The Lion King: 5 ways It's exactly Like Hamlet (& 5 exactly how It's Different) The Lion King is one adaptation of Hamlet. In many ways, it"s identical yet it additionally has several intriguing differences.

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Disney is no a stranger come mature themes. While typically marketed at children, over there are always lessons to it is in taken from your animated features. The Lion King was no different. Murder, betrayal, and revenge were all featured in the 1994 film. If the story that a young prince that was banished and also returns to avenge his father sound familiar, that is.

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Hamlet was by much one of wilhelm Shakespeare’s most famed tragedies and The Lion King seemed to take some impetus from it. The story withstood the test of time for a reason. Both tales were classics in their very own way. The Lion King drew catalyst while coming to be its very own story.



King Claudius has actually been illustrated from stage to movie by many different actors, yet the results are always the same. Claudius was the instigator that the plot to take over the throne that Denmark. He orchestrated his brother’s death in stimulate to obtain the throne for himself.

Though his techniques differed from The Lion King to Hamlet, the sit king ultimately met his untimely end. Even if it is it was Scar developing a stampede or Claudius putting poison in his brother’s ear, the king dies. And Claudius became one step closer to the throne.



william Shakespeare penned a five-act beat demonstrating a young prince teetering ~ above the sheet of sanity. In Kenneth Branagh’s 1996 film, Hamlet spans to a cool 4 hours. The Lion King, not fairly as ambitious, came to around an hour and also a half. The prince’s portrayal was toned down for the children’s film and did not explore Simba"s mental status.

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In among the most famous scenes of the Bard"s play, Hamlet goes to a graveyard and also speaks come Yorrick, a skull. It is debatable even if it is Hamlet to be truly going mad or not and also spends a good amount that time debating the topic. Simba may have gone to one elephant graveyard, but he did not invest his time speaking to bones.



In many Hamlet productions, the appearance of the prince’s father was taken an ext literally 보다 others. In Hamlet, the 2000 film starring Ethan Hawke, Hamlet"s father spoke to him through videos. In part productions, Hamlet’s dad appeared as an yes, really ghost.

Simba encountered Mufasa’s spirit more literally and it had a heavy, meaningful presence. In both iterations, the deceased king need to remind his kid not come forget the crime that was committed.

7 Different: Nala Is more powerful Than Ophelia



there is not a clean translation because that Ophelia in The Lion King, but Nala comes the closest. She was the prince’s intended, but that was where the same stopped. Ophelia was crushed by the load of her experiences. She sustained Hamlet’s mood swings and also had come choose between she love and also her family.

Nala was strengthened by she difficulties. She persevered and pushed Simba into returning come the kingdom to take his rightful place. In Hamlet, the kingdom collapsed under its own tragedy. And also most importantly, Nala was not a catastrophic figure. She overcame her situations while Ophelia was destroyed by them.


whether it be Pride absent or Denmark, the price had a rocky partnership with his home. After Mufasa was killed in one of the many memorable fatality scenes in an man film, Scar convinced Simba that it was his fault and also that he should be banished. Scar hoped that Simba would, at the very least, never ever come back to threaten his rule.

King Claudius was more forthright around it, instructing Hamlet’s school friends Rosencrantz and also Guildenstern to kill his nephew. In both this stories, the brand-new king was intent on his nephew never ever returning.

5 Different: The Queen Is A good Mother


over there are many readings the Queen Gertrude. Numerous interpretations suggested that she never knew Claudius eliminated her an initial husband. However, Gertrude was not blameless in her treatment of she son. Hamlet was exiled and also Gertrude sided with she husband Claudius, even if it is she was aware the was a murderer or not.

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Simba’s mommy Sarabi was free indigenous this morally gray area. She survived the story, never ever siding v Scar, and also supported her son’s claim to the throne.


Comedic relief is something required in tragedies, especially plays as tragic together Hamlet. Rosencrantz and also Guildenstern were college girlfriend of Hamlet who took some edge off of the heavier topics.

Like Hamlet, Simba found himself in exile, despite he was not alone. Timon and also Pumbaa became his cohorts in banishment and ultimately they all found themselves back at pride Rock because that the last confrontation.

3 Different: mrs Agency


Hamlet was full of some of the most notable mrs archetypes recognized to drama. Queen Gertrude was the precursor to personalities like Cersei Lannister and also Gemma Teller. Ophelia was one that the most tragic love interests known in literature. However these women room archetypes because that a reason.

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Nala and also Sarabi both loved their king but were not swayed in one direction or another. Lock were steadfast. The Lion King likewise had another steadfast woman character. Shenzi was the leader of the hyena faction that followed Scar. She was the other side the the coin. Shenzi supported Scar, no for any kind of obligation or love, but due to the fact that it was what she believed.


Love is the connecting factor between The Lion King and Hamlet. Nothing makes a story more tragic than losing love and also nothing renders a children movie far better than these resonant themes. Both Hamlet and also The Lion King had their very own sonnets, so to speak.

Hamlet and also Ophelia were consumed v angst throughout the play. However, Hamlet sent her a letter professing his feelings through the famed line “doubt though the stars are fire.” This is recreated in The Lion King v the track “Can You feeling the Love Tonight.”

1 Different: the Is not A Tragedy


throughout Simba watching his father’s death, gift ousted by his uncle, and losing his entire childhood, The Lion King had the makings the a great story. It produced its own classic after illustration inspiration by one of the most famed tragedies ever penned.

One that the most vital of its messages is that all is not lost. Simba seemingly lost his whole life in ~ a young age, however he came out that it. He took his home ago and many unlike Hamlet the all, lost no added life in the process.

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Carolyn Jenkins is a voracious consumer of film and television. She graduated from lengthy Island University with an MFA in Screenwriting and Producing wherein she learned the art of character, plot, and also structure. The finest teacher is taking in media and also she spends her time reading around different civilizations from teenager angst to the universe of Stephen King.