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Hamlet and The Lion King Shakespearean Influences on Modern Entertainment There is no doubt that todays entertainment has lost most of its touch with the more classical influences of its predecessors However in mid-1994 Walt Disney Pictures released what could arguably be the best-animated feature of all time in The Lion King With a moral base unlike most of the movies released at the time TLK placed a childrens facade on a very serious story of responsibility and revenge However this theme is one of the oldest in history and it is not the least apparent in one of the oldest works of literature by The Bard himself William Shakespeare The work that Disneys TLK parallels is none other than Hamlet Prince of Denmark and the film shadows this work so closely that parallels between the main characters themselves are wildly apparent This very close comparison has led critics to compare the movie to Hamlet in the importance of its themes Schwalm 1 But with a closer inspection of the characters themselves do we see just how apparent these similarities are In The Lion King a cub named Simba whose naivete procures him more than his fair share of hardships and troubles plays the role of the young prince whose father is murdered By the acts in the story alone one can see that Simba is a direct representation of Shakespeares Hamlet Jr but not only that each of them shares similar actions in the play Interpretations if Simbas actions are as profound as Hamlets particularly of why Hamlet delayed in exacting vengeance for his fathers death Harrison 236 Both Simba and Hamlet Jr delay their action of retribution for their respective fathers deaths The loss of their paternal companion leaves Hamlet incredibly melancholy and Simba without a royal teacher and father during his tender years Each of them runs from their responsibility although inside themselves they know what must be done Hamlet attempts to
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