Research Paper on the Origins of the Character ‘Hamlet’ –



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“In the twelfth century, an obscure historian named Saxo Grammaticus recounted
the tale of “Amleth.” That Shakespeare later borrowed the idea for his Hamlet from
Saxo is not in dispute. What is intriguing to scholars, however, is the origin of
Saxo’s noble Dane. Thus the focus of my research is an investigation into whether
Amleth is an actual historical figure or simply a literary construct. Histories and
legends from various parts of Europe include characters with elements similar to
Saxo’s protagonist; however, no one character embodies all the elements that form
the essence of Amleth. After critical analysis of primary sources from Scandinavia,
England, Ireland and the Mediterranean region, it is my conclusion that Amleth is
an amalgamation of both history and legend—that the historical character of Anlaf
Cuaran, tenth century Danish conqueror of parts of Britain and Ireland, begins to
be associated with legendary figures from the classical world and, through Saxo, is
reborn as Amleth, heroic Fool of Denmark. This research is important not only for
illuminating the origins of the renowned dramatic figure, but also for its contributions
to the historiography of medieval Europe.”

MLA Citation:

Bailey, Christopher. “The Hamlet Mythos.” University of Wisconsin La Crosse, n.d.  (PUT DATE OF ACCESS HERE). <>.

In-Text: (Bailey)

***REMEMBER all lines of the citation after the first get indented once***

APA Citation:

Bailey, C. (n.d.). The Hamlet mythos. University of Wisconsin La Crosse. Retrieved from

In-Text: (Bailey)

***REMEMBER all lines of the citation after the first get indented once***

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