Shakespeare’s Hamlet
Written in 1600, William Shakespeare’s revenge-tragedy ‘Hamlet’ still resonates with contemporary society with the use of universal thematic concerns and insights into the human condition that still affect modern responders today. These Elizabethan themes can still be translated to modern ubiquitous concerns and is the reason that this screenplay is still so extensively studied and shapes our personal understanding of the play. Also the textual integrity allows Shakespeare to explore the values of the Elizabethan world. Through both dramatic techniques Shakespeare helps us define certain human truths that transcend contextual limitations.

By using dramatic techniques Shakespeare explores the Christian values of his time by raising the humanist concerns about whether a man can take judgement upon himself when faced with an injustice in the world. Shakespeare uses the characterisation of Hamlet, whose dilemma represents the timeless human predicament of an equivocal moral duty crossed by the knowledge that “conscience doth make cowards of us all” (Act 3.1). Hamlet’s dithering is first seen in the opening Act through the mental argument Hamlet has to either “sweep to my revenge” (Act 1.5) and the torment realised in the exclamation “O cursed spite/ That I ever was born to set it right!” (Act 1.5).   Hamlet’s soliloquies further our understanding of Hamlet’s inability to decide upon a course of action and of the consequences that will ensue. The self-chastisement to his own hesitance is evident in the similes “Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause/ And can say nothing” (Act 2.2) and “like a whore, unpack my heart with words” (Act 2.2), which evoke a human understanding of the moral confusion of Hamlet. Similarly in a series of repetitive exclamations, “Bloody bawdy villain/ Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!” (Act 2.2) shows a man who espouses the idea that vengeful murder based on “the motive and cue for passion” (Act...