Shakespeare Haunts: A Study of Pulijanmam as a Modern Rendering of Hamlet


  • Sreedevi K. Menon Menon Asst. Prof., Dept. of English Mercy College Palakkad, India



The spirit of Shakespeare continues to haunt contemporary playwrights and film- makers even 400 years after the death of the great bard. When adapted to the big screen by creative writers, Shakespearean tragedies continue to enthrall movie audience even today, transcending time and space. Human experience and predicament has not undergone much change, despite the revolutionary changes brought to the modern world by science and technology. Shakespearean thoughts hold good to anyone who is willing to pause, reflect and introspect. The paradigms that create Shakespearean tragic hero, particularly the mindset of Hamlet, can be discerned in any modern mind. The predicament of the idealistic hero though not universal is mirrored in many a modern mind. Perhaps that is why tragic heroes of Shakespeare appear and re-appear on screen in modern adaptations of Shakespearean plays.

Shakespearean tragedies are woven essentially around conflict. The external conflict at the onset of the play is soon internalized with the male protagonist becoming the source as well as the target of the conflict. The moral predicament conceived in the hero‟s mind slowly spreads to the outside world and affects everybody directly and indirectly connected to him. There is purgation and elevation, but they cannot avert the imminent destruction. The plight of the hero arouses pity and fear, yet the moral dilemma remains unresolved. These characteristics of the Shakespearean tragedy are found in the Malayalam movie Pulijanmam. The story of Prakashan is interwoven with that of the folk-hero Kari who sacrifices himself for the sake of the well being of his people.


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Author Biography

Sreedevi K. Menon, Menon Asst. Prof., Dept. of English Mercy College Palakkad, India



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Bradley, A.C. Shakespearean Tragedy. London: Fawcett, 1986. Print.

Campbell, Lily Bess. Shakespeare’s Tragic Heroes: Slaves of Passion. London: Cambridge,2009. Print.

Pulijanmam. Dir. Priyanandanan. M.G.Vijay, 2006. Film.

Shakespeare William, Hamlet. London: Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2006. Print.




How to Cite

Menon, S. K. (2014). Shakespeare Haunts: A Study of Pulijanmam as a Modern Rendering of Hamlet. International Journal Online of Humanities, 1(1), 15–22.