Hamlet: Yesterday's Tomorrow
Hamlet; written in 1600 and just the second tragedy Shakespeare wrote, to this day all can still relate to this play. The family relationships in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” have similarities of being negative and troubled and can relate to families in modern times. The family tree in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” goes as follows. Hamlets family consists of Gertrude, mother of Hamlet, who is now married to Claudius. Claudius is both Hamlets uncle and stepfather. Polonius family consists of him and his two children, Laertes and Ophelia. The last family tree is Fortinbra’s. The son of a late king who’s Hamlet father defeated as king. This play is an interpretation on how Shakespeare sees’s family, revenge and love all in one.
The play Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare is by far one of his best tragedy plays he has written. The play Hamlet is a play written on a foundation on revenge. It portrays what Lamott gives as advice when it comes to certain details needed in a story or play. Lamott claims that a story has a killing, domination and a healing. This play is exactly that. “Hamlet” is about a young man named Hamlet who is a prince who comes home to not only the news of his father passing, but that his mother, the queen has remarried and remarried his uncle. With him finding out the truth behind his father’s death from the ghost of his father, Hamlet was determined to avenge his father’s death. With the Polonius family, Polonius is willing to do anything to have control especially over his two children Ophelia and Laertes. Even using his children like pawns on a chess board to get and keep himself on top of the political ladder. Although the real battle in this play is the one between Hamlet and Claudius, it is these two that brings every other character into their world of revenge and shows just what family really is to them.
Shakespeare captured a side of family, revenge and love that was rare and raw at the same time. This side of family shows one how family can turn on you or throw you under the bus before a friend or even your enemy. This play shows how revenge is not always something one receives from an enemy, but someone close to you and lastly love. Love surpasses all these things because it is love that drives them all. These three families relate to one another because they may have family issues, but in the end wants revenge for their love ones death. These families also are the cause of the deaths and revenge, each lets politics come in causing problems that could be avoided. Hamlet, being the main character connects to every family and all other families revolve around him.
Gertrude and Hamlet is a mother-son relationship where this parent to child relationship is better than any other parent to child relationship in this play. Although Hamlet does not agree with his mother’s choice of marry Claudius, he still loves and respects her and gears his revenge towards Claudius instead of his mother. When it comes to Hamlet and his late father’s relationship, Hamlet wants revenge on his father’s death. The ghost that’s appears represents his father and shows how loyal he is to him. Hamlet works speaks of his loyalty and extent of revenge. Especially when he puts the play on this portrayed the death of the king, his father. Although when it comes to Hamlet and Claudius, this is a hate-hate relationship that grows as the play goes on. Hamlets hate comes instantly for the way he married his mother and grows from finding out Claudius killed his father and end the end is the cause of his mother’s death. Claudius hate begins when he realizes Hamlet knows the truth about the king’s death. This leads him to try and have Hamlet killed, but the plan always backfires on him. Yes in the end some can say satisfaction or healing came to both since in the end they kill one another. Hamlet’s family and Polonius family was connected on many levels from politics to Hamlet an Ophelia’s relationship.
Polonius and Laertes is a father-son relationship that's complicated. Polonius is a man who loves to control and power over others, putting himself first and this is shown throughout his parenting. Polonius decides to send Reynaldo as a spy to spy on Laertes in an act to ruin his name or reputation all to gain control, thus forcing Laertes to have to depend on him. Polonius and Laertes relationship does not change until after Polonius was killed. This brings them closer in a sense that Laertes immediately wants and goes back to Denmark to get on his father’s behalf.
Laertes and Ophelia is a simple brother-to-sister relationship, Laertes looks out for his sister and even warns her to be careful with how strong her feelings for Hamlet are because he does not want to see her get hurt. In return Ophelia takes heed to his advice and is open to listening to what he has to say.
The relationship between Polonius and Ophelia are by far the worst of all family relationships. This relationship is both a negative and troubled one; this is not the typical father-daughter relationship. Polonius is very controlling of Ophelia and in return she feels obligated to obey him because it is her father. In Act I, Scene 3 Polonius tells Ophelia that Hamlet does not have any affection for her and tells her not to believe Hamlet and to no longer talk or communicate with him. Without hesitation Ophelia obeys and from there a snowball effect occurs that leads Ophelia to be completely dependent on her father who leads her to go mad and commit suicide when he is murdered, no longer having him there to dictate her every move or decision. Polonius is not the only character that focuses on politics and has some relationship to Hamlet on a political level, Fortinbra’s is also another character.
When it comes to the relation of Fortinbra and Hamlet it begins with his father also named Fortinbra and Hamlet’s father, the late king Hamlet. Late Fortinbra died while in a battle between the late king Hamlet.
Fortinbra just as Hamlet is a prince, one of the things Fortinbra and Hamlet have in common is that they each are after revenge of the late fathers. Fortinbra is almost a double of Hamlet each of their uncles are kings at the time, both are putting plans together to seek revenge and in the end in a way get a piece of what they were after. Fortinbra can simply be seen as another foe or enemy on Hamlets list that’s after the crown and land. Each family similarity is revenge, although they each differ in many ways from one to another, politics is very important to each family.
The most modern family in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” is the Polonius family. This family is modern because it is most relatable to many families of today. There are many parents to child relationships like the relationship Polonius as a father has with the two of his kids. The way he wants to control them both. How his two children are tools in his place in the political world as well. Connecting his daughter, Ophelia in a relationship with Hamlet, this helps him. As one watches how Polonius uses and controls his kids, one can tell family is second to him while jealousy and wanting the best or as one would say in modern times, “keeping up with the Joneses.”
Hamlet’s family is the ambiguous family in this play. It is not common for many to attend a family reunion where there step-father is also their uncle or where politics or power and revenge can overpower a families love and bond. Hamlet’s family is an example of what a family is not, yes jealousy may occur, but not to the extent where death is the first solution to the problem.Hamlet is a play that can be modernized and relate to today’s time.
In conclusion, Shakespeare interesting view on how a family can be can make one want to observe his family life. Yes there is not as much information on his personal or family life, but with what is know one can say he might have faced a killing, domination and healing which shines through his writing. The domination could represent his being married at eighteen to and older woman and love being the thing that dominated him. His killing, of course that being the death of his child, which a part of him was killed and lastly his healing was his writing, especially his tragedies, such as “Hamlet.” With this said this is exactly why this is and can be modernized. With just a change of time this play can be acted out in today’s time. "Hamlet" captures how yesterday is really a reflection on tomorrow.