Texts have the amazing ability to present great and provocative ideas to society, Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1599-1601) broach on a multitude of issues. Through themes of the human condition, loyalty and appearances, Hamlet reveals an astonishing breadth of purpose; Shakespeare examines what it is to be human and the very nature of humanity. Hamlet has proven itself to have universal appeal and popularity. The impact that Hamlet has carries as much weight to the lives of Shakespeare’s Elizabethan audience as it does to today’s contemporary audience. Hamlet is about the very nature of human existence. The exploration of the human condition contributes to the universal understanding towards Hamlet’s experiences of loss, regret and sadness even towards his death. The emotive language in, “O cursed spite…That ever I was born to set it right,” causes empathy as his circumstance forces him to be an active participant of revenge. “About some act…That has no relish of salvation in’t.” There is a religious allusion present as Hamlet bides his time even though he has Claudius at his mercy. Claudius is in prayer and killing a man in cold blooded murder while in prayer is damnable and Claudius would go to heaven. One key aspects of humanity throughout Hamlet is mortality. “Alas poor Yorick! I knew him Horatio…” The use of emotive language shows death is personal. The visual image conjured up by having Hamlet looking at the skull is enduring as it exemplifies the confrontation with death. Man is described with similes to highlight contrast, “How like an angel!…How like a God!” The exclamation marks acknowledge the outrageous comparison of man with God. During the Elizabethan time period, the chain of being was strongly believed in. It is a powerful visual metaphor, a universal hierarchy that ranks all forms of higher and lower life, where God was at the top. While today the comparison is not considered as preposterous due to the difference of time. Thus Hamlet...
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