Critical Essay on Hamlet

Critical Essay on Hamlet

Hamlet is a play that was themed by Shakespeare. It revolves around Hamlet who mourns the death of both his father and the disappointment from his mother’s marriage to his uncle. Analyses of major themes show how the story is relevant in this modern day world. Some of the themes include revenge, loyalty, and retribution among others. The tale unfolds as his father’s ghost reveals to him how his uncle, Claudius killed him.  Out of anger, he unintentionally murders Polonius and this, in turn, sparks the beef with his best friend Laertes who vows to kill his father’s killer. The play revolves around death as Laertes, Claudius, Gertrude and Hamlet die at the end of it all.

Content of this article

Critical analysis of major themes


Death is the most prominent theme in the play. Characters such as Ophelia and Polonius die in the plot of the play. The critical essay on Hamlet, therefore, tries to illustrate how the theme has been put to use to fit the plot of the play. Death starts all the way from Hamlet’s father which gives Hamlet have a thirst for murder. Hamlet almost falls on the side of despair, but a strong force of spiritual awe keeps him going. The dilemma of dying and fear in Hamlet is what makes the play captivating. The critical essay on Hamlet depicts Hamlet as a person who loves the mysteries that come with death and intellectual beings. Hamlet has a weird connection with dead bodies as he has no fear whatsoever. He adds the mystery by conducting mediations related to death.  As much mortality is depicted in major scenes, one is left with questions that have not been attended to.


Most tragedies that depict revenge have a form of madness revolving around it. Hamlet is also not left behind. However, this critical essay on Hamlet’s madness is featured as the kind of madness depictedunique compared to other plays. The madness is termed as ambiguous because Hamlet performs with the mentality of insanity. The Shakespeare’s play highlights the advantages of one becoming mad. For instance, Amneth fakes madness so as to continue with the plan of revenge. Hamlet takes the theme of madness to another level as he almost distracts himself while trying to be mad so as to execute revenge. Ophelia also becomes mad. However, her madness is sincere, and this makes her lose her self-knowledge and composure.


Several individuals are fixated on planning revenge all through the plot. Hamlet, (Prince of Denmark) is filled with revenge towards his uncle who murdered his father so as to become the reigning king of the country.  The revenge adds up after his mother agrees to get married to the same man who executed his father’s death. Hamlet’s father dead ghost appears and requests for his revenge. However, the revenge to kill his uncle goes sour as instead of killing his target uncle, and he ends up finishing the life of his best friend’s father, Polonius.  This killing makes Laertes, Hamlet’s best friend, want to avenge his father’s death even if it ends up killing Hamlet. This critical essay on Hamlet’s revenge shows the various twists and turns that can arise from hate.

Critical analysis of Hamlet characters


The critical analysis on Hamlet depicts Hamlet as the protagonist of the play. The play climaxes when he is called back home following the death of the king who is also his father. This incident makes Hamlet have mixed reactions and feelings such as suicide and craftiness. At this point, he struggles with decision making as he ends up settling on rash decisions. He ends up murdering Polonius, and this makes him hesitate before killing his uncle.

In real life, when an individual becomes unstable, he/she might end up being dangerous. This is portrayed in the reckless behavior of Hamlet murdering his friend’s father. The conflict in Hamlet’s life leads to the royal family’s destruction. The anger and hatred eventually lead to the destruction of Denmark. In real life, anger can lead to great destructions that are irreversible and cause significant harm.


He is the uncle to Hamlet. He is also the killer of Hamlet’s father. Claudius is depicted as a very cunning politician and at the same a lustful man. He immediately marries the queen after murdering the king. However, his love towards Gertrude is genuine as he adores and cares for her. However, his real attributes are hidden by the fact that he cannot stop himself from gaining things through treacherous ways.  Claudius represents the corrupt and evil leaders in the society who do anything to get the things that they like.

List of topics to write on Hamlet

Below are a few titles that you can use to create a critical essay on Hamlet:

  • Illustrate how Hamlet would have turned out if the scenes were based on Gertrude’s perspective.
  • Was it necessary for the Hamlet play to be set in Denmark rather than a place such as Paris?
  • Could Ophelia, a character found in Hamlet be written in the plays of this modern time?
  • How is suicide as an option in the creation of the plot in the play?
  • Does Hamlet, the main character, love Ophelia? And if so, does he stop? Support this claim using instances found the play.


First sample

Second sample