Similarities and Differences Between The Lion King and Hamlet
As innocent and young the Disney movie “The Lion King” may seem, it is, indeed, loosely based off of the renowned Shakespeare play “Hamlet”. It would seem strange to the typical audiences of each, but when looked at closer, it is seen that they are actually related underneath the youthful, animated surface of The Lion King.
One of the main aspects that connects The Lion King and Hamlet is the characters. Simba and Hamlet are both princes of their kingdoms. Hamlet, a man, and Simba, a lion cub, are in the same situation which is coping with and avenging their fathers’ deaths. Hamlet goes crazy and creates a whole plan of revenge ...view middle of the document...
Zazu is the snooty and sarcastic toucan that assists Mufassa. Polonius is the advisor to Hamlet Sr. who is loyal but also uptight. Both are protective and faithful to their king.
Gertrude is the queen of Denmark and a widow since Hamlet Sr. was killed. Sarabi is the mother of her pride as well as the mother of Simba. She is sensible and very protective of her son. Gertrude, on the other hand, is more concerned with herself and her new husband than the death of the king or her son’s grief. Gertrude is more sensual but both are determined to move on and put what has happened in the past.
Timon and Pumbaa are the crazy best friends that Simba meets after he leaves the pride. They devote themselves and their lives to being happy and worry-free days through the saying “hakuna matata”. When they stumble upon Simba, they take him under their wing and exposing him to things he’s never experienced within a royal yet stressful family. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are the close friends of Hamlet that end up betraying his friendship for the king and queen. Claudius and Gertrude ask the best friends to spy on Hamlet when he goes away to college. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were supposed to be loyal to him but this is where they differ from Timon and Pumbaa who were genuinely faithful.
Shakespearean writing isn’t for everyone. It is for a mature, evolved audience who can truly appreciate the genius of it written so long ago. In order for other audiences to be reached, other versions had to be created. Taking this necessity to the furthest possible level, The Lion King may not have been created for that sole purpose, but it certainly does reach a very different audience. An enormous range of people was reached between these two works of literature.
The fact that animals were used in The Lion King is almost ironic. This is true because not only were the characters in The Lion King more civil, but the people in Hamlet acted more like animals –...