Hamlet, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, it has been written between 1599 and
1601. The play, takes place in Denmark, recounts how Prince Hamlet revenges on his uncle Claudius for murdering the old King Hamlet, who was Claudius' own brother and Prince Hamlet's father. Then Claudius succeeding to the throne and marrying Gertrude, the King Hamlet's widow andmother of Prince Hamlet.
Is Hamlet essentially a play about politic, or family matters?
First I'll talk about what is relates to family matters or politics and then I'll give my opinion.
In act one scene one we already learn that King Hamlet is dead, no long time ago.
On the second scene, in his speech, Claudius says that he marries Gertrude. Lots of questions could be asked. The marriagebetween members of the same family is judged incestuous. Hamlet doesn't accept this : “married with mine uncle, My father’s brother; but no more like my father” ; “ It is not, not it cannot come to good. But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue” .
A family conflict started. This conflict is strengthened by Gertrude envy to ship Hamlet to Wittenberg. Hamlet expresses that he wants to make asuicide: in his soliloquy he exposes his deep depression. He has no thoughts about political matters, about becoming the king. His troubled mind is obsessed solely with family matters : his father, his uncle and (above all) his mother. “Hyperion to a satyr, so loving to my mother That he might not beteem the winds of heaven Visit her face too roughly”.
Then, Horatio, a good friend of Hamlet tellshim that he has seen King Hamlet's ghost. Hamlet is exited, he is like reborn. The next night he decided to see him. But when the ghost appears, he interrupt Hamlet's reflections on human nature. Hamlet talks to it as his dead father. The Ghost commands Hamlet to revenge. Hamlet is eager to take immediate revenge for his father's murder. The Ghost reveals he was killed by Claudius, and expressesdisgust that Gertrude now sleeps with his brother. The Ghost tells how Claudius murdered him. He urges Hamlet to revenge, but without harming Gertrude.
Then, Claudius has sent for Hamlet's fellow students. They have to find out the cause of Hamlet's strange behaviour. Gertrude promises Rosencrantz and Guildenstern they will be royally rewarded if they stay.
All of those things in the play arereferring to family matters. And at end of the play we find again family matters : all the family died. Starting by Gertrude, who drinks the poison destined to Hamlet, persuade to Claudius' sincere love feeling.
Politically, Denmark is against Norway. The both sons (Hamlet and Fortinbras)
seem very affected by murder of their fathers. Fortinbras wants to kill Hamlet because his father was killedby Hamlet's father. They want the revenge of this act no matter what happes, this aspect of revenging their fathers death is a thing they have in common. In the play (act two, scene two), Voltemand reports that the king of Norway has prevented Fortinbras from attacking Denmark, sending him instead to invade Poland. “To be a preparation 'against the Polack”
Historically, Shakespeare lived in verydangerous times of political and religious tension. Catholics and Protestants plotted, killed and oppressed each others. Shakespeare always avoided any type of confrontation. Probably with the confrontation between Denmark and Norway, he criticizes this tension.
I think that the play is about politics and family matters. The family is corrupted so
the country is. In my point of view, eachcharacter embodies one of those two themes.
Like lots of marriage in this era (Elizabethan era), the marriage between Claudius and Gertrude in my opinion was an arranged union, because when you love your brother you don't marry his wife in addition, you don't marry a widow right after her husband death . Another argument , when you love a women you don't try to kill his son, pretexting his...