Amleto riassunto - Shakespeare
The original story of Hamlet can be traced to the Middle Age with Saxo Grammaticus, than during Renaissance with Francois de Belleforest and in the end to Thomas Kyd, from whom Shakespeare draw inspiration.
The plot of Hamlet
The setting is the Castle of Elsinore, in Denmark. The king has been dead only two month but the Queen Gertrude, the Hamlet’s mother, has married again with her brother in low Claudius, who became king.
During a night Horatio and some other Hamlet’s friends see a Ghost resembling the late king; immediately they report to Hamlet the event. The night after he goes to the place when the ghost has appeared. Hamlet sees it and he was surprised to his father’s revelation: his death wasn’t natural but he was murdered by his brother Claudius with a poison.
At this moment Hamlet decides to revenge is father and starts his plan: he pretends to be mad and through his madness he would try to make evident the truth. The first thing he do is to invite at court a company of actors and play “The murder of Gonzago” (a legend very similar to the reality around Hamlet), to see the Claudius reaction. In fact, during the play, the king runs away to the Church and start to praying to be solved. Than Hamlet try to talk with his mother and shows her the truth, but she can’t believe him; this argue is listening from the counsellor Polonio so Hamlet kills him.
As soon as Ophelia and his brother Laertes know about their father’s death she became crazy and drowns herself, and he decides to unit with Claudius to organize the Hamlet’s murder.
The last act, in fact, shows a duel between Laertes and Hamlet; it is stacked because both the wine for Hamlet and the Laerte’s sward are poisoned. In this way Hamlet is convicted to die. But during the duel the poisoned wine reserved to Hamlet is drank by Gertrude, so she died, and there is also a change of swards, so both the duellist are wound by poison. Before die Laertes says to Hamlet “I will pardon you for my father and sister death if you pardon my for yours one. This is a plan organized from Claudius”, so Hamlet decides to absolve him and to kill Claudius.
Finally, before die, Hamlet says to Horatio to tell this story from generation in generation to “REMEMBER” the king of Denmark and the Hamlet revenge.
Hamlet in the age
Contest – themes – structure, techniques, language – psychology of characters
In the Elizabethan age both the Church and the Law didn’t accept the revenge as a solution, but it is a theme very popular and enjoying in the plays: he derives from original Greek theater, of which Seneca wrote the main rules.
The main themes of this period are: revenge, relationship (with parents, family, kingdom) such as friendship or love, madness, action or inaction, melancholy, doubt, corruption, existence of God, appearance and reality. We can see all of them in Hamlet tragedy but in general in Shakespeare plays. This is due to also from the century: the sixth century is the period of “crises and change” in which happens a lot of events, such as scientific revolution and the discover of an Heliocentric doctrine, that cause the loss of centrality for the men. In this way he’s in a situation in which he needs to fill up his empty made of doubts.
The usual plot of the tales of this period is a crime committed against a family that can’t be punished by low, so appears a hero who goes through revenge. Another features is the appearance of a Ghost that reveals an hidden truth, such as in Hamlet. Therefore there are some techniques adopted from actors to share a common experience with the audience: the soliloquy, which is a way through the characters can shows their thoughts or intentions and also to place themselves isolated from the reality, and the “play-within-the play”. Another expedient to involve the audience is the language; in Hamlet it is underlined: he adopts an ambiguous language in which some words has got an hidden means. It is connected with unconscious language but also to the will to surpass, through the words, the apparent meaning and reality.
The language permits also to discover and understand better the psychology of characters, which is a thing more developed by Shakespeare: he wanted to include in his plays some features that can show the reality more ostensibly, and so to establish a close relationship with the audience.