Why Is Hamlet Considered To Be Shakespeare's Best Play?


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Uzair Ahmed Profile
Uzair Ahmed answered
Shakespeare's Hamlet is a masterpiece of all times. There is absolutely no doubt in the greatness of the play. Of four tragedies written by Shakespeare, Hamlet and King Lear are given the same ranking by many of the critics.

As far as the story of the play is concerned, Hamlet does not have anything new to offer to the audience. But the real beauty of the play lies in Shakespeare's art of characterization and the powerful dialogues of Hamlet.

When Hamlet comes to know about the murder of late King Hamlet, the kind of madness that Hamlet adopts is always very difficult for a writer to present on stage. The real difficulty in depicting such kind of a character is that his personality must be represented at three various levels. At one level, he has to be represented as a mad man to rest of the characters of the play. Secondly, he is to be shown as a normal man to the audience n thirdly, the integrity of the character has to be in tact. So, it is almost impossible to take three folded personality of a character with all the three folds working simultaneously.
This is probably one of thousands of reasons for popularity of this play. I would really love other people to participate into this discussion.
robert wiiliams Profile
robert wiiliams answered
Hamlet, or 'Amleth', was written in the 12th century by a Danish scholar named Saxo Grammaticus. He took Amleth, (a Danish folk hero), as his main character, and wove a tale around him very much like Shakespeare's!    When the latter got hold of "Hamlet", (as it was then called), it had been around for nearly 400 years!    He asked permission of the Lord Chamberlains Men to re-write the play as he saw it, and added the ghost of Hamlet's father, a part he wrote for himself, the 'mousetrap', or the play within a play, Ophelia, her madness and suicide, Laertes and his incessant desire to discover who murdered his father (Polonius), the gravedigger, Osric and Fortinbras.      He also invented 600 words for Hamlet, 400 of which he would never use again.    He also used a grammatical device named 'Hendiasys'. You take a simple noun, Law. You add to it, another simple noun, Order. You put the ampersand, (and) between them and you get "Law and Order".      Law is Order, and Order is Law. Therefore, two words mean one!      There are 67 examples of Hendiasys in Hamlet, which, incidentally, is "Amleth", but with the last letter put in front of the first!

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