The Lion King contains plenty of similarities to Shakespeare’s tragedy “Hamlet”; however, the adult content is changed and the characters live “happily ever after” for Disney’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s play.
While The Lion King may not be a straight-up comedy, it’s still got enough comedic elements to place it in the genre. The lion king is also a coming of age story since we are watching a young cub grow into an adult lion while learning and gaining new experiences. It’s also a family drama due to the fact Simba comes from a royal family and the story centers around family and the conflict that comes with it.
Hamlet’s genre is a revenge tragedy which was common in England during the late 16th and early 17th century. There is a visible influence Shakespeare’s Hamlet had on the movie The Lion King. Simba’s struggles and obstacles can be related to Hamlet. Through family hardships, character comparisons, and struggles within the characters, it’s very conspicuous that there is an extensive influence Shakespeare’s Hamlet has on The Lion King. Claudius and Hamlet can be compared with Scar and Simba.
Scar and Claudius are characterized as Simba and Hamlet’s uncle’s, Both of them are jealous of their brothers’ power and other people’s happiness. Both tried to force themselves onto the throne. Both Hamlet and Simba are princes and they both have no siblings. When Simba came back to pride rock to affirm his place on the throne, he was full of rage when he witnessed how Scar was treating his mother.
In the same way, Hamlet was enraged about how Claudius didn’t treat his mother as well as his father did. There were various similarities in the plot of Hamlet and The Lion King. For example, to escape the guilt of the death of his father, Simba runs away from his responsibilities with the hopes of forgetting about the situation and putting it in the past. Hamlet also runs away from his responsibilities while contemplating revenge and suicide in his head. Both main characters have to re-evaluate their righteousness as well.
Hamlet decides if it’s right to get revenge on his uncle and Simba has to make the vital decision on whether or not he should take control of the pride lands again. Mufasa and King Hamlet both make appearances after death. Mufasa appears to Simba in the stars and tells him to take his proper place as king in the circle of life. Hamlet’s father appears as a ghost and urges Hamlet to take revenge on his uncle.
Mufasa’s ghost appears to Simba Act 1, Scene V ” Where wilt thou lead me? Speak, I’ll go no further” – Hamlet. Simba is convinced by Scar to flee after his father’s murder and spends a long period of time growing up with Timone and Pumbaa in exile. Claudius also convinces Hamlet to leave and travel to England, where he survives an attack by pirates. Simba has to learn to step up and take his place as king instead of running from his past. Hamlet has overcome his indecision. He ultimately chooses to kill his uncle with a sword and poisoned wine.
Ironically, In the end of both stories, the villains are killed in the way they tried to harm other people. Simba fights with Scar, who ends up being killed by the hyenas. Simba develops incredibly strong friendships with Timone and Pumbaa. The two friends provide support for him while he is alone and in exile.
They teach him how to enjoy life and live it to the fullest. Hamlet has a friend from college, Horatio. Though Horatio does not have as big of an impact on Hamlet as Timone and Pumbaa have on Simba, he does help Hamlet on several occasions and can be considered a true friend.
The Lion King placed a children’s outlook on a story of revenge and being responsible. Hamlet was written for a more older and mature audience. The Lion King is definitely a more child friendly version of Hamlet since disney had to alter some conflicts in order to have more positive influences on the younger audience. The Lion King also includes many positive and uplifting songs and a happy ending too. However, Hamlet has a more bleak and dreary tone. The ending of Hamlet also ends with many deaths, including Hamlets.
From the song ” Hakuna Matata” which means “No worries” it teaches kids that issues in life can get better if you stop worrying about them as much. If kids saw the Hamlet version where he was thinking about suicide, they’d be more likely to overthink their issues in life. Disney adjusted the story well for the audience.
The Lion King prepares the young audience to one day tackle an issue in Hamlet. Disney still included the dark parts of Hamlet while still preserving the happiness and pureness of disney movies. The Lion King in a way, brought the story Hamlet back to life and taught important life lessons as well. Hamlet seeking revenge in the story taught us in the end that seeking revenge on someone won’t get you anywhere at all. It taught that you have to be the bigger person in certain situations.
For example, Simba had the perfect opportunity to kill his uncle. However, he didn’t and instead said he won’t kill him because he’s not like him. In the end, fate stepped in and his uncle was killed regardless and it wasn’t Simba’s fault. Overall, there were many similarities in both The Lion King and Hamlet. The Lion King