Hamlet : key facts

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Hamlet is a notable literary work by William Shakespeare. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of Hamlet.

key facts

Key Facts: 

  • Full title: The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. 
  • Writer: William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
  • Written Time: 1599-1601
  • Genre: Revenge Tragedy 
  • Time of composition: Most probably mid-1599 
  • First performance: 1600 
  • First published: 1603 
  • Number of acts: Five acts play 
  • Words: 29551
  • Time setting: Elizabethan period of Renaissance.  
  • Place setting: Denmark 
  • The number of places mentioned: Besides Denmark, Norway, France, England, and also the University of Wittenberg situated in Germany. 
  • Themes: Revenge, Corruption, Religion, Politics, appearance vs reality, and Woman.
  • Symbols: Bad weather, Hamlet’s dark clothes, The Mousetrap, Ophelia’s flowers, and The skull of Yorick.
  • Famous line: To be or not to be, that is the question.
  • Background: The story of Hamlet is based on a Danish revenge story first recorded by Saxo Grammaticus in the 1100s. In these stories, a Danish prince fakes madness in order to take revenge on his uncle, who had killed the prince’s father and married his mother.