Hamlet is an enduring play, primarily because Shakespeare’s plays touch on the intricacies of the human condition. Although contextual values change, basic human nature to seek answers to the fundamental questions of life has not, causing Shakespeare’s play to speak to us in different ways. Hamlet is not limited by contextual barriers, and therefore suggests that the multiplicities of interpretations are plausible through the text’s ability to be recontextualised because of its complex characterization and universal themes. A contemporary context positions the audience to receive the play as the rebirth of order after chaos, as the world embraces change (with the elections of Kevin Rudd and Barrack Obama). It is my interpretation that the continuous questioning in Hamlet exposes the audience to deception and corruption present in the world, creating a play that explores the concept of truth and appearances which is a theme that is relevant to any context.

By creating the corrupt and unstable world of Ellsinore, Shakespeare reflects the political uncertainty of his period; Ellsinore becomes a representation of the world. LC Knights, a 20th century authority on Shakespearean literature, argues, “The ethos of the place is made up of coarse pleasures, of moral obtuseness, treacherous plotting and brainless triviality.”   The opening scene is a perfect example of the instability present at Ellsinore; the military tension is evoked by the opening line: “Who’s there?” This first scene is dramatically important in establishing the chaos and uncertainty as the scene is made up of questioning and establishing the identities of others. Shakespeare has already introduced the fundamental questioning of humanity, thus introducing the motif of truth and appearances.

Act 1, Scene 2 is an orientation into the complex characterization of Hamlet and the moral dilemma he is governed by, the death of the King and marriage of Gertrude and Claudius. Hamlet has been reinterpreted as...