Hamlet Problem In Hamlet

1054 Words 5 Pages
Many scholars research Shakespeare’s plays to learn about him, his lifestyle, and the customs of that era. Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare in about 1599, is read and studied by nearly every student. Even though countless scholars have researched it, the play ultimately leaves them puzzled. Each person that has studied Hamlet has come up with a unique opinion and conclusion of the play. Although Graham Bradshaw and William Empson both have different views on the way Hamlet was written and the famous “Hamlet Problem”, William Empson has a more valid argument on the new play.
Graham Bradshaw, a professor at the University of St. Andrew in Scotland, considers that in order to understand some questions posed by Hamlet, we must first look
…show more content…
“Experts mostly agree that Kyd wrote a play on Hamlet about 1587,” but the only record of the play is in 1594, which makes it easy to believe that Shakespeare’s company bought the play (Empson). Shakespeare then rewrote the play only changing the dialogue, without adding or removing scenes. “We are to think, apparently, that Shakespeare wrote a play which was extremely successful at the time and continued to hold the stage, and yet that nearly two hundred years had to go by before anyone had even a glimmering of what it was about” (Empson). Shakespeare had not really written a tragedy before, but the play was written in response to the how the audience interpreted the old. Thus, the problem itself was the audience, who was considered the reason for the re-writing in the first place. In the new play, there were many allusions referencing the old, yet they are not clearly seen since many do not know about the old. In the first writing of Hamlet, Hamlet was sane in his soliloquys and only showed insanity when responding to others. In contrast, the new had the audience laughing with Hamlet early on so they could laugh at him at the end of the play. As to why Hamlet is insane, “there seem to be two main assumptions, that he is trying to frighten his enemies into exposing themselves, and that he is not so frightened himself as to hide his emotions though he hides their cause,” (Empson). Shakespeare essentially made the old play more realistic to the people, but never altered the story itself. Some argue that Shakespeare changed Hamlet to portray himself, but others argue that a man who would show himself as Hamlet has some serious conditions. However, if you take the story literally, Hamlet is thought to have legitimate reasons for his behavior. “It was probably [Shakespeare] who (by way of adding "body") gave Hamlet very much better reasons for

Related Documents