The Elizabethan play The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark

is one of William Shakespeare's most popular works. One of the

possible reasons for this play's popularity is the way Shakespeare

uses the character Hamlet to exemplify the complex workings of the

human mind. The approach taken by Shakespeare in Hamlet has generated

countless different interpretations of meaning, but it is through

Hamlet's struggle to confront his internal dilemma, deciding when to

revenge his fathers death, that the reader becomes aware of one of the

more common interpretations in Hamlet; the idea that Shakespeare is

attempting to comment on the influence that one's state of mind can

have on the decisions they make in life.

As the play unfolds, Shakespeare uses the encounters that

Hamlet must face to demonstrate the effect that one's perspective can

have on the way the mind works. In his book Some Shakespeare Themes &

An Approach to Hamlet, L.C. Knight takes notice of Shakespeare's use

of these encounters to journey into the workings of the human mind

when he writes:

What we have in the exploration and implicit

criticism of a particular state of mind or consciousness.In

Hamlet, Shakespeare uses a series of encounters to reveal the

complex state of the human mind, made up of reason, emotion,

and attitude towards the self, to allow the reader to make