Authors Purpose for Writing Hamlet
Hamlet written by Shakespeare is captivating and attracts many readers to it for various reasons. There are some who read it for entertainment, criticism, education, and enlightenment. Hamlet has a tragic tonality linked to the characters of the story. The play is approximated to have been written in 1601. The story was inspired by the death of Shakespeare’s son Hamnet, in 1556 for reasons unknown to him. In addition, during that same period, he was writing the book his father died (Bannet 4). The main character in the story is named Hamlet, which is a closer association to Hamnet the name of his only offspring who died at a young age.
In the book out of the nine characters eight of them died; this indicates that the deaths in the life of Shakespeare had a major impact on his work. This shaped his perception of life as being trivial as he killed 8 characters in his work using different twist to heighten the curiosity of the reader. Moreover, the perception of the protagonist, Hamlet, about death reflects his own viewpoints. In the graveyard scene, when he sees the skull of a person he loved, Yorick, he comprehends that death is the only aspect that eradicates the disparities between people (Shakespeare 5.1.90-91) Hamlet the protagonist states that death comes without warning and therefore one should be prepared when he decides to fight (Shakespeare 5.2.222).
The second reason why the book was written it was to highlight the tensions that were present during the English Reformation. The reformation focused on the religious legitimacy between the Catholics and Protestants. The reformation and its aftermaths were prominent in the British way of life from the 1530s. There were sharp disparity and a form of hatred between the people who practiced different faiths. Shakespeare was born Catholic, but was baptised into the Protestant religion. In 1592, 8 years before writing the play, he moved to London, where Protestant religion was more noticeable and vocal than in the countryside. However, resistance to the religion was still imminent, but in underground movements (Cumming 32).
The movement in London and the constant shifts in religious legislations made people avoid declaring their religious affiliation openly. Claudius, who was a politician, states that his nephew was, “…going back to school in Wittenberg….” (Shakespeare 1.2.117). Martin Luther, who began the Reformation, studied at the University and he posted his Theses on the University doors. This is an indication of the religious shift as the Old King Hamlet was a Catholic who belonged to the pre-formation period. During this period there was a belief in purgatory as his Ghost came from purgatory, “…. I am thy father’s spirit, doomed for a certain term to walk the night…. confirmed to fast in fires…… till the crimes done in my days of nature…. purged away” (Shake