The central reason for the play's eminence is the character of Hamlet. His brooding, erratic nature has been analyzed by many of the most famous thinkers and artists of the past four centuries. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe described him as a poet - a sensitive man who is too weak to deal with the political pressures of Denmark. Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud viewed Hamlet in terms of an “Oedipus complex,” an overwhelming sexual desire for his mother. This complex is usually associated with the wish to kill one’s father and sleep with one’s mother. Freud points out that Hamlet's uncle has usurped his father's rightful place, and therefore has replaced his father as the man who must die. However, Freud is careful to note that Hamlet represents modern man precisely because he does not kill Claudius in order to sleep with his mother, but rather kills him to revenge his father’s death. Political interpretations of Hamlet also abound, in which Hamlet stands for the spirit of political resistance, or represents a challenge to a corrupt regime. Stephen Greenblatt, the editor of the Norton Edition of Shakespeare, views these interpretive attempts of Hamlet as mirrors for the interpretation within the play itself - many of the characters who have to deal with Hamlet, including Polonius , Claudius, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern , also develop theories to explain his behavior, none of which really succeeds in doing so. Indeed, nothing sure can be said about Hamlet except that it has been a perennial occasion for brilliant minds to explore some of the unanswerable questions of human existence.
Whenever possible, use strong subjects and active constructions, rather than weak verbal nouns or abstractions and weak passive or linking verbs: instead of "Petruchio's denial of Kate of her basic necessities would seem cruel and harsh...," try "By denying Kate the basic necessities of life, Petruchio appears cruel and harsh--but he says that he is just putting on an act." Don't forget that words and even phrases can serve as strong sentence subjects: "Petruchio's 'I'll buckler thee against a million' injects an unexpectedly chivalric note, especially since it follows hard on the heels of his seemingly un-gentlemanly behavior." And remember--use regular quotation marks unless you're quoting material that contains a quotation itself.