HSC English Essay - Module B - Hamlet

‘Interpretations of texts can shift and change with time and place’. Considering your time and place, reflect on the ways in which context has shaped your critical interpretation of Hamlet.

Sample: ……….The ideological clash of Renaissance humanism and Christian tradition is central to my view of Hamlet as a tragic hero caught between conflicting worlds. While the classical conventions of Revenge Tragedy demand that Hamlet seek vengeance, the notions of murder and regicide are incongruous with the precepts of Christianity, which embody righteousness and virtue. I perceive Hamlet’s indecisiveness as a consequence of his realisation that society is founded upon paradoxical doctrines. The Ghost triggers a sudden epiphany within Hamlet to avenge his “foul and most unnatural murder” , commanding him in the tradition of a Revenge Tragedy. Hamlet ironically vows to execute his deed “with wings as swift / As … thoughts of love”, but in doing so, he must become a murderer himself, signifying his defiance of religious convention. Hamlet is deeply enmeshed in this dilemma, as he is engaged in a battle between intention and ethical protest………
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