and the dangers of a vengeful spirit. In the end, the desire to avenge his father’s death provokes only more suffering and hatred. Nevertheless, Hamlet accepts this path since nothing else is left that enriches his life with a sense of meaning. This story gives valuable lessons on the dramatic nature of vengeance and propels thinking about fundamental philosophical questions.


Shakespeare, W. (2003). Hamlet. Yale University Press.