26 Oct 2009

Sample Essay: The Circle Of Life In Hamlet

The Lion King is nevertheless derived from Hamlet and has many diverse fundamentals that can formulate link with Shakespeare’s work. Both bear common themes of vengeance; uncertainty; clashes and authority. The Lion King sets in motion when Simba is born to the King, Musafa. This establishes the significance of the natural cycle. “You have forgotten who you are and so forgotten me. Look inside yourself. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the circle of life”. (The Lion King).

The concept of seeking vengeance, the unjust murder of someone was normally accepted in Elizabethan period and Hamlet seizes this perception to the boundaries. Hamlet’s search for retribution for his father’s assassination . In real meaning, the circle of vengeance ends with the death of Hamlet himself.becomes a necessity. This turns out to be his solitary principle and he looks as if he is ready to overlook all facets of his living, even his adoration for Ophelia. His proceedings become trivial to him, even supposing they indicate the tarnishing of his own existence. In his pursuit for vengeance, he unintentionally puts to death Ophelia’s father, Polonius, igniting Laertes to retaliate. A circle of vengeance with Laertes embarks on, as he joins hand with Claudius to take vengeance

King: “Now, Hamlet, where’s Polonius?”

Hamlet: “At supper.”

King: “At supper, where?”

Hamlet: “Not where he eats, but where he is eaten: a certain convocation of politic worms are e’en at him.  Your Worm is your only emperor for diet: we fat all creatures else fat to us, and we fat ourselves for maggots: Your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service, two dishes, but to one table: that’s the end.”

King: “Alas, alas!”

Hamlet: “A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.” (Shakespeare IV.iii.17-29).

Death materializes in both the plays as a key theme, and takes on many different forms. More rapidly investigation exposes that an assortment of this, leading to vengeance. If for each slaughter there must be a penalizing slaughter, the vicious circle would in no way finish. This is a concept that appears both in Hamlet as well as, The Lion King.

The greatest name that comes into mind when one speaks of English literature is William Shakespeare. His works stand tall in the golden pages of English literature, influencing most people of his generation and many more to follow. Shakespeare painted and breathed life into each character of his plays with his magical artistic skills. Such was the greatness and purity of the artist that he is believed to have given birth to a completely new form of classical writing that the English language is so proud of.

Tragedy, basically applies to literary and dramatic representations of actions which turn out to be disastrous for the chief character. Hamlet and Simba, being tragic heroes evoke our pity and terror as they turn out into a perfect blend of the crafty and the evil. It is usually a higher moral fiber and ethics that the audience seeks for in their hero. The hero emerges stronger if he is better than the audience in his morality. Shakespearean tragedy portrays Hamlet as a sufferer as he journeys from bliss to misery. He is led by hamartia or the error of judgment.

Some of the most famous tragedies of Shakespeare were staged between 1585 and 1625.Hamlet is an ideal paradigm of a tragic drama. However the hero of Hamlet is not so good a man to influence as the hero. He commits a tragic error but manages to capture the sympathy of the audience by his courage and insight. His antagonists are far more superior in their moral fiber. By the frankness of his aspiration and malice he arouses sympathy in a small proportion in the minds of the audience. Most Shakespearean tragedies make use of the inclusion of comic reliefs.

Hamlet’s character can be considered to be one of evil as the number of deaths become recurrent because of him. There may occur many other defects in Hamlet as there are many more noble virtues in them. One of them outweighs all the virtues and brings about the ruin of the hero. Although many people lose their lives as a result of their own self-centered blunders, there are others whose death is a result of exploitation from the sovereigns. This is the case of Polonius’ family. The real tragedy of Hamlet is not that of Hamlet or his family but of Polonius’ family because their deaths were not the consequence of sinful actions of their own but rather by their innocent involvement in the schemes of Claudius and Hamlet. The first character to die in Hamlet is Polonius. Although Polonius often acts in a deceitful manner when dealing with Hamlet, it is only because he is executing plans formulated by the king or queen to discover the nature of Hamlet’s malicious plans.

Hamlet depicts the apparent genetic disparity between men and women, used as a rationalization for forcing them into different social roles which limit and shape their outlook and action. The two women in the play, Ophelia and Gertrude have been the two dictating characters, adding radiant hues, thereby making the play eloquent. In contrast to the wicked image portrayed by Hamlet, Ophelia depicts a blissful portrayal of the very essence of women. Both Ophelia and Gertrude are the ones whom the men engage in their culpable plots. Prone to influence, they both are maneuvered more or less to the same extent by Hamlet and dragged into the circle of vengeance.

The demise of one sovereign shows the way to the rise of another. Simba is born to be the heir of the King and he can not refute his predestined responsibility as a lighthearted cub, Simba says, “just can’t wait to be king,” his mind-set is to a certain extent dissimilar from that of Hamlet, who is also blithe in the opening of the play, but does not want to be the ruler. Analogous to the scheme in Hamlet, Mufasa’s spirit comes into view to Simba, and strikes a chord regarding his duty, and repetitively advises Simba to bear him in mind. This is analogous as in Hamlet, the spirit of old Hamlet emerges and solicits Hamlet to settle scores with Claudius.

Polonius’ death further proves Hamlet’s malevolent schemes and starts off the vicious circle of death. The daughter of Polonius and Hamlet’s lady love, Ophelia is a character created to cultivate a submissive femininity in the play. Her facade is emblematic of the position that women were placed in at Shakespeare’s time. Her relationship with Hamlet is supposed to be romantic and meaningful, but is marked by misunderstanding, distrust, and brutality . She evolves as a pathetic, self expressive and docile figure full of passionate love for Hamlet, who advances towards her, and   instructs her to get herself to a nunnery. Aroused to the highest point of lividity, Hamlet says “there should be no more marriage”, and exits. This shatters Ophelia’s love, hope and aspiration and she is left intimidated, distressed, and tormented. Ophelia is torn apart by Hamlet’s most famous soliloquy,

“To be, or not to be, that is the Question:
Whether ’tis Nobler in the minde to suffer
The Slings and Arrowes of outragious Fortune,
Or to take Armes against a Sea of troubles,…

.. With this regard their Currants turne away,
And loose the name of Action” (Shakespeare,Act III, scene I)

An analysis of the tragic heroes, Hamlet and Simba reveals that, they are the most powerful character in politics, portrayed as strong characters with qualitative defects or flaws. No matter how rich in authority and accomplishment, both the heroes end in the final defeat of death, and tragedies. Tragic heroes are sure to confront death, no matter how powerful and glorious they have been during their life time. Hence Hamlet and Simba too make memorable characters with all their vices and ultimately triumph in the circle of life.


Shakespeare, William, Hamlet Publisher: Barnes & Noble; Pub. Date: January 2007

Shakespeare William, The Complete Pelican Shakespeare, Editor A. R. Braunmuller, Viking Adult, Nov 2002 ISBN: 9780141000589

https://isbndb.com/d/book/disneys_the_lion_king_a20.html –

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