comedy? hamlet? i could have sworn this was a tragedy...but apparently not! : LUSENET : Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet : One Thread

ok, so heres my problem. i have a paper due on where there is comedy in hamlet, and why. obviously in the gravediggers scene, but i cant seems to find anything else amusing. the other problem is why...because shakespear thought the audience needed a break from this otherwise semi-depressing play? i have looked everywhere on the web for this and would really really appreaiate the help! thanks!

-- Kate (, January 22, 2004


Everytime Hamlet plays the 'fool' there is a pun, or joke made at the expense of someone else. During Shakespearian times, this joke would have been directed towards the actor to derive some sort of comedy to make the audience laugh at the actor, almost looking from Hamelt's point of view. Polonius is often at the but of these 'comedic' references.

-- Rachel (, January 31, 2004.

Interesting question. Most of the stuff with Polonius is in II.ii, plus at the end of III.ii. Also, the whole bit with Osric in V.ii. Also, Hamlet taklng the mickey out of Claudius in IV.iii. And I find his letter to Claudius in IV.vii.42-46 pretty funny.

Why? There's no reason why a tragedy can't have humerous parts. It's just a tragedy because Hamlet dies in the end. In life, when people die that shouldn't, or one would rather didn't, it doesn't mean there were never funny events of conversations in their lives. So WS makes the play imitate real life. With regard to characterisation, the comedy generally shows Hamlet as clever and witty.

-- catherine england (, January 31, 2004.

Semi-Depressing Play? Out of Shakespeare's four major tragedies Hamlet is by far and away the easiest going if you find plays depressing. Lear, Othello and Macbeth are far more fucking oppressing. Though even Macbeth, considered often to be the darkest play, has some wonderfully funny moments, albeit very black humour. There is far more room to breathe in Hamlet than in Shakespeare's other tragedies.

-- Patrick Walker (, February 01, 2004.

I also found many of the arguements between Hamlet and Claudius pretty amusing because of the wit involved. When Claudius sends the guards to find Polonius's body and Hamlet says "he will stay till you come." (Act 4, Scene 3 line 43) I always laugh.

-- Katie White (, February 29, 2004.

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