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Hamlet is the solitary unknowing to all the places he will afflict He walks about he denies others by looking at them and even without willing it spreads death about him The black presence of the doubter causes this poison Edwards P on Mallarmes essay Crayonne au Theatre 1886 in Coyle 1992page 21 Shakespeare with his character of Hamlet has provided one of the most complex though intriguing characters in the history of literature The most striking aspect of his character is the question of whether he was really mad or just acting to his advantage and the dilemma he faces This dilemma is the heart and soul of the play to choose between avenging the death of his father or to think about the consequences on the ones he so dearly loves if he follows through This has been subject to analysis from the day many different people of different attitudes and from different times first performed it Elizabethans would see any result of Hamlets actions as a moral lesson whilst a modern person would see it a violent play but also as Shakespeares most philosophical work In the 17th Century when the play was first performed it was popular for the reason that belonged to the category or genre of theatre that had began to emerge called Revenge Tragedies This originated in the first century from the works of the Roman playwright Seneca and then reborn in the works of Thomas Kyd in the 16th Century There was a certain kind of formula for such plays which usually consisted of a hero who seeks revenge for something which has happened to himself or to someone close to him There are usually supernatural elements to let this hero know what happened and who caused it and the hero usually had a tragic flaw which delays him from taking revenge in Gibson 2000
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