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'Hamlet' Themes

A Guide to the Main 'Hamlet' Themes


Read about all of the main Hamlet themes with our concise Hamlet theme guide. The Hamlet themes covered include revenge, death, uncertainly and the state of Denmark.

Revenge in ‘Hamlet’

Hamlet Stages Play In 'Hamlet' Scene
Kean Collection - Staff/Archive Photos/Getty Images
It is interesting that Hamlet is a revenge tragedy driven by a protagonist unable to commit to the act of revenge. It is Hamlet’s inability to avenge the murder of his father that drives the plot forwards.

Death in 'Hamlet'

Death permeates Hamlet right from the opening scene of the play, where the ghost of Hamlet’s father introduces the idea of death and its consequences.

Other Themes in 'Hamlet'

Alongside Hamlet’s major themes, a number of sub-themes emerge in the play including the state of Denmark, sexuality, incest and uncertainty.
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