“Hamlet” is the longest play by Shakespeare and is a study of the rich patterns of Renaissance theme of perspectives. “Hamlet” brings forth several parodies, structure, play within the play format and rich diatribes bring a whole range of complex arrays that focus on the ironies of society as well as human character. “Hamlet” is not only a study into the darker recesses of human tragic characters but also within the whole idea of social tragedy being presented as a farcical play.
For instance the nunnery scene where Ophelia is being projected as false Mary brings the whole sense of Renaissance sense of false implications as does several other instances within the play that call for the whole annunciation of iconography. Among the many critical approaches to the study of “Hamlet” the new historicism approach brings into notice the parodied and annunciation motifs within “Hamlet”.
“Hamlet” is also a study of impossible demands and almost near miracles being studied through the waves of the society as seen through the naivety of Hamlet’s character itself. There are demands on the consolidation of Ophelia and Gertrude, the maid and Hamlet’s mother, and the whole dual nature of betrayal and usurpation. There is question of Christian ethics, morals and values that bring some of the most traditional schemes to be failing in the naïve questioning of Hamlet’s eyes.
The story is that of a failed hero who has resigned to victim nature seeing the impossibility of the flaws that are presented through human nature, going beyond the points of rectification. Hamlet would have wanted to bring justice but he had given up way before in his high skepticism and distrust of God’s Providence. The play is also a question of the whole theophilsophical approach to Christianity and the very idea of divine justice being meted out and showing whether traditional Christianity is just a painted picture and does not work for all in the total scheme of matters. The play is thus about the inconsistency of human nature, of failed ideals and morals and a society going crazy in terms of preserving the ideal or the sense of higher justice.
The rich display of dramatic personae and different structures of the play bring these larger themes within “Hamlet” prominently featured to be questioned for the audience or readers. The interpretation of melancholy and death to be the companions of those questioning the dominant archetypes of society’s complex paradigms, have been made to be the assigned to be the fate of the one who stands out. It is a play of duality that constantly questions the shifts of time versus timelessness, the combining forces of doomsday idea and prelapsarian ideals, of light and dark, justice taken by human will and the divine preordinance, of melancholy vying with sinister humor.
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