Current affairs of the play “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare

The story behind the name Meeting Benches is fascinating and full of meaning. Imagine any place, a park or a square, where the benches act as a meeting point for people; they are silent witnesses of chance encounters, deep conversations, love stories and moments of reflection. Those virtual benches are an invitation to sit and share stories, emotions and thoughts, encounter art in all its nuances of creativity. Imagine sitting on one of those benches, surrounded by trees and with the sun filtering through the leaves, listening to the people who occupy a seat next to you. Some, like William Shakespeare, are writers who share their works, others are travelers who tell their adventures, or like Dastilige Nevante, the digital artist who created the images in this post. Type in writers or poets if you want to know more.

In the 15th century, the Renaissance brought a new interest in the study of human experience and consciousness. William Shakespeare‘s play “Hamlet is set in the historical context of the 17th century, a period in which the idea that humans could fully understand human experience became more skeptical. Scholars and artists argued that human understanding of the world was based on appearance and that “reality” was difficult to discover. The language Shakespeare uses in the play reflects the evolving modern English and contributes to his influence on the formation of the conventions of modern English. Hamlet explores this struggle, with characters facing difficulties in finding the truth about others, from their intentions to their true character and even their sanity. The main action of this drama takes place in Denmark, a country where Protestantism distances itself from some Catholic doctrines. This is why Hamlet is reluctant to accept the ghost’s claims. This play offers numerous lessons and food for thought, such as the conflict between the medieval substratum and the new instances of European modernity that emerges in the drama.

What is a man if his main use of the time at his disposal is nothing more than sleeping and gorging himself? A beast, nothing more.”

The kingdom of Denmark is the context of the plot in which the king of Denmark, father of Prince Hamlet, died. Hamlet’s brother Claudius has seized the throne by marrying Queen Gertrude, widow of the deceased king. This event triggers intrigue and conflict. During a night’s watch, the ghost of the deceased king appears to Marcellus and Barnardo. Hamlet is informed and decides to see the ghost. The ghost reveals to him that he was poisoned by Claudius and asks to avenge him. Tormented by his father’s death, Hamlet feigns madness to investigate the truth. This leads to complex and ambiguous situations. He discovers that in the kingdom of Denmark there are intrigues, betrayals and secrets. Hamlet suspects everyone, including his beloved Ophelia and his friend Horatio, he tries to avenge his father’s death, but his indecision and his internal struggle led him to carry out actions that have tragic consequences. Hamlet represents the empirical investigation of modern man; he doesn’t trust the statements; he is paralyzed between acting and adapting to reality.

“I could be locked in a nutshell and still think myself King of infinite space, if it weren’t for the fact that I have bad dreams”.

The famous phrase “There is something rotten in the kingdom of Denmark”, comes from the play “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare. Marcellus, a Danish officer, pronounces it during the ghost’s first appearance. This expression has become a way of saying to indicate conspiracies and internal discord in a morally faulty, corrupt, depraved context on an individual or social level. Furthermore, the setting in Denmark in the play “Hamlet” allows Shakespeare to indirectly criticize the English politics of the time. So, when we say, “There’s something rotten in Denmark”, we’re suggesting that something corrupt is hiding behind a seemingly solid façade. Nietzsche wrote that Hamlet glanced into the essence of things and discovered the “abysmal nothingness.”

“We know what we are but not what we could be”.

In the end, Hamlet manages to kill Claudius, the uncle who had murdered Hamlet’s father and usurped the throne. Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, accidentally drinks from the poisoned cup intended for her son. This happens during the duel and leads to her death. Laertes, Ophelia’s brother, challenges Hamlet to a duel to avenge the death of his father Polonius. During the duel, Laertes is wounded by the poisoned sword and dies. Ophelia, Laertes’ sister, committed suicide due to her father’s death and her turbulent relationship with Hamlet. Before dying, Hamlet entrusts his friend Horatio with the task of narrating his tragic story, leaving an indelible mark on literature and theatrical culture. In the end, Fortinbras, Prince of Norway, arrives in Denmark and pays homage to Hamlet’s body, granting him the honors of a military funeral. Fortinbras becomes the new ruler of Denmark. In summary, “Hamlet” is a masterpiece that addresses universal themes such as truth, morality, action and modernity, leaving room for multiple interpretations and reflections.

“If I knew how to write the beauty of your eyes. And sing in new meters all your graces, the future would say: this poet lies”.


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