Hamlet- Key Facts

Full Title The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Author William Shakespeare
Type of work Play
Genre Tragedy, revenge tragedy
Language English
Time written Probably 1600-1602
Place written London, England
Protagonist Hamlet
Major conflict Hamlet feels a responsibility to avenge his father’s murder by his uncle Claudius, but Claudius is now the king and thus well protected.
Setting (time) The late medieval period, though the play’s chronological setting is notoriously imprecise
settings (place) Denmark
Tone Dark, ironic, melancholy, passionate, contemplative, desperate, violent
themes The impossibility of certainty; the complexity of action; the mystery of death; the nation as a diseased body
motifs Incest and incestuous desire; ears and hearing; death and suicide; darkness and the supernatural; misogyny
symbols The ghost (the spiritual consequences of death); Yorick’s skull (the physical consequences of death)