“To be or not to be that is the question”. In the Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, this is used as Hamlet questions his life, but I am using it to compare Hamlet to The Lion King. It was family affairs on who or how they killed someone or the relationships between characters in both text. The Lion King and Hamlet have themes that they also share that are both good and bad. They share loyalty and revenge, power and corruption, and trust and friendship.
The most common theme to be shown to us was loyalty and revenge.
The loyalty that is present in both text and film is constant, whether it is to respect family members or hierarchy. Lion King shows loyalty between family, where Serabi is a loyal wife to Mufasa and Mufasa is loyal to Simba. Hamlet presents loyalty in the same way. King Hamlet is loyal to Hamlet and Queen Gertrude is loyal to King Claudius. Loyalty to hierarchy would be Laertes to King Claudius and doing the “dirty” work for him and in Lion King it would be Zazu to Mufasa who follows his orders of watching over Simba.
Although there is loyalty there always has to be drama.
Revenge can sometimes be considered the climax in plays and films, but in these two text they are more of a rising action. Lion King presents it to us where Scar is jealous of Mufasa for being the King so he wants revenge. In Hamlet, King Claudius, Hamlet’s Uncle, kills King Hamlet and Hamlet tries to get revenge on King Claudius for also marrying his mother.
Scar gets revenge on Mufasa by killing him in front of Simba and Hamlet kills King Claudius after the sword play. Not only does this show revenge, but it also shows power and corruption.
Power is showed in who is fighting for throne in both text. King Claudius fights for for throne in Denmark, and Scar fights for throne in spite of jealousy. Not only are they wanting power they kill in order to achieve their goals. King Claudius is successful at becoming King, while Scar becomes successful but then fails when Simba gets older.
Scar being along with his hyenas in a dark place is a sign of corruption after he fails to gain power over the kingdom. He acts as if they are his servants and anger them around. Scar has his hyenas just as King Claudius has his alcohol and treats his kingdom with hatred. Their corruption is not just seen as corruption, but also as depression. Depression also can lead to trust in others who serve them well.
Trust in Hamlet is mainly seen when they are being requested to do something by high authority. You can tell that Hamlet trust Horatio by what he says in his letters. King Claudius also trust Laertes to help carry out his way of killing Hamlet. Laertes keeps King Claudius’s plans to kill Hamlet a secret until the sword play. Trust in Lion King is not as largely depended on as it is in Hamlet. Simba receives guidance from Nala to get back to the promise land and he trust that she is good and that everything will be okay. Not only did this create trust, but it also created friendhsips.