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Why did Shakespeare write Hamlet?

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Alyson Ladd

on 11 December 2014

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Transcript of Why did Shakespeare write Hamlet?

What inspired Shakespeare to write Hamlet?
By: Alyson Ladd
Many have said to believe that Shakespeare copied and plagiarized another play, "Ur-Hamlet". It was believed to be written during the Elizabethan days, but the originial play is nowhere to be found.
Shakespeare wrote the play "Hamlet" in 1601, in 1556 Shakespeare's only son died of an unknown illness. The death of his son was believed to be the reason of "Hamlet".
In the 13th century there was a play written called "Amleth", sources say that Amleth was the play that Shakespeare based Hamlet on.
Others have said that Shakespeare used Hamlet as a metaphor to highlight the tensions that existed and arose during the "English Reformation".
The same year that Shakespeare wrote "Hamlet", Shakespeare's father had died. The death of his father was believed that this inspired Shakespeare to write "Hamlet", of a grieving son.
Sum it up:
Just like in Hamlet, Prince Amleth is advenging for his fathers death. Amleth's mother Gurutha marries Amleth's uncle Feng. Feng sends Amleth to England along with his two retaines also with a note telling the King of England to kill Amleth; Amleth finds the note just like in Hamlet and changes the names. Amleth returns and kills Feng.
Shakespeare didn't change much of the story.
Shakespeare had a long experience of taking old plays and rewriting them into something new. So when Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, maybe it wasn't his idea to write about a Danish Prince who avenges his father's death, but maybe he was going to improve the first one.
After Shakespeare wrote Hamlet it was clear that all of his plays took a darker tone.
When Shakespeare was a teenager his younger sister Anne had died at the age of 7. Death was very common back then; so when Shakespeare was writing Hamlet he could of based the death of Old Hamlet, Polonius, Gertrude, Laertes, and even Hamlet to the neuromas deaths that he had witnessed through out his life.
Maybe it was from the deaths he had went through?
There were three earlier versions of the play Hamlet, known as First Quarto, Second Quarto, and First Folio. It is believed that Shakespeare took pieces out of each of the earlier versions to write his own.
Maybe Hamlet wasn't even his idea?
Old Hamlet is Horwendil, Gertrude is Gurutha, King Claudius is Feng, Ophelia is an unnamed woman, Polonius is an unnamed evesdropper, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is Amleth, Prince of Denmark, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are two unnamed retaines of Feng.
Who is Amleth?
Was it based on what was happening during the 1600's?
SOURCES
Shmoop Editorial Team. "William Shakespeare: Hamnet & Hamlet." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 10 Dec. 2014. <http://www.shmoop.com/william-shakespeare/hamnet-hamlet.html>.
"Why Did Shakespeare Write Hamlet." Write a Writing. Web. 10 Dec. 2014. <http://www.writeawriting.com/write/why-did-shakespeare-write-hamlet/>.
Greenblatt, Stephen. "The Death of Hamnet and the Making of Hamlet by Stephen Greenblatt." Home. 21 Oct. 2004. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.
<http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2004/oct/21/the-death-of-hamnet-and-the-making-of-hamlet/>.
"Hamlet." Princeton University. Web. 10 Dec. 2014. <https://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Hamlet.html>.
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