Hamlet, which is one of the masterpieces of William Shakespeare, narrates the tragedy of the Prince of Denmark whose father is killed by his uncle and his rightful ascension to throne is prevented by his uncle’s unjust marriage to his mother. After speaking with his father’s ghost, Hamlet, who oscillates incessantly from action to contemplation, becomes a model of hesitation. By portraying the titular character with a profound intellectual agility and emotional depth, and by focusing on such internal elements in his work as obsession with crime, incest, expository soliloquies and eloquence in speech, Shakespeare, who is a Renaissance man and whose works are accepted to have been formed with the effect of the re-reading of the ancient works, draws near to Senecan tragedies instead of Aristotle’s principles defined in Poetics. Hamlet‘s proximity to Senecan tragedies can be observed both in thematic and stylistic domains. Almost all the internal principles such as the span allotted to tragedy, error of judgment and recognition set by Aristotle, either lacks in Hamlet or does not suit Aristotelian notions. The objective of this study is to prove that Hamlet, which is a deep examination of the human soul with dramatic excitement, is written under the effect of Senecan tragedies instead of Aristotelian principles set forth in Poetics.
Hamlet, Senecan Tragedies, Poetics, Human Soul, Aristotle