Claudius hastily married King Hamlet's widow, GertrudeHamlet's mother, and took the throne for himself. Denmark has a long-standing feud with neighbouring Norway, in which King Hamlet slew King Fortinbras of Norway in a battle some years ago. Although Denmark defeated Norway, and the Norwegian throne fell to King Fortinbras's infirm brother, Denmark fears that an invasion led by the dead Norwegian king's son, Prince Fortinbrasis imminent. On a cold night on the ramparts of Elsinorethe Danish royal castle, the sentries Bernardo and Marcellus discuss a ghost resembling the late King Hamlet which they have recently seen, and bring Prince Hamlet's friend Horatio as a witness.
Life in Renaissance England Remarks by David Judkins What we normally refer to as the Renaissance in Western European history marks a break or transition from the Medieval period and leads toward our modern era. The Renaissance embraces a series of religious, economic, and political changes which ripple into areas of science, literature, and philosophy.
Hamlet renaissance man essay writer one does not see these changes along clearly demarcated lines, but looking at the period as a whole, we are aware of a climate or culture which has, if not promoted change, at least tolerated it.
In Shakespeare's time some of the changes had already taken place and he was feeling their effects; others were actually taking place during his lifetime and still others were yet to come.
For instance, the great religious upheaval, the Protestant Reformation, had occurred well before Shakespeare was born when first in Martin Luther in Wittenberg, Germany declared his independence from the Catholic Church, and later in when Henry VIII declared England's independence from Rome.
In his plays, Shakespeare has little to say about religion, but this in itself is notable. Had he been writing years earlier, it is barely conceivable that his work would not have strong traditional Christian overtones. Perhaps because there was so much religious ferment in Europe that had resulted in extraordinary persecution and bloodshed on all sides, Shakespeare opted, like his contemporary, Montaigne, in France, to stay out of the controversy not taking dogmatic positions on religious issues.
Shakespeare does in Twelfth Night, poke fun at the growing puritan movement in England. Likewise in Loves's Labour's Lost and Measure for Measure, he finds newly reformed individuals who have "seen the light" a source of great humor.
However, Shakespeare's themes and indeed the existence of his plays may have more to do with economic change than religious upheaval. The Renaissance marks the beginning of capitalism through the formation of capital holding companies that engaged in expensive and risky trade with Russia, the Far East, and other remote trading sites.
Shakespeare was a direct and indirect beneficiary of this activity. Directly, he himself invested in the newly built Globe Theater and realized income from the profits of the theater.
Although the Globe was more of a partnership than a stock holding company, it nevertheless represented profit generated not from land, as would have been the case in the medieval period, but from joint investment in a business enterprise.
Indirectly, he benefited from the general prosperity of London, a center for trade with its direct but protected access to the English Channel via the Thames River, on whose south bank the Globe stood providing entertainment to city traders and to not a few sailors, I would imagine.
Let me add a cautionary remark, I am not suggesting that Shakespeare is the product of early capitalist enterprise; however, I am suggesting that a more open climate allowed people like Shakespeare to prosper and succeed. Shakespeare himself came from common origins.
His father was not of the aristocracy or even the landed gentry, but a successful glover who had a shop in Stratford. In an earlier time Shakespeare would have followed his father's trade, and no doubt there was strong pressure for him to do so in the late part of the sixteenth century; however, other opportunities presented themselves during this time of growth and expansion.
In the late 's or early 90's Shakespeare found himself in London, a city that was expanding in size and was developing new businesses.
During the sixteenth century London approximately doubled its size toinhabitants, which by today's standards seems small. During the Renaissance most of the English population resided in rural areas.
Cities were crowded, considered dirty, and often dangerous. The greatest problem was public hygiene. There were, of course, no sanitary sewers or a purified source of fresh water.
Dung carts, which passed through the streets daily, attempted to remove the bulk of human and other animal waste. Wells were dug at convenient places through the city, but there was no means to monitor the quality of the water.
The discovery of chlorine, a central chemical in water purification was still nearly years away. Thus typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, and a variety of other water born diseases were always a threat to residents. There was also no organized police force as we would conceive it today.
Shakespeare has numerous funny scenes that involve Renaissance law enforcement officers, sometimes called constables or members of the watch.
They are nearly always the dumbest characters in the play. Most often they would not recognize a criminal if he had the word tattooed on his forehead; yet, in his gentle way, Shakespeare usually arranges for these officers, despite themselves, to triumph in the end. The plague, which visited cities throughout Europe on a more or less regular basis, was also the result of uncleanliness and the absence of an effective central authority to monitor the infestation of vermin and rodents.
In there was a particularly persistent outbreak of plague in London which resulted in the theaters and other places of public gathering being closed, and the population dispersing to the country.
In our time the Aids has come closest to resembling "the plague" in that, in its earlier years, physicians were really helpless to arrest the course of the disease once it was contracted by a victim.
However, in the case of Aids, the means of transmitting the disease was quickly determined, whereas the spread of the plague in Shakespeare's time was a complete mystery and the subject of wide speculation among physicians and scientists in the sixteenth century.
The closing of theaters is important to students of Shakespeare because it marked a period of time when Shakespeare wrote most of his non-dramatic poetry including Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Lucrece and probably most of his sonnets.
The Renaissance is also marked by numerous advancements in what we would call technology. The most important, the invention of printing, took place inover one hundred years before Shakespeare was born, and first came to England inwhen William Caxton set up a printing press in Westminster near Westminster Abbey.
The effects of printing were widespread but not as rapid as we might suppose. The percentage of people who could read and write slowly grew as books became less expensive and more available. The English language which had been in flux for centuries stabilized near the end of the fifteenth century and evolved into modern English in the sixteenth century.Type of Work Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is a tragedy.
A tragedy is a dignified work in which the main character undergoes a struggle and suffers a downfall. Get an answer for 'How is Hamlet a typical Renaissance prince?' and find homework help for other Hamlet questions at eNotes How does Hamlet's famous "What a piece a work is a man" passage.
Renaissance Ideals in Shakespeare's Hamlet essaysShakespeare is referred to as a Renaissance writer, specifically an Elizabethan poet and playwright.
Through his many works he displays the Renaissance thought and concerns, and Hamlet is no exception. Through Hamlet's contemplation of death.
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Publish your work, receive free editing services, and win the award valued up to $! Shakespeare’s Hamlet as a Renaissance Man Essay Sample.
The Renaissance was a European intellectual and social movement beginning in the trading hub of Florence, Italy and gradually expanded to encompass the whole of Europe.