Selected Book: Hamlet
Where can we find Hamlet in our lives?
To say that Hamlet bears no resemblance nor relevance to everyday people’s lives would
be an uninformed statement. When further examined, the intuition into our current society that
Hamlet provides becomes abundantly clear. For example, the many themes and motifs present in
Shakespeare’s Hamlet parallel issues that are relevant in our current society. Themes such as
revenge, deception, mental health, etc.
Firstly, the theme of revenge appears to be the most notable theme that reflects heavily in
both Hamlet and current society. Throughout Shakespeare’s Hamlet, readers can understand that
revenge plays a large part of what drives Hamlet along with the play. The main character, Prince
Hamlet, is driven heavily by his powerful desire of avenging his father’s death, which we learn
in Act I, Scene V was in fact a murder when a ghost claiming to be his father’s spirit revealed
that his death was a “foul and most unnatural murder” (I.v.25). Hamlet is appalled by this
information and when his father’s ghost tells him that it was his brother who committed this act,
Hamlet is filled with fury and swears revenge.
Furthermore, our current society is fascinated with revenge and twists it into their own
interpretation of it. For example, the media depicts revenge as “sweet revenge” and this
interpretation becomes very wide-scale within society. There are many instances when revenge
is made a central theme within films, TV shows, and novels where a central and heroic character
is on a quest for revenge and the concept of revenge is depicted as sweet. It makes the people
think that revenge is fulfilling and is the only end goal. However, Hamlet disputes these common
thoughts of revenge with a more realistic case when Hamlet’s case of revenge ends up being a
bittersweet achievement that was obtained with a large cost. Shakespeare’s Hamlet depicts the
hero as a representation of mankind, blinded by a lust for revenge that eventually leads him
astray and towards evil. Consequently, everything around Hamlet becomes destroyed as well
which shows that revenge is not sweet but in fact destructive and toxic. This parallels our current
society when people seek their own forms of revenge in search for the sweet ending they think
they will obtain but instead cause nothing but more pain and hurt.
Revenge is not the only theme that is present in our everyday lives, however. Deception
also plays a large part of Hamlet because every character is affected by deception in some way
which also resembles modern society. The play highlights the serious consequences that
deception can have on relationships and other people. For example, two characters’ lives are
taken because of a lie and while it may be more dramatic than our normal lives, the principle
remains the sa...