Hamlet Lion King Comparison Essay

Hamlet in Comparison to the Lion King Essay

1255 WordsFeb 26th, 20106 Pages

Many literary works can be compared due to vast amounts of similarities between theme and characters; Hamlet and the Lion King are two literary works in which character and theme are surprisingly similar throughout each work. The Lion King is thought to be just an animated children’s film, however, it is in fact a modern translation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The main characters in the Lion King are definite parallels to those in Hamlet. Along with the main characters and plot details, the stories were similar in the representation of the secondary characters. "Here's my little secret, I killed Mufasa.” The theme in Hamlet can be compared to the Walt Disney movie The Lion King. Hamlet and Simba are betrayed by their uncles whom murder their…show more content…

At the beginning of the film the camera angle looks up towards him, the lights shine on young Simba; the importance of his birth is immense, although Simba may be oblivious to the fact at the time. Another parallel is the fact that both Simba and Hamlet at one stage wish to be dead. When Timon and Pumbaa find him, they believe Simba to be dead when they first find him. He is not – but wishes to be. The same could be said about Hamlet when he questions his life – “To be, or not to be”. Like Hamlet, Simba tends to need to be on his own to reflect. Hamlet and Simba are near perfect examples of tragic heroes. Both are tested to the extent of their inner strength and faith in the triumph of good. In comparison, Scar’s selfish character is similar to that of Claudius. Both Scar and Claudius have an unpleasant image. Scar is dark in colour, skinny, with long black nails and green evil eyes. The eyes represent jealousy, greed, and envy. Both characters are “thinly veiled” and scheme to destroy people they dislike. In the opening scene of the Lion King, Mufasa confronts his brother Scar. “Don’t turn your back on me!” Mufasa stops Scar with a warning. Scar shoots back – “No, perhaps you shouldn’t turn your back on me!” This is a veiled threat on the king’s life. Because the king is never introduced in Hamlet, the audience is left to wonder whether the king had any notice that his brother wanted him dead. However there is a

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Movies based on written works of literature are made constantly. Especially in this day andage, with the available technology movie based on ancient literature are commonplace.

The Lion King 

is one such movie. It is in many ways a euphemism for Shakespeare's


and this isillustrated by the numerous differences between the two. Apart from the obvious difference thatone is a play written centuries ago and the other is a Disney Movie, the two differ in their characters, plots and themes while being similar enough that one can observe the parallels betweenthe two. The effect of these differences is that the movie seems like a fairy tale; a comedy whilethe play is actually a full blown tragedy.The similarities are quite obvious. As the movie begins, the audience is made aware of thesimilarities between the characters Simba is Hamlet, Mufasa is Hamlet (the father), Scar isClaudius, Nala is Ophelia and so on and so forth. As the movie progresses then, the viewer beginsto notice the obvious glaring differences between the two and the movie built on the base of 


 begins to turn away from the path taken by the play.One of the biggest differences is changing of the characters for the better. Simba who issupposed to be Hamlet, the prince, is never deemed crazy by his mother, his friends or his uncle.He is always seen as this noble cub/lion that constantly has the ability to save Pride Rock. Thisapotheosis of Simba is a sharp contrast to the character of Hamlet who is deemed so mad as aresult of his father's death that Claudius wants him to be sent to England. The pattern is alsofollowed by Nala. As Simba's love, Nala is Ophelia's representative in the movie. She never goescrazy and she never dies. In fact, she is the one that brings Simba back home and helps him savePride Rock from Scars claws. Ophelia, on the other hand, plays no part in the death of Claudius.The pattern here is simple: the craziness, the deaths, anything inappropriate or violent is removed,slowly but surely transforming the movie into a comedy; a fairy tale.While the two works are split apart widely by a host of differences, there are things that link the movie to the play so that throughout the movie, the audience can recognize that it is still a

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