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“Shakespeare’s Plays Are Consciously Designed To Explore Particular Ideas Or Values Which Seep Into The Audience’s Consciousness And Stay There.” Discuss This Viewpoint In Relation To Shakespeare’s Exploration Of Duty

720 words - 3 pages

Exploring particular ideas or values in a play is something that Shakespeare consciously ensures for the audience’s benefit. Whether or not the ideas remain in the audience’s consciousness is dependant on the era of the responders and their own context. However, it is safe to say that even though there are these differences, Shakespeare’s exploration of duty through Hamlet is one that does remain in the audience’s consciousness. Using a range of dramatic and language techniques like soliloquys and characterisation he explores the themes of action versus inaction, through cowardice, and with the constant idea of revenge.

Action versus inaction is a key idea that Shakespeare intends to ...view middle of the document...

They also add to Hamlet’s characterisation as we can listen to his “reasons” why he has not acted. This cowardice shown by Hamlet reflects his lack of duty although he makes himself out to be a dutiful man. This idea of lack of action through cowardice is one that remains in the consciousness of the audience through Hamlet’s sense of duty.

Another theme that possesses the same ability is revenge, the main concept in which the play revolves around. Revenge is Hamlet’s duty and this play incorporates the Renaissance model of the revenge play. This theme provides a different perspective to that of the action versus inaction theme. For revenge can consider the possibility that Hamlet is not acting so that his duty is served out in its entirety by ensuring that Claudius winds up in Hell. It is this sense honour and integrity displayed by Hamlet that makes him seem dutiful. Revenge is such a major part of the play that Shakespeare included another need for vengeance in the story through Laertes and the death of Polonius. The fact...

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