Hamlet Essay

Tension between an individual and society is what creates interest in drama.
In the play ‘Hamlet’ by William Shakespeare, it is clear that there is a distinct
tension between the character of Hamlet and the rest of society. Throughout
the duration of the play, not only does Hamlet question the morals and flawed
expectations of society, but also the people in society fail to understand their
flawed perspectives on the world and the events that occur during the play.
This lack of understanding and tension between the individual of Hamlet and
the rest of society is what creates interest in the play, as the audience is
stranded in a conflicting state between the two. We begin to question whether
Hamlet’s actions are an overreaction, or whether the expectations placed on us
by society are truly flawed. Through the use of rhetorical questions, antithesis,
imagery, flippant dialogue and metaphor, we are exposed to the tension
between Hamlet and the society in which he lives.
After the recent death of Hamlets father, the audience is quick to discover the
expectations of society on the character of Hamlet, the very first time we are
introduced to the character. Gertrude questions the appearance of Hamlets
grief, ‘Why seems it so particular with thee?’ (Act 1, Scene 2). The character of
Gertrude represents the society in which they live, as she models society’s
expectations. She has shown her grief for the loss of her husband, but has
continued to live her life in happiness with a new husband, and therefore a new
king. She is questioning Hamlets grief, as she believes it to be merely an
appearance to meet people’s expectations, just as she has done. Already we
begin to feel the tension between Hamlet and society, as he has no ambition to
meet the expectations or act the way in which they believe that he should.
Hamlets reaction to Gertrude is one of disbelief and scepticism, as he is
incredulous that she has questioned the authenticity of his...