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Hamlet is a story by William Shakespeare written in 1599. This story is about Prince Hamlet’s struggles after his father’s death. Hamlet seeks revenge from his uncle for his father’s death. His uncle, Claudius sees Hamlet as a threat to his power, so he attempts to get rid of him. Unfortunately, his plan backfires, and the whole royal family dies, including Hamlet. An animated children’s Disney movie, The Lion King created in 1994, reflects Hamlet. The Lion King starts with a lion cub, Simba, who is learning the responsibilities of a king. Scar, Simba\’s uncle has the desire to become the king. In order, to fulfill his dream, Scar kills king Mufasa and blames Simba. Scared and guilty Simba runs away, but returns soon after to take over his responsibility and become king. The Lion King is like a reproduction of the play Hamlet. The stories are similar and different in many ways. Here I have listed a few of many.
The Hamlet and The Lion King have a lot in similar. In both of the stories, the uncle is the villain who seeks power. Simba and Hamlet both lose their fathers to what they believe is an unfortunate accident. Both of the main characters seek revenge for their father\’s death and eventually kill their uncles. They are both from a royal family and the rightful heir to the throne. The characters are very similar and so is the plot. The queens, Sarabi and Gertrude have little to no power in the kingdom. Scar and Claudius are portrayed as cold and evil. Simba and Hamlet are presented as thoughtful, intelligent and emotional.
Although the stories are known to have similarities, they have a lot of differences too. The most prominent difference is that Hamlet dies at the end of Hamlet, whereas the Lion King has a happy ending. Simba marries Nala and has a baby. In the Lion King, Simba is framed for Mufasa\’s death so he chooses to run away, however, in Hamlet, Claudius orders Hamlet to go to England. Claudius rules pretty well, he does not ruin the kingdom like Scar. After his father\’s death, Simba lives a carefree life for some years, whereas Hamlet is depressed, and on the verge of madness. Also, in Hamlet Polonius is Ophelia\’s father, however in the Lion King, Zazu is not related to Nala. The differences are what make the stories unique.
Disney recreated Shakespeare\’s Hamlet into an animated children\’s movie to make it suitable for children. They could have copied all of it, but then kids would not have liked it. The language of Hamlet is difficult to understand, whereas the Lion King uses modern words. Lion King creators did not kill Simba in the end because kids like to see happy endings. Movies created for kids should not be depressing. They put a family feeling in the movie, so more people would watch it and they would make more profit. The Lion King had a moral, like other Disney movies. Here the moral was, you have to learn to step up and keep moving forward, instead of running from your past.
In my opinion, both of the stories were quite entertaining and well thought of. Disney did a great job with changing the story. They kept the major similarities but changed Shakespeare\’s work into their own words. Hamlet’s tragic ending and The Lion King\’s delightful ending make them remarkable. They are stories worth knowing.