Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Reading points: some matters to consider as you read:

Hamlet as a "revenge tragedy" (genre based on the Roman Seneca); Hamlet as Aristotelian tragedy?

purple bullet Illusion in conflict with reality: what seems to be vs. objective "truth."  Misperception vs. intentional deception.  Rampant irony!

Purple bullet The importance of family, different familial relationships and responsibilities.

Purple bullet Court politics, political intrigue, "politician-like behavior."

The burdens of leadership.
Imagery of nature, health, corruption, and sickness.

purple bullet Uncommonly frequent religious overtones (for Shakespeare, that is).

 Metadrama: more commentary upon art and/or theatrical drama through "players" and a "play within the play."

Purple bullet Reasons for Hamlet's indecision.

purple bullet Foils, characters that are "like but unlike," characters who mirror or "twin" with one another.

purple bullet Thematic significance in scenes of comic relief: connections between adjacent scenes.

purple bullet The question of whether we do or do not fully identify or sympathize with Hamlet.

 The play's continuing relevance: significant applicability in a number of respects to modern readers.