This is generally believed to have been written around 1594 to 1596, making it a fairly early work for Shakespeare, but still exemplary of his later complexity.
If you are unfamiliar with this work, you may want to run through the slideshow from the beginning to get a grasp on the content. If you have a background with this play, slides 15-22 provide an excellent grounding in themes that, though central to this work, are universal to Shakespearean comedies.
The full title of this play is "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark," but it best known as simply "Hamlet." It's estimated to have been written between 1599-1603. "Hamlet" is Shakespeare's longest play and generally acclaimed to be one of the most powerful and influential tragedies in the English language.
Below is a kind of rubric to apply when assessing the nature of a tragedy, and a tragic figure. While some critics consider Hamlet especially complex and problematic, those qualities are also what make him open to anyone's guess.
If you've never read "Hamlet," review a short synopsis. Or choose a figure from a Shakespearean tragedy you are familiar with.
There are three factors to consider in determining the degree of tragedy:
Once you've worked through this rubric and identified the three factors, you've established a great point of reference for reading Hamlet.
Source: Meghan, Wiki
This six-minute video is a small piece of a larger series on exploring Shakespeare. Though it's a little dry, it's full of great information from leading critics. To review the sonnets on your own, refer to The Amazing Web Site of Shakespeare's Sonnets (http://www.shakespeares-sonnets.com).
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