This study examines how productions of Shakespeare's plays subverted or strengthened the official government doctrines of late Socialist Hungary. This study examines the role Shakespeare played on late Socialist stages in Hungary. With the help of contemporary reviews, critical essays and current historical data available about the theatrical structure and the cultural-political establishment of Communist Hungary, the work undertakes the task to place the Shakespearean productions into a wider cultural social and political context, arguing that a Shakespearean production very often was more than just a theater event, but a reflection of Hungarian contemporary affairs. Through the analysis of the major "Hamlet" productions between 1947 and 1989, the study demonstrates the main theatrical trends of Hungarian Shakespearean productions of the time.
It also claims that the unprecedented success of the so-called problem plays between 1964 and 1989 was due to the relevance of the issues they touch upon, such as the forced laughter at the end of the plays, the urge to lie about one's true disposition, the feeling that history is a force one cannot influence, and the visible and ever growing distance between the private and the public events of one's life.