What makes Shakespeare's Hamlet a play for our times?I just need a tad more indepth knowledge about what makes Hamlet timeless, why we still act it, read it, study it, watch it...

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ms-mcgregor's profile pic

ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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As with all classic plays, Hamlet deals with issues about what it's like to be human. Hamlet's problems are problems men still face today. His sadness at his father's unforeseen death, his anger over his mother's marriage, his anger at his step-father, his search for truth, his need for deception, and his final reconciliation with the vicissitudes of life are all part of the human condition. His response, or lack of response, to the events in his life mirror contemporary human responses. Many mourn the death of a parent's unexpected death, or are angry at parent or step-parent. Many try to understand the truth about their lives and find they need to hide certain aspects of their lives from others. Thus, Hamlet is timeless because Shakespeare reveals something that has always been a universal part of the human condition and he does it in such a way that we want to see it over and over again.

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frizzyperm's profile pic

frizzyperm | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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Hamlet is the story of an idealistic, rather 'head in the clouds' young man who is forced to accept the brutal reality of life and human behaviour. It is a tale of growing up. Of the mental and emotional struggles young people face coming to terms with 'Life'.

This is an eternal story because we have all been through it (or will do).

Many many others have written about the difficulties growing up, but no-one wrote it so beautifully nor so clearly as Shakespeare. He is immortal, as long as there are people they will read Shakespeare... 

 ...so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!(145)
Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on; and yet, within a month—
Let me not think on't! Frailty, thy name is woman—
A little month, or ere those shoes were old(150)
With which she follow'd my poor father's body
Like Niobe, all tears—why she, even she—
O God! a beast that wants discourse of reason
Would have mourn'd longer—married with my uncle,
My father's brother, but no more like my father(155)
Than I to Hercules. Within a month,
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not, nor it cannot come to, good.
But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue!

 

jed834's profile pic

jed834 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Hamlet is a play by William Shakespere

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