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Free MonkeyNotes-Hamlet by William Shakespeare-Free Book Notes Summary
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LITERARY/HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Probably written in 1601 or 1602, Hamlet is probably one of Shakespeare's most studied and popular plays. Loosely based on Danish history, the play most likely has its origins in Histoires Tragiques, written by Belle-Forest in 1570; much of Belle-Forest's information is drawn from the Historica Danica, written by Saxo Grammaticus in 1208. In Belle-Forest's version of Hamlet, it is a known fact that Claudius, the King's brother, murders him and takes the throne. Claudius then tries to find reason to have Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, put to death in order to ensure his retention of the throne. Realizing her error in marrying Claudius, Hamlet's mother begs forgiveness from her son and acts with him to seek vengeance on Claudius. During a banquet, Hamlet sets fire to the dining hall and beheads his uncle, the guilty King of Denmark. Hamlet is then crowned King.


As usual, Shakespeare has researched information about his main character and then changed him into the dramatic personage that he becomes. Although the Shakespearean version of Hamlet has similarities to the Belle-Forest version, there are also obvious differences, including the introduction of the Ghost to heighten dramatic interest and the death of Hamlet at the end of the play to heighten the tragedy. The end results of Shakespeare's changes are the creation of a powerful and memorable protagonist and a dramatically effective play.


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Free MonkeyNotes-Hamlet by William Shakespeare-Free Online Plot Synopsis



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