Hamlet Critical Lens Analysis

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Olivia Lynch Mrs. Butterfield AP Lit 5/1/16 When you are ready to dive into the vast world of Shakespeare, you can begin by using what is known as a critical lens. The lens that may help you understand the background details of one of Shakespeare’s plays would be the Historical lens. Although there are many different lens that you can use to interpret a story, the Historical Lens is a great lens to dive into to find what really influenced the great ideas of William Shakespeare as he wrote Hamlet including the role gender plays, the comparison of Elizabeth Tudor, and the religious incorporation throughout the play. First, we can take the Historical Lens and dive into the idea of how gender roles were highly represented in Hamlet …show more content…

We can first talk about when the gravediggers or clowns were talking about the Christian burial. “And the more pity that great folk should have countenance in this world to drown or hang themselves more than their even Christian.” (V, i, 26-29)This was important for Shakespeare to include because it was very important to the Roman Catholic religion back in the Elizabethan era that the religion was always kept in order and that everyone was put where they needed to be when they reached the end of their life. Another moment was when Hamlet was watching King Claudius praying for forgiveness and Hamlet had to make the decision on whether or not to kill Claudius in this moment or if he should wait for a better chance then right after he gained forgiveness. “Thus conscience does make cowards of us all, and thus the native hue of resolution is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought.” (III, i, 83-85). This was important to include because it showed the thoughts that the characters were having when deciding what actions to take. Hamlet in this moment was considering what God’s judgement would be if he was to go through with it. In the article, ““Shortly They Will Play Me in What Forms They List upon the Stage”: Hamlet, Conscience, and the Earl of Essex” by the author Jeremy Venema, he wrote, “Whether the act …show more content…

First when can go to how religion was a huge part of Elizabeth Tudor’s life. She felt that following religion and always keeping to its laws and rules was how you were to act in life, and it ended up being the same till the end for Ophelia. “Her death was doubtful, and, but that great command o'ersways the order, she should in ground unsanctified have lodged till the last trumpet.” (V, I, 226-228) This line is when the doctor is talking about the burial of Ophelia and it is also when Ophelia is being disrespected in a way by what the doctor had to say about her not deserving a Christian burial like she was given. Another thing found similar between Tudor and Ophelia would be that they were both used as a pawn in some way. First, when Tudor became in power, France and Spain began to use their power over her kingdom and used her as a weaken pawn to get their kingdoms farther. The same went for Ophelia because she was used as a pawn for Polonius, Laertes, Claudius, and Hamlet. “For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither, that he, as ’twere by accident, may here affront Ophelia. Her father and myself (lawful espials) will so bestow ourselves that, seeing unseen, we may of their encounter frankly judge, and gather by him, as he is behaved, if ’t be the affliction of his love or no that thus he

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