Hamlet was written and performed in the final years of Queen Elizabeth I’s reign. It is believed that Shakespeare wrote the manuscript during 1599-1600 and it was first performed the following year. It was published in printed form in 1603 and appeared in an enlarged edition in 1604. The play ends with the death of the Hamlet family line, reflecting the position of the monarchy within Britain at that time. Elizabeth I was the last of the Tudor dynasty and she was aging without an heir. Her upcoming death had the potential to throw the country into political upheaval, as it was feared that the

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