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Hamlet and the Impact on the Audience


Hamlet and the Influence On the Audience

Hamlet Essay Much of the plays written by Shakespeare in his time were performed to influence his audience and provoke idea and debate the social, cultural and economic events that were occurring at that time. Shakespeare’s Hamlet, in specific, was a reflection of the occasions occurring throughout the Elizabethan era. In this essay, the focus is generally on Act IV scene IV and the speech of Hamlet and the essay concentrates on answering the question of the result Hamlet had on the audience in the Elizabethan period, particularly culturally, socially, and financially.

It is the function of this essay to show that due to the spiritual chaos of the Elizabethan period, Hamlet’s recommendation to God in Act IV was considerable to show that individuals of this era had the exact same god, whether Catholic or Protestant. In addition, due to the culture at the time of studying humours, the melancholic character and psychology of Hamlet would have been of terrific interest to the audience. Finally, being under the consistent danger of war from the neighbouring countries of Spain and France, the audience would have connected to the message of war in the play.

Are you a Catholic or a Protestant? Being either a Catholic or a Protestant, is not important today but was of excellent importance in Shakespeare’s time and depending on whether they had a Catholic or Protestant ruler, people’s point of view on religion changed. For instance, throughout the Elizabethan era and in Shakespeare’s time, Queen Elizabeth the first was a protestant and so England was under the Protestant rule. 1 Through the play, in Act IV Scene IV, Hamlet mentions that:” [God] made us with such big discourse,

Looking prior to and after, provided us not That capability and godlike factor to fust in us unus ‘d” (Line 36-38 Act IV Scene IV) This quote shows that God developed people for a factor and to let his individuals have the capability to have power within them. During the Elizabethan period, Queen Elizabeth banned all religious plays that were formerly popular since she was a protestant while her surroundings were not. 1To avoid bias in religious beliefs amongst the audience, Hamlet blogged about God in basic to call peace and prevent dispute within the audience. This action taken by Shakespeare affects the mindset the audience might have towards either Catholics or Protestants at the time by producing a good understanding of the religions. In doing so, Hamlet does not produce differences and succeeds in meeting the rules of the Queen, for it is not a religion-oriented play. Nothing is more interesting than to analyse the behaviours of a psychotic individual.

In an attempt to draw the audience into the play, Shakespeare utilizes the physiological procedures of the body and their relation to the mind and soul. 3 In the Elizabethan era, numerous were fascinated with medicine and the psychological behaviour of others. This is revealed from the play where Hamlet’s peace of mind level is based upon the four humours- Blood, Phlegme, Choler and Melancholie; all seasons mixed and socialized together within the veins, though not alike for everybody: for even as it is not possible to finde the partie in whom the foure elements are similarly mixed … here is alwaies somebody which doth over rule the rest and of it is the partie’s skin tone called: if blood doe abound, we call such a skin tone, sanguine; if phlegme, phlegmatic; if choler, cholerike; and if melancholie, melancholike (Laurentius 84)2 This explains that when one includes too much of a certain humour in his blood, they will have the particular qualities of this humour. From the play, Hamlet shows that he is a melancholic individual because of the psychotic behaviour that he shoes towards each character in the play.

This is shown from the speech of Claudius in the previous scene when he states “For like the busy in my blood he raves, and thou must treat me. Till I understand’t is done.” (Line 68-69 Act IV Scene III) This shows that Claudius is very well familiar with the 4 humours and that he must not be contagious of Hamlet’s melancholic blood. This element from the play impacts the audience by assisting them to think the 4 humours and that when one consists of an imbalance of a humour, it will control and take control of the behaviour.

It is a message to the audience about the medication and the psychology of the play and how it notifies them to even more understand it. This brings us to the next point, the point about the economy. Economy is what shapes a nation. Fighting over land, cash and power was the social norm to the people of the Elizabethan age. However, being under the consistent threat of war from neighbouring countries of Spain and France, England was forced to create armies and fight for little pieces of land. This is shown through the play when Hamlet states: “Two thousand souls and twenty thousand ducats

Will not discuss the concern of this straw. This is th’ impostume of much wealth and peace, That inward breaks and shows no cause without Why the male passes away” (Lines 24- 28, Act IV Scene IV) This quote has a substantial role of leaving an impression on the Elizabethan audience suggesting that war is unnecessary and that it is meaningless of costing two thousand’s males’s lives for money and peace. This quote from the play shows the decisions of the war at that time and how England was forced to go into war due to the fact that of the constant risk by Spain and France.

The Elizabethan audience would either agree or disagree with these messages that Hamlet is attempting to represent about the messages of war. In conclusion, based upon the messages of faith, medicine and war revealed through Hamlet, the audience of the Elizabethan period would be significantly interested in the plot of the play because it was a reflection ot their Cultural and economic forces were represented in Act IV Scene IV through the proof of Hamlet’s speech.

It alters the method the audience takes a look at the play consistently by bringing them together based on the audience’s mutual relationship with god and that both religious beliefs consist of the very same fantastic power within them. In addition, the play brings new viewpoint in the views of the audience to let them even more comprehend medicine and the psychotic behaviour revealed through Hamlet and to produce problem resolving strategies by understanding the four humours in the medicine field.

To continue, the audience was impacted by the messages that Hamlet wanted to depict based upon the economic views from Shakespeare to say that war was unnecessary to eliminate over little things. This play had actually brought opinions to be seen from the audience from various elements of the Elizabethan age to reflect upon the occasions that had taken place throughout that time. Main Sources: Shakespeare, William, and Anne Barton. Hamlet. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: New Penguin, 1980. Print. Film: Hamlet (1948) http://www. gsmovies. com/movie. php? id=6609 Secondary Sources: Greenblatt, Stephen, ed. “Queen Elizabeth I.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Eighth ed. Vol. 1. New York, London: W. W Norton &&, 2000. 687-702. Print. 2Laurentius, Andreas. A Discourse of the Preservation of Sight: of Melancholike Diseases: of Rheumes and of Old Age (1599 ). London: Oxford University Press. 1938. Print 3Holland, Sarah. “Hamlet: A Humoral Medical diagnosis.” Hamlet: A Humoral Medical diagnosis. University of Victoria, 8 Dec. 1996. Web. 19 July 2012. <

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