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Word Count: 1,273
It is reasonable to wonder what Shakespeare had in mind while writing Hamlet After all Shakespeare wasnt a philosopher or historian or even a literary critic He was a playwright He didnt leave critical essays examining his work It is left to us to examine his work and decide for ourselves if we care to what Shakespeare was thinking Did he know that he was writing a drama of deep psychological significance a play which would eventually be viewed and read the world over produced many times over hundreds of years taught in schools and thought of as one of the worlds greatest plays I for one imagine him crossing the t in the last word of the play putting down his pen and saying I hope it runs a year Yet Hamlet is an extremely complex play To appreciate the imagination which went into the creation of this tragedy lets first delve into what is putatively Shakespeares most complex tragedy King Lear Lear has three daughters Cordelia who is faithful and unappreciated by Lear and Regan and Goneril who receive everything at his hands and betray him These themes of misplaced love and filial betrayal are mirrored in the subplot of the play the relationship between the Earl of Gloster and his two sons Edmund who is supported and approved by Gloster and betrays him and Edgar who unjustly becomes a fugitive from his fathers wrath The mirror is whole In it we view Cordelias reflection and see Edgar while Regans and Gonerils reflections which are of one face show us Edmund In the main plot of Hamlet Hamlets father has been murdered Hamlet swears revenge but feigns madness and delays In the subplot the chamberlain Polonius is murdered by Hamlet One of Poloniuss children Laertes swears revenge while the other his daughter Ophelia goes mad Here the mirror is cracked Hamlets reflection is splintered We see one part of
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