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Essay title: Hamlet

Transformations of texts have occurred for centuries as stories have been adapted to contemporary situations. The transformation process sees the inspiration of the known reflect upon the new, while the new resonate with the old. Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is both a reflection and adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet into contemporary society. Both Hamlet and Rosencrantz and… deal with philosophical issues, but from viewpoints drawn from the contexts of their times. The comparison and transformation of the two plays demonstrates how the context of a text is able to alter and transform its values.

Hamlet is a play of ideas which concerns itself with the life of the court, politics, the stability of a monarchy and with religious focus on prayer, confession and the afterlife. These reflect contemporary worldviews and it is through these that thematic interests such as corruption, evil, nobility, justice, revenge, death and fate are examined. The inequalities, injustices and tragedies of Denmark are viewed through the key protagonist Hamlet. He can be seen as a highly complex individual, a paradoxical hero, whose personality is flawed

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