Themes in Hamlet Essay example
“The main subject that is being discussed or described in a piece of writing, a movie, etc.”
Theme is a word having etymology from the Greek, "placed" or "laid down". Its origin is
1250–1300; Greek théma proposition, deposit, akin to tithénai to put, set down. In contemporary literary studies, a theme is the central topic a text treats. Themes can be divided into two categories: a work's thematic concept is what readers "think the work is about" and its thematic statement being "what the work says about the subject".
The most common contemporary understanding of theme is an idea or concept that is central to a story, which can often be summed in …show more content…
(Kristin R. Woolever, About Writing: A Rhetoric for Advanced Writers. Wadsworth, 1991)
Hamlet is not only a tragedy of revenge; it is a play of life and death and of man’s ambiguous relation to them both. It is also about melancholy and doubt. It is through Hamlet’s struggle to act, and to act wisely, that the concept of "man’s complex nature" is illustrated. Hamlet can be regarded as the first great tragedy conceived in a modern way since it questions an entire system of references typical of classical tragedy and of the Elizabethan theatre in general. Hamlet deals with the crisis of the human conscience, but also with loss of faith in the effectiveness of man’s action. Hamlet paves the way to a theatre of the mind embodied by Hamlet’s being prisoner of his existential doubts.
Hamlet is often called an "Elizabethan revenge play", the theme of revenge against an evil usurper driving the plot forward as in earlier stage works by Shakespeare's contemporaries, Kyd and Marlowe, as well as by the French writer Belleforest (HistoiresTragiques, 1576). As in those works, a hero plays minister and scourge in punishing a moral injustice, an offense to both man and God.