Disney’s classic movie, The Lion King, and Shakespeare’s tragic play, Hamlet: Prince of Denmark, have countless comparable aspects. Although William Shakespeare was alive many centuries prior to the movie, many of his elements seem to have rubbed off on The Lion King. Both are stories of a young prince who is torn apart by the premature death of his father. An evil uncle takes over the thrown that should rightly belong to the young prince. Both of the heroes overcome their own flaws and reservations, and attempt to take back their beloved kingdom. The two stories are comparable in their general plot line, ghost appearances, and final scene.
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After the deaths of the kings, Mufasa and King Hamlet reappear to their sons in the same way; via an apparition. Both of the kings visit their sons and give guidance that sets them into action. After seeing their sons lose their audacity and strength, they become personally offended by the idleness. Mufasa appears to Simba in the clouds, and tells him indirectly that he must rule over the Pride Lands in order to keep peace. Mufasa famously says, “Look inside your self Simba, you are more than what you have become, you must take your place in the circle of life. Remember who you areâ€¦. Remember.” After being confronted by his father in the clouds, Simba gains the confidence necessary to face Scar in a battle for the throne. King Hamlet also appears to Hamlet as a ghost and urges his son to avenge his death. The King directly prompts Hamlet by saying “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” (I.v.31). The appearances of the ghosts drive the princes to action, although King Hamlet directly states his perpetrator and Mufasa only alludes to it.
The endings of both stories are exceptionally analogous. The uncles, Claudius and Scar, attempt to kill their nephews in the same fashion in which they originally killed the King. Claudius attempts to poison Prince Hamlet, just as he poisoned King Hamlet. Scar tries to push Simba off of a cliff, the same way in which he killed Mufasa. However, neither of these endeavors works. It should also be noted that disloyalty is a theme in Hamlet as well as the Lion King. In the final battles, both villains’ loyal accomplice turns on them. Laertes betrays Claudius, telling Hamlet that it was Claudius who put poison in the goblet. Laertes last words are “Thy mother’s poisoned. I can no more. The King, the King’s to blame” (V.ii.350-351). Also, the Hyenas turn on Scar after their years of loyal service.
Hamlet: Prince of Denmark and The Lion King, are parallel stories of young princes whose uncle’s murder the King and take over the thrown that should rightly belong to the Prince’s. Hamlet and Simba overcome their own flaws and reservations to take back their beloved kingdom. The two stories are comparable in their general plot line, ghost appearances, and final scene. Although many of the classic Disney movies, including the Lion King, appear to be pure amusement for young kids, if one probes deep enough beneath the surface, metaphors, as well as connections to some of the greatest literature of all time can be revealed. William Shakespeare is unquestionably one of the most influential writers of all time, so it is not surprising that many of his most distinguished works, especially Hamlet: Prince of Denmark, are the basis of many contemporary works.
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