The play Hamlet

In the first three acts of the play Hamlet, King Claudius go through a subtle, but defined change in character. Claudius role in the play begins as the newly corrinated king of Denmark. The former king, King Hamlet, was poisoned by his brother, Claudius, while he was asleep. Claudius, however, made it known to everyone that the king died of a snakebite in the garden, and thus no one knew of the murder that had just taken place making his murder the perfect crime. The only problem that Claudius must deal with now is his conscience.

After Claudius commits the deed of killing King Hamlet, he almost immediately arries Hamlet’s wife, Queen Gertrude. Claudius also gains a new son, his former nephew Hamlet, the son of King Hamlet. Young Hamlet is very displeased with his mother’s hasty marriage of Claudius and is angered by this incest. Hamlet has a deep attraction for his mother which goes beyond the traditional, mother-son relationship. At this point in the play, Hamlet does not know that Claudius has murdered his father, but he dislikes him anyway.

Claudius is not a bad king, which is demonstrated by his handling of the situation between Young Fortinbras and Denmark, but he is not extremely popular ith the people and has brought back the obnoxious custom of firing the cannons whenever the king takes a drink. Claudius’ conscience, here is non-existent. After the ghost of the dead King Hamlet tells Hamlet to avenge his murder, Hamlet has a reason to truly hate Claudius. From this point on in the play, there is definitely friction between the two.

When Claudius offers Hamlet the throne after he dies, Hamlet acts apathetic as if the rule of Denmark was, but a mere trifle. Hamlet enters a deep depression which the king and others, see as madness. First they think that Hamlet is ovesick over Polonius’ daughter, Ophelia, but after the king spies on Hamlet and Ophelia in conversation, he comes to the conclusion that Hamlet is mad, a threat to his rule, and must be sent to England to be executed. This is a sign of the king’s uneasiness over the mettle of Hamlet’s anger which is directed towards him.

The last thing that Claudius wants is for Hamlet to be unhappy with him, in fear that Hamlet will overthrow him, discover the murder, or possibly kill him. The king becomes increasingly nervous as time passes, making him a bit paranoid over Hamlet. By the beginning of Act III, Hamlet is almost ready to kill Claudius, but he still needs more proof that Claudius killed his father, and he also wants to put off the murder because he is a bit of a coward. Claudius is beginning to lose his composure.

Hamlet decides to set a trap for him in the form of a play. The subject of the play is the murder of a king by his brother who, in turn, marries the king’s wife. The plot of the play is strikingly similar to the circumstances of King Hamlet’s murder, which strikes a disharmonious chord in the conscience of Claudius. In the middle of the play during the urder scene, Claudius gets up and begs for the play to stop so that he can get some air. Hamlet is very angered by this because it confirms that Claudius did kill his father.

Later that night, Claudius prays to god to forgive him for his sins, but he is not ready to give up his new crown and his new wife. Guilt has begun to cloud over Claudius’ thoughts, and it will indeed drive him to the brink of insanity and beyond. Hamlet spies Claudius, praying with his back turned and on his knees, but he passes up the opportunity to kill the monarch with the excuse of not wanting to accidentally send Claudius to Heaven. The development of Claudius’ guilt is a gradual transformation.

This metamorphosis will come to a head later in the play. The guilt though, has already begun to affect the actions of Claudius in his everyday life, by transforming a normal night out to the theater into a devastating insight into his own life. Hamlet, although he does not know it, is a key instrument in bringing about Claudius’ guilt, and Gertrude is still a bit nervous about her marriage with Claudius. Claudius life, because of the murder, will never be the same because he cannot bear to live with his conscience. This flaw will be his downfall.

Psychoanalyzing Hamlet Essay

The mystery of Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a phantom of literary debate that has haunted readers throughout the centuries. Hamlet is a complete enigma; a puzzle scholars have tried to piece together since his introduction to the literary world. Throughout the course of Hamlet the reader is constantly striving to rationalize Hamlet’s odd behavior, mostly through the play’s written text. In doing so, many readers mistakenly draw their conclusions based on the surface content of Hamlet’s statements and actions.

When drawing into question Hamlet’s actions as well as his reasons for acting, many assume that Hamlet himself is fully aware of his own motives. This assumption in itself produces the very matter in question. Take for example Hamlet’s hesitation to kill the king. Hamlet believes that his desire to kill King Claudius is driven by his fathers’ demand for revenge. If this were true, Hamlet would kill Claudius the moment he has the chance, if not the moment he knows for sure that Claudius is guilty of murdering his father. Why does Hamlet hesitate? One must call into question what Hamlet holds to be true.

If Hamlet’s given motivation for killing the king is legitimate, then Claudius should die at about Act 3. Because Hamlet’s actions do not correspond with his given reasoning, one is forced to look for an alternate explanation for Hamlet’s behavior. In doing so, one will come to the conclusion that Hamlet is driven by forces other than what is obvious to the reader, as well as Hamlet himself. Given this example, one must denounce the assumption that Hamlet is aware of the forces that motivate him, and understand that Hamlet’s true motivation is unconscious This unconscious force is the true reason behind Hamlet’s mysterious behavior.

In naming this force, one must look beneath the surface of Hamlet’s own level of consciousness, and into what Hamlet himself is consciously unaware. The key to understanding Hamlet lies in the realization of the unconscious energy that provokes him to action and inaction. By channeling into Hamlet’s unconscious, providing both Freudian and Jungian psychoanalytical perspectives, Hamlet’s true unconscious motivation will be uncovered, and the mystery of Hamlet will be silenced. The term consciousness refers to “one’s awareness of internal and external stimuli.

The unconscious contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on behavior. “(Weiten) Jung and Freud agree upon the existence of the unconscious, but their perspectives are vastly different. The core of the Freudian perspective is centered around Hamlet’s relationship with his mother, and the aforementioned example concerning Hamlet and King Claudius. According to the Freudian view, Hamlet is driven by unconscious sexual desire and aggravation.

This sexual aggression is directed towards his mother and Claudius. The overall analysis of Hamlet’s behavior is represented in Jones’ statement, “So far as I can see, there is no escape from the conclusion that the cause of Hamlet’s hesitancy lies in some unconscious source of repugnance to his task” When Hamlet first hears the ghost’s call for revenge, he answers: Haste me to know’t, that I with wings as swift As mediation or the thoughts of love, May sweep to my revenge. (Act I, Sc. 5) Hamlet says this in Act I, yet Claudius is not killed until Act 5.

Surely Hamlet is not “sweeping” to revenge. Hamlet’s inability to act upon the ghost’s request cannot be linked to any uncertainty of the ghost’s claims, for in Act 3 Sc. 2 Hamlet states “I’ll take the ghost’s word for a thousand pound”. A probable conclusion lies in the possibly that Hamlet does not want to kill the king. Take into consideration the relationship between Hamlet and his mother. According to Freud, all boys develop a sense of sexuality at the early age of three. Due to the mother’s proximity to the child, the boys sexuality is directed toward the mother.

The child then develops a hatred for the main opposition for his mother’s affection-his father. The stage of development where a boy falls in love with his mother and wants to kill his father is called the Oedipus Complex. Hamlet exhibits signs of a lingering Oedipus Complex. Oedipus complex disappears when the young boy realizes “the impossibility of fulfilling the sexual wish for the mother”(Hall) The main factor in making the young boys wish impossible is the father. When Hamlet’s father dies, his main opposition disappears. This poses an opportunity for Hamlet to achieve his boyhood dream-to “have” his mother.

As Jones states, “The association of the idea of sexuality with his mother, buried since infancy, can no longer be concealed from his consciousness. ” These feelings are what drive Hamlet to self-repulsion, and ultimately to the question “To be or not to be-that is the question”,(Act3 Sc. 2)where Hamlet questions the worth of his own life. Hamlet’s unconscious desire for his mother is, as Jones says “Stimulated to unconscious activity by someone usurping this place exactly as he had once longed to do” In seeing Claudius take his father’s place by Gertrude’s side, Hamlet unconsciously realizes his own childhood desire to do the same.

In Hamlet’s statement “O, most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets” (Act1 Sc. 2) , Hamlet reveals this realization. In his use of the word “incestuous” Hamlet projects his own feelings onto his mother and Claudius. Weiten defines Projection as : “Attributing one’s own thoughts, feelings, and motives to another” By calling the union between Claudius and his mother Gertrude “incestuous”, Hamlet informs the reader of his own imagined union with Gertrude; a union that would be “incestuous”. When Hamlet learns that Claudius killed his father, he cries “O my prophetic soul!

My uncle? “. Jones states “The two recent events, the father’s death and the mother’s second marriage, seemed to the world to have no inner casual relation to each other, but they represented ideas which in Hamlet’s unconscious fantasy had always been closely associated. ” These ideas found immediate expression in Hamlet’s cry. The murder of his father and the marriage of his mother are two concepts Hamlet has connected since boyhood, his “prophetic soul” anticipated Claudius being his father’s killer since Claudius had already married Gertrude.

Hamlet, having unconsciously recognized his sexual desire for his mother by seeing Claudius take the throne, realizes the other half of his lingering Oedipal complex in learning that Claudius killed his father. Claudius, by marrying Gertrude and killing Hamlet’s father, has done exactly what Hamlet has unconsciously longed to do since boyhood. As a result, Hamlet cannot kill Claudius, for Claudius in fact personifies Hamlet. This is the answer to the original question.

Hamlet hesitates to kill the king because “In reality his uncle incorporates the deepest and most buried part of his own personality, so that he cannot kill him without also killing himself”(Jones) Claudius represents Hamlet’s deepest and most secretive desires, and in killing Claudius, Hamlet would be forced to consciously recognize these desires. For this reason, Hamlet hesitates to grant the ghost’s call for revenge. Instead, Hamlet takes advantage of his dual with Laertes to produce the final solution-his own death, as well as the death of Claudius, his other self.

In the opposing view of the Jungian analyst, one would argue that there is much more to Hamlet than unconscious sexual aggression. Sex as a basis for all human behavior is simply too limited a concept; Jung claims that “there has to be more to it”. There are two forces that drive Hamlet. One is his anima, which is the “personification of the feminine nature of a man’s unconscious”(Platania). The second is Hamlet’s desire to reach individuation, which will be discussed later. In reference to the anima, Platania states that “we experience the opposite sex as the lost part of our own selves.

There is in each man a feminine side hidden beneath his masculinity. Ultimately, the anima seeks to gain balance by equaling out a man’s masculine and feminine tendencies. If there is good communication between the individual and the anima, balance can be achieved. But in Hamlet, as in most men, there is an inclination to ignore the voice of the anima. Hamlet is a victim to the age old belief that men cannot be in the least bit feminine. Because of this belief, Hamlet does not allow his feminine side to find conscious expression.

Within Hamlet, there is an unconscious battle between his anima, seeking an outlet for expression, and his conscious desire to be “masculine”. This battle is consciously expressed in the contrast between two of Hamlet’s sayings. In Act I Sc. 2 Hamlet says “frailty, thy name is woman! “, and in Act 2 Sc. 2 he says “what a piece of work is a man”. In contrast, these two statements show Hamlet degrading women-kind while uplifting man-kind. Hamlet is stating externally what is going on internally within his unconscious, namely his battle to repress femininity and promote masculinity.

One must assume that this battle between Hamlet’s anima and his masculinity is of great proportions, for in the process Hamlet develops a hatred for all femininity, namely women. This unconscious hatred is consciously expressed through Hamlet’s treatment of Ophelia. Hamlet at one point loves Ophelia, “I loved you once”(Act3 Sc. 1), but then suddenly loses this love, “You should not have believed me, I loved you not. ” Hamlet’s change of heart is a result of his unconscious inner battle.

While he naturally wants to fall in love with Ophelia, Hamlet’s urge to repress all femininity within himself is so great that he comes to hate the femininity in Ophelia as well. The struggle within Hamlet is proven to be unconscious by Hamlet’s constant change of heart, as signified when Hamlet says “I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers could not with all their quantity of love make up my sum”(Act 5 sc. 1) Hamlet wants to love Ophelia, but is torn between his love and his unconscious desire to hate all femininity. Besides his animus, Hamlet is motivated by his desire to achieve individuation.

Jung says of individuation, “I use the term ‘individuation’ to denote the process by which a person becomes an individual”. Hamlet’s entire life is a journey to becoming an individual. To become an individual, one must become consciously aware of one’s own strengths and limitations. The actual journey to becoming individualized is unconscious, for the individual in not aware that he is on a journey. It is only after the individual has reached individuation that he becomes conscious of all aspects of his character. Before Hamlet can reach individuation, he must first recognize the part of himself that he keeps from consciousness.

The side of Hamlet that Hamlet himself restrains from acknowledging is known as the Shadow self. Platania defines the shadow as “an unconscious part of the personality characterized by traits and attitudes which the conscious tends to reject or ignore. ” The emergence of Hamlet’s shadow self is manifested in his “madness”. While in his state of “madness”, Hamlet says some very honest things about himself such as “I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offenses at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in”(Act3 Sc. With this statement, Hamlet is acknowledging his shadow self; the parts of his character of which he is most ashamed.

Hamlet’s “madness” is the simple conscious recognition of the worst parts of his personality. In becoming consciously aware of his flaws, Hamlet is making the biggest step towards individuation. But remember, Hamlet at this point is still consciously unaware of his journey towards individuation. At this stage, Hamlet is not aware that he is on a journey, and is only semi-consciously aware of the worst parts of his character, and will not become fully aware until his journey is over.

Sadly, Hamlet does not make it to the end of his journey. Along the path to individuation Platania states that ” we split, we resist, we fly from the inevitable terror of our own personal death”. Perhaps this is the reason why Hamlet does not complete his journey. The realization of ones shadow self can be overwhelming, for with the acceptance of the shadow comes the “death” of one’s character. Hamlet does not reach individuation because he dies in his “madness”, having let his evil half tempt him into killing Polonius, Laertes, and Claudius.

Hamlet is not yet strong enough to recognize his shadow self, his “evil side”, and thus lets his darker half send him into death with blood on his hands. Provided both these Freudian and Jungian perspectives, two separate conclusions can be drawn concerning Hamlet’s unconscious motivation. The Freudian view would suggest that Hamlet is unconsciously inspired by repressed sexual desire and aggression. Hamlet, in witnessing King Claudius’ marriage of Gertrude, is reminded of his own boyhood fantasy to marry Gertrude. Likewise, Hamlet, in learning that Claudius killed his father, is reminded of own childhood fantasy to do the same.

The unconscious desires of Hamlet to kill his father and marry his mother is classified as the Oedipus Complex. Hamlet’s Oedipal complex is the reason for his self-reproach and loathing, finding expression due to the stimulation of his repressed desires. Hamlet comes to realize the duality between Claudius and himself, and therefore cannot bring himself to kill Claudius. In recognizing the similarities between himself and Claudius, Hamlet distinguishes the fact that Claudius is a part of his own personality, and that he cannot kill Claudius without killing himself.

As a result Hamlet’s only solution is to die along with Claudius. The Jungian view suggests that there is more to Hamlet than sexual desire. Hamlet is constantly trying to suppress his animus, the feminine side of his personality. In the struggle to do so, he develops an unconscious hatred for all femininity, as expressed in his relationship with Ophelia. The Jungian view also suggests that as a human being, Hamlet is on an unconscious spiritual quest towards individuation- the becoming of an individual. In order to become an individual, Hamlet must accept the darkest parts of his own personality, his Shadow self.

Hamlet’s supposed madness is a manifestation of the shadow self, in which Hamlet begins to accept his darker side. Yet Hamlet proves to be unready for the acceptance of his shadow self, and his dark half drives him to murder three characters, his step-father being one. Thus, by digging into Hamlet’s unconscious, his true unconscious motives have been unveiled. In overlooking the obvious, the true force behind Hamlet’s actions and inaction has been revealed, resulting in a final product that is an extensive comprehension of Hamlet’s character, and is, as Gertrude would say “more matter than art”.

Elizabethan Revenge in Hamlet

Hamlet is a play written by William Shakespeare that very closely follows the dramatic conventions of revenge in Elizabethan theater. All revenge tragedies originally stemmed from the Greeks, who wrote and performed the first plays. After the Greeks came Seneca who was very influential to all Elizabethan tragedy writers. Seneca who was Roman, basically set all of the ideas and the norms for all revenge play writers in the Renaissance era including William Shakespeare. The two most famous English revenge tragedies written in the Elizabethan era were Hamlet, written by Shakespeare and The Spanish Tragedy, written by Thomas Kyd.

These two plays used mostly all of the Elizabethan conventions for revenge tragedies in their plays. Hamlet especially incorporated all revenge conventions in one way or another, which truly made Hamlet a typical revenge play. Shakespeares Hamlet is one of many heroes of the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage who finds himself grievously wronged by a powerful figure, with no recourse to the law, and with a crime against his family to avenge. Seneca was among the greatest authors of classical tragedies and there was not one educated Elizabethan who was unaware of him or his plays.

There were certain stylistic and different strategically hought out devices that Elizabethan playwrights including Shakespeare learned and used from Senecas great tragedies. The five act structure, the appearance of some kind of ghost, the one line exchanges known as stichomythia, and Senecas use of long rhetorical speeches were all later used in tragedies by Elizabethan playwrights. Some of Senecas ideas were originally taken from the Greeks when the Romans conquered Greece, and with it they took home many Greek theatrical ideas.

Some of Senecas stories that originated from the Greeks like Agamemnon and Thyestes which dealt with bloody family histories and revenge captivated the Elizabethans. Senecas stories werent really written for performance purposes, so if English playwrights liked his ideas, they had to figure out a way to make the story theatrically workable, relevant and exciting to the Elizabethan audience who were very demanding. Senecas influence formed part of a developing tradition of tragedies whose plots hinge on political power, forbidden sexuality, family honor and private revenge.

There was no author who exercised a wider or deeper influence upon the Elizabethan mind or upon the Elizabethan form of tragedy than did Seneca. For the dramatists of Renaissance Italy, France and England, lassical tragedy meant only the ten Latin plays of Seneca and not Euripides, Aeschylus and Sophocles. Hamlet is certainly not much like any play of Senecas one can name, but Seneca is undoubtedly one of the effective ingredients in the emotional charge of Hamlet. Hamlet without Seneca is inconceivable.

During the time of Elizabethan theater, plays about tragedy and revenge were very common and a regular convention seemed to be formed on what aspects should be put into a typical revenge tragedy. In all revenge tragedies first and foremost, a crime is committed and for various reasons laws and justice cannot punish the crime so the ndividual who is the main character, goes through with the revenge in spite of everything. The main character then usually had a period of doubt , where he tries to decide whether or not to go through with the revenge, which usually involves tough and complex planning.

Other features that were typical were the appearance of a ghost, to get the revenger to go through with the deed. The revenger also usually had a very close relationship with the audience through soliloquies and asides. The original crime that will eventually be avenged is nearly always sexual or violent or both. The crime has been committed against family member of the revenger. The revenger places himself outside the normal moral order of things, and often becomes more isolated as the play progresses-an isolation which at its most extreme becomes madness.

The revenge must be the cause of a catastrophe and the beginning of the revenge must start immediately after the crisis. After the ghost persuades the revenger to commit his deed, a hesitation first occurs and then a delay by the avenger before killing the murderer, and his actual or acted out madness. The revenge must be taken out by the revenger or his trusted accomplices. The revenger and is accomplices may also die at the moment of success or even during the course of revenge. It should not be assumed that revenge plays parallel the moral expectations of the Elizabethan audience.

Church, State and the regular morals of people in that age did not accept revenge, instead they thought that revenge would simply not under any circumezces be tolerated no matter what the original deed was. It is repugnant on theological grounds, since Christian orthodoxy posits a world ordered by Divine Providence, in which revenge is a sin and a blasphemy, endangering the soul of the revenger. The revenger by taking law into is own hands was in turn completely going against the total political authority of the state.

People should therefore never think that revenge was expected by Elizabethan society. Although they loved to see it in plays, it was considered sinful and it was utterly condemned. The Spanish Tragedy written by Thomas Kyd was an excellent example of a revenge tragedy. With this play, Elizabethan theater received its first great revenge tragedy, and because of the success of this play, the dramatic form had to be imitated. The play was performed from 1587 to 1589 and it gave people an everlasting emembrance of the story of a father who avenges the murder of his son.

In this story, a man named Andrea is killed by Balthazar in the heat of battle. The death was considered by Elizabethan people as a fair one, therefore a problem occurred when Andreas ghost appeared to seek vengeance on its killer. Kyd seemed to have used this to parallel a ghost named Achilles in Senecas play Troades. Andreas ghost comes and tells his father, Hieronimo that he must seek revenge. Hieronimo does not know who killed his son but he goes to find out. During his investigation, he receives a letter saying that Lorenzo killed his on, but he doubts this so he runs to the king for justice.

Hieronimo importantly secures his legal rights before taking justice into his own hands. The madness scene comes into effect when Hieronimos wife, Usable goes mad, and Hieronimo is so stunned that his mind becomes once again unsettled. Finally Hieronimo decides to go through with the revenge, so he seeks out to murder Balthazar and Lorenzo, which he successfully does. Hieronimo becomes a blood thirsty maniac and when the king calls for his arrest, he commits suicide. As well as the fact that Elizabethan theater had its rules bout how a revenge tragedy had to be, so did Thomas Kyd.

He came up with the Kydian Formula to distinguish revenge tragedies from other plays. His first point was that the fundamental motive was revenge, and the revenge is aided by an accomplice who both commit suicide after the revenge is achieved. The ghost of the slain watches the revenge on the person who killed him. The revenger goes through justifiable hesitation before committing to revenge as a solution. Madness occurs due to the grieve of a loss. Intrigue is used against and by the revenger. There is bloody action and many deaths that occur throughout the entire play.

The accomplices on both sides are killed. The villain is full of villainous devices. The revenge is accomplished terribly and fittingly. The final point that Thomas Kyd made about his play was that minor characters are left to deal with the situation at the end of the play. The Spanish Tragedy follows these rules made by Kyd very closely, simply because Kyd developed these rules from the play. The fundamental motive was revenge because that was the central theme of the play. The ghost of Andrea sees his father kill the men who murdered Andrea originally.

Hieronimo hesitates first because he goes o the king and then he is faced with Isabellas madness which is caused by Andreas death. The play is filled with all kinds of bloody action and many people die throughout the course of the play. The accomplices in the play also all end up dead. Lorenzo who is the true villain, is full of all kinds of evil villainous devices. The revenge works out perfectly, in that both Lorenzo and Balthazar get murdered in the end by Hieronimo. The minor characters were left to clean up the mess of all of the deaths that occurred during the play.

The Spanish Tragedy also follows the conventions of Elizabethan theater very closely. The murder was committed and Hieronimo had to take justice into his own hands, because true justice just simply wasnt available. Hieronimo then delays his revenge for many different reasons that occur in the play. The ghost of Andrea appeared and guided Hieronimo to the direction of his killer. Also at the end of the play, both Hieronimo and his accomplices die after they were successful in committing the revenge. In Hamlet, Shakespeare follows regular convention for a large part of the play.

In the beginning, Shakespeare sets up the scene, having a ghost on a dark night. Everyone is working and something trange is happening in Denmark. It is as if Shakespeare is saying that some kind of foul play has been committed. This sets up for the major theme in the play which is of course revenge. The ghost appears to talk to Hamlet. It is quite obvious that the play had a gruesome, violent death and the sexual aspect of the play was clearly introduced when Claudius married Hamlets mother Gertrude.

The ghost tells Hamlet that he has been given the role of the person who will take revenge upon Claudius. Hamlet must now think of how to take revenge on Claudius, although he doesnt know what to do about it. He ponders his houghts for a long period of time, expecting to do the deed immediately, but instead he drags it on until the end of the play. Although what was important to note was that all tragic heroes of plays at that time delayed their actual revenge until the end of the play.

In most revenge plays, the revenger was often anonymous and well disguised, stalking the enemy about to be killed, but Hamlet started a battle of wits with Claudius by acting mad and calling it his antic disposition, although the whole thing was a ploy to get closer to Claudius to be able to avenge his fathers death more easily. The actic was a disadvantage in that it drew all attention upon himself. More importantly though it was an advantage that his antic disposition, isolated him from the rest of the court because of the people not paying attention to what he thought or did because of his craziness.

One important part of all revenge plays is that after the revenge is finally decided upon, the tragic hero delays the actual revenge until the end of the play. Hamlets delay of killing Claudius takes on three distinct stages. Firstly he had to prove that the ghost was actually telling the truth, and he did this by staging the play The Mousetrap at court. When Claudius stormed out in rage, Hamlet knew that he was guilty. The second stage was when Hamlet could have killed Claudius while he was confessing to god.

If Hamlet had done it here then Claudius would have gone to heaven because he confessed while Hamlets father was in purgatory because he did not get the opportunity to confess. So Hamlet therefore decided not to murder Claudius at this point in the play. The third delay was the fact that he got side tracked. He accidentally killed Polonius which created a whole new problem with the fact that Laertes now wanted Hamlet dead. After he commit this murder he was also sent off and unable to see the king for another few weeks until he could finally do the job.

What makes Hamlet ezd out from many other revenge plays of the period is not that it rejects the conventions of its genre but that it both enacts and analyses them. It can be easily understood that Hamlet very closely follows the regular conventions for all Elizabethan tragedies. First Hamlet is faced with the fact that he has to avenge the murder of his father and since there is no fair justice available, he must take the law into his own hands. The ghost of his father appears to guide Hamlet to Claudius and inform Hamlet of the evil that Claudius has committed.

Then Hamlet coneztly delays his revenge and always finds a way to put it off until he finally does it in Act V, Scene 2. Hamlet at the same time continues to keep a close relationship with the audience with his seven main soliloquies including the famous, To be, or not to be… (Act 3 Scene 1). The play also consists of a mad scene where Ophelia has gone mad because her father Polonius had been killed and because Hamlet was sent off to England. The sexual aspect of the play was brought in when Claudius married Gertrude after he had dreadfully illed Old Hamlet and taken his throne.

Hamlet also follows almost every aspect of Thomas Kyds formula for a revenge tragedy. The only point that can be argued is that the accomplices on both sides were not killed because at the end of the play, Horatio was the only one to survive, although if it wasnt for Hamlet, Horatio would have commit suicide when he said, I am more an antique Roman than a Dane. Heres some liquor left. (Act V Scene 2, 346-347). If Horatio had killed himself, then Hamlet would have followed the Kydian formula as well as the regular conventions for Elizabethan revenge tragedy.

Hamlet is definitely a great example of a typical revenge tragedy of the Elizabethan theater era. It followed every convention required to classify it as a revenge play quite perfectly. Hamlet is definitely one of the greatest revenge stories ever written and it was all influenced first by Sophocles, Euripides and other Greeks, and then more importantly by Seneca. Hamlet as well as The Spanish Tragedy tackled and conquered all areas that were required for the consummation of a great revenge tragedy. Revenge although thought to be unlawful and against the Church was absolutely adored by all Elizabethan people.

The Elizabethan audience always insisted on seeing eventual justice, and one who stained his hands with blood had to pay the penalty. That no revenger, no matter how just, ever wholly escapes the penalty for shedding blood, even in error. This was also a very important point that was also dealt with brilliantly by Shakespeare in finding a way to kill Hamlet justly even though he was required to kill Claudius. Hamlet was written with the mighty pen of Shakespeare who once again shows people that he can conjure up any play and make it one of the greatest of all time. Hamlet was one of the greatest of all time.

Hamlet As An Ideal Hero

We often wonder why Shakespeare’s character Hamlet, in the play Hamlet, waited so long after bring told by the ghost, about the evil deed, before carrying out his plan. Everyone contains a tinge of Hamlet in his or her feelings, wants, and worries. Hamlet is not like other tragic heroes of his period. He stands apart from other Shakespeare’s heroes in his much discussed innocence. Is this supposed tragic hero maybe an ideal hero, one without the tragic flaw, which has been a part of the formula for the tragedy since the Golden Age of Greece? This is a question that has been the field for many literary critics’ battles.

The main, and, most often, the only flaw that has been attributed to Hamlet was his delay. This seems to constitute the central part in Hamlet. Critics seem to cling to this detail, as if trying to save the status of Hamlet as a typical Elizabethan tragedy of revenge. According to Aristotle, ” the definition of tragedy, there should exist a flaw in the character of the main hero, who is a great personality that is engaged in a struggle that ends catastrophically”. (Aristotle, 459) If Hamlet had no flaw, what kind of tragic hero is he? No doubt, Hamlet is a tragical drama, for it has many characters that end up losing their lives.

But the play would not lose it’s tragic tone if Hamlet was an ideal hero instead of a tragic one. Which is exactly the case. If just all critics realized this, maybe today we would not have that much trouble trying to decipher Hamlet’s character, just like Elizabethan audiences never raised any questions concerning Hamlet’s delay. Alice Griffin, a drama critic, lecturer, states ” it was only in the last two centuries, that the audience and their perceptions have drastically changed, which causes this confusion concerning the character that was created by Shakespeare for the common people, some ignorant ones among them, perhaps”.

Griffin, 63) Hamlet is an ideal hero with a flaw, a flaw that sparks many questions among critics everywhere, these questions can be answered in a simple concentration of one scene. Hamlet is like a soldier that is thrown into a war where he has to do some things he rather would avoid doing, but under the given circumstances he bites his teeth and carries himself well. In this war, the circumstances brought on by Claudius’s murdering of King Hamlet are Hamlet’s enemy. Morris Weitz, a critic of Shakespearian plays, states, “His dead father, and destroyed country, is the painful truth which leaves so much hatred and resentment in his heart”.

Weitz, 15) Being a loyal prince and son, and one whom an entire kingdom respected, he should seek revenge and bring justice back in the royal court. The whole play would be very simple if this murder was an open assassination. But no, Shakespeare made sure that this murder was a secret, that no one, except maybe Claudius, knew about it. Bernard Grebanier, another critic that focuses on the piece of literature, says, “this puts in a completely different context to the play that was written by Thomas Kyd, a play that is titled Ur-Hamlet, which Shakespeare used as a basis for his Hamlet play”.

Grebanier, 111) This way, Shakespeare accomplished very different development of action, and ultimately one of the best plays in that history. Along with that, Shakespeare created disagreement concerning reasons why Hamlet waited so long before killing Claudius. A careful reader can notice that more than two months pass between Hamlet being told by the aspiration about the evil deed, and Hamlet following through with his plan. One can argue that from this follows that Hamlet procrastinated, have that one flaw – being passive, not daring to act. But Shakespeare never payed attention to this time interval.

According to Grebanier, “an audience was not aware of it, because Shakespeare didn’t want it to be… the rather large time interval was of no consequence, and truly one cannot notice this without a conscious calculation”. (Grebanier, 179) More critics, especially during popularity of Freud, have tried to explain Hamlet’s delay exclusively from psychological point of view. But how can one psychologically analyze a character that does not exist in a physical world; whose existence is dependent is merely on his actions and reactions to the events and other characters from the play?

J. Dover Wilson summarized it by saying that Hamlet is a “character in a play not in history”. (Weitz, 107) From the point of view of these critics, it follows that character preceded the plot, thus shaping it for its needs. But Shakespeare, not to mention all the other play writers, followed Aristotelian view. “Tragedy is an imitation of life … and thus the plot precedes the character”. (Aristotle, 459-460) This, without even knowing Aristotelian method, can also be deduced from knowing that Shakespeare adopted the plot of Ur-Hamlet, and changed it slightly.

A slight change in the plot, however, hardly even the slightest change affects the characters. But one should realize that “preceding” means coming before the other one, and it does not mean eliminating the other. Therefore, the cause of Hamlet’s fall cannot be ascribed exclusively to the situation. That would mean eliminating every element of tragedy, and even drama, from Hamlet. If this would happen then Hamlet would have become a mere collection of fate-dependent events that accidentally so happened not to have a happy ending.

So, the reason for Hamlet’s actions should be understood as a synthesis of original situation, Hamlet’s reactions to it, and then again of the situation that was affected by Hamlet’s reactions. Looking at Hamlet’s reactions, one detail cannot be over-looked: Hamlet does not kill Claudius in church, while he has the best chance of doing so up until that point in the play. This little detail, and it is really a little detail, for if it was more important, Shakespeare would have dedicated to it more than some 100 lines in the play, tends to affect the reader’s evaluation of Hamlet’s delay.

Why did he not kill the King? Understanding this scene is crucial today in understanding Hamlet’s delay, for we seem to be puzzled by it (if we were in the audience, the whole scene would have lasted only moments, but as readers, we have the freedom to ponder about it). At least so was Professor Dowden, to name one critic, who holds that Hamlet “loses a sense of fact, because he puts every event through his mind, filtering it until every deed seems to have an alternative”, In not doing the deed, but by evaluating it even more.

Bloom, 66) Coleridge and Goethe would agree with this, holding that Hamlet’s soul is too philosophical and it lacks ability to instinctually act on impulse, and that he is “too sensitive to avenge himself”. (Grebanier, 159) But if one only reads what goes on in the play, Hamlet could by no means be called too sensitive or passive. After the ghost appears, he ignores the fears of his friends, is strong enough to break off their restraining hold, and follows the ghastly apparition.

He is known in the kingdom as a brilliant fencer, and shows his skills in the match with Laertes, after which he is also able to cut the king and take the glass of poison from Horatio’s hand, all that while dying of deadly poison. “What then is the delay of action? Did Shakespeare make it on purpose so that he can fill the five long acts? ” (Grebanier, 115) Hamlet is very brave and impulsive prince, but the plot seems to prevent him from finding an, according to Bloom, “external model or simple solution for conduct, so that he must depend more on thinking, and less on acting”.

Bloom, 102) He realizes that killing a King is a great crime. In the seventeenth century, kings have divinity about them, and hurting a politician today cannot compare to hurting a king from that period. The proof of this is in the last scene. Even after Laertes speaks out and lets everyone that is present knows that the match and poison were only the King’s plans. To this the crowd yells, as if having an instinct to defend their king: “Treason! Treason! ” ( Shakespeare, Act V ii 312) Even if it was not punishable to assassinate the King, Hamlet would still not kill him in the church.

He might have taken the sword out, but one thing then went through his mind: “If King is murdered, the truth is murdered too, and the King Hamlet’s assassination would be impossible to prove”. “His aim is not to kill the King and get the throne. He is primarily concerned with punishing the murderer of his father, punishing him under the shelter of justice”. (Grebanier, 111- 113) So, Hamlet does delay, according to Stoll, “but with purpose to create his deed momentous when the right moment comes in it’s time”. (Stoll, 87) This is what is behind his procrastination in the church.

Until he has the proof, he must be as patient as possible. His words in the church, then, are not at all excuse for delay when he says that he must wait for the King to be in act that has no relish of salvation in it. Rather, he speaks to himself in attempt to force himself not to use violence, but to be patient. So, instead of showing a flaw in the church, Hamlet shows virtue, his prudent patience. He is now absolutely determined in his plan and all of his actions are directed towards one accomplishment, to justly punish the one who murdered his father.

The proof of this is in the last scene when he orders Horatio to let everyone know the truth, and what went on in the kingdom in the last two months. Hamlet is the only Shakespearian tragic hero who does not have a tragic flaw, which makes him an ideal hero, instead of a tragic one. By him being an ideal hero, doesn’t change the tone of the play. It’s just stating that Hamlet was a very noble and strong willed character, that didn’t have a tragic flaw. He planned everything out, and it just seems like he has a tragic flaw. Hamlet the play still is a revenge tragedy, for Hamlet never lived to see the full revenge.

Hamlet Tragism Essay

Arguably, the best piece of writing ever done by William Shakespeare, Hamlet is the classic example of a tragedy. In all tragedies the hero suffers, and usually dies at the end. Othello stabs himself, Romeo and Juliet commit suicide, Brutis falls on his sword, and like them Hamlet dies by getting cut with a poison tipped sword. But that is not all tht is need to consider a play a tragedy, and sometimes a hero doesn’t even need to die. Not every play in which a hero dies is considered a tragedy. There are more elements needed to label a play one.

Probably the most important element is an amount of free will. In every tragedy, the characters must display some. If every action is controlled by a hero’s destiny, then the hero’s death can’t be avoided, and in a tragedy the sad part is tht it could. Hamlet’s death could have been avoided many times. Hamlet had many opportunities to kill Claudius, but didn’t take advantage of them. He also had the option of making his claim public, but instead he chose not too. A tragic hero doesn’t need to be good. For example, MacBeth was evil, yet he was a tragic hero, because he had free will.

He also had only one flaw, and that was pride. He had many good traits such as bravery, but his one bad trait made him evil. Also a tragic hero doesn’t’ have to die. While in all Shakespearean tragedies, the hero dies, in others he may live but suffer “”oral Destruction”” In Oedipus Rex, the proud yet morally blind king plucks his eyes out, and has to spend his remaining days as a wandering, sightless beggar, guided at every painful step by his daughter, Antigone. A misconception about tragedies is that nothing good comes out of them, but it is actually the opposite.

In Romeo and Juliet, although both die, they end the feud between the Capulets and the Montegues. Also, Romeo and Juliet can be together in heaven. In Hamlet, although Hamlet dies, it is almost the best. How could he have any pleasure during the rest of his life, with his parents and Ophelia dead. Also, although Hamlet dies, he is able to kill Claudius and get rid of the evil ruling of the throne. Every tragic play must have a tragic hero. The tragic hero must possess many good traits, as well as one flaw, which eventually leads to his downfall.

A tragic hero must be brave and noble. In Othello, Othello had one fatal flaw, he was too great. Othello was too brave, too noble, and especially too proud to allow himself to be led back to Venice in chains. A tragic hero must not back down from his position. He also had to have free will, in order to stand up for what he believes in. Finally, the audience must have some sympathy for the tragic hero. In Macbeth, although MacBeth commits many murders, one almost feels sorry for him and his fate. Hamlet is the perfect example of the tragic hero.

Hamlet has all the good traits needed to be a tragic hero. He is brave and daring. One example of this is that when he went to England, he was taking a big risk. If his plan didn’t work, he would have been executed. He also is loyal. His loyalty to his father, was the reason he was so angry at Claudius and his mother. Another trait was that he was intelligent. He was able to think up the idea of faking insanity, in order to get more information about Claudius. But Hamlet like all other tragic heros had a flaw. He couldn’t get around to doing anything, because he couldn’t move on.

He was a full grown adult, yet he till attended school in England, because he couldn’t move on. Also, it took him a long time to stop grieving about his father, because he didn’t want to move past that party of his life. And after he finally did, Hamlet couldn’t get around to killing Claudius. He kept pretending he was insane even after he was sure that Claudius killed his father. The final example of Hamlet’s inability to get around to do anything was that he w as dating Ophelia for a long time, but never got around to marrying her.

The audience was able to feel sympathy for Hamlet too. He had just lost his father, and his mother remarried so quickly that according to him they could have used the leftover food from the funeral in the wedding reception. Also, the audience could feel that Hamlet loved his parents and this sudden change was hurting him. In any tragedy, there is a tragic hero, and he must possess certain characteristics in order to be one. He must have many good traits such as loyalty and bravery, but one bad one such as pride. Also the audience must have sympathy for the hero.

A tragic hero also ust have free will or his fate would be decided for him. And his death could have been avoided. Finally, the audience must have sympathy for the tragic hero, or it w ouldnt seem so tragic. Hamlet is a perfect example of a tragic hero. He was brave, loyal, and intelligent, but he couldn’t move past one thing, which let to his death. HE had a choice of how he would deal with Claudius, and like other tragic heros he made a decision. Also, the audience was able to feel sympathy for the position Hamlet was in. These attributes made Hamlet the perfect example of a tragic hero.

Hamlet in act III scene II

Hamlet in act III scene II is left alone and starts to philosophize about the concept of suicide. He presents a logical argument both for and against ending his own life and seems to be governed by reason rather than frenzied emotion as in the previous two major soliloquys . To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer Hamlet poses the question to himself , to exist , or not to exist . He says that is the question but he goes on to ask himself many more in the subsequent dialog .

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, asking himself whether it would appear nobler for him to suffer whatever fortune blocks his path with or to in some way combat and stop the troubles one has to endure. He uses the words slings and arrows to make his problems more real as comparing them with weapons can lead us to believe they have similar effects of harm . A sea of troubles is used to emphasize and exaggerate Hamlets problems.. And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;

No more; and by a sleep to say we end Hamlet believes that the only way to end his troubles is either to die or sleep comparing the two saying one is as good as the other . That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep; Hamlet believes that the only way to finally settle matters is to commit suicide. In these two lines there are three religious elements , firstly he says that flesh is heir to troubles , with this he means the original sin that his religion is born with , the word devoutly and the reference to suicide as he knows that suicide is the ultimate sin .

To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come Using the parallel of sleeping and death , he compares the afterlife with dreams saying that when you sleep you dream but you can never predict what of , as in the afterlife u never know what one will encounter upon arriving there. When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause: there’s the respect he says we must stop to think before we take action as we must take into consideration other aspects.

That makes calamity of so long life; For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, These other aspects are what makes life so long lived by people as Hamlet believes no person would bear the misfortunes and suffering that we encounter during life if we were certain of a way to go to a better place.

The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely, The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay, The insolence of office and the spurns That patient merit of the unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? o would fardels bear, One can easily settle his own problems with jus one slash of a mere knife so why do we live life with these burdens on his back , if we can so easily dispel them. To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, to work hard and sweat in a life that mentally wears us down the only thing that stops us ending life is the uncertainty of an afterlife as we may encounter something not to our liking or our pleasure. The undiscover’d country from whose bourn

No traveler returns, puzzles the will The afterlife is an undiscovered country or realm that no person returns from past its boundarys and that is what leads the mind to be confused . Hamlet has already experienced a ghost of his father though so this line indicates us to believe that Hamlet still does not know for certain the nature of the ghost that visited him. And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? We would rather suffer the down side of life than take a risk and go somewhere that we have no idea or grasp of.

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution Our mind that makes us set apart from animals in the exact thing that is our downfall as it makes us lack courage and make us all look and seem like cowards. Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pitch and moment Hamlet believes that the more we think about this thought of suicide , the more it becomes of ill appeal to us as thinking of the climatic moment of killing one self would be another aspect that would discourage suicide . With this regard their currents turn awry,

And lose the name of action. — Soft you now! Hamlets believes people would become unstable like the sea when tides change and so would become incapable of the deed they set out to do. The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons Be all my sins remember’d. Hamlets soliloquy is cut short as he hears Ophelia praying and so goes to attend her. We can learn from this that Hamlet is still of a sound mind and his antic disposition is still just that but we also see one of Hamlets floors , his procrastination over this subject loses him valuable time on many fronts.

Love Loss And The Court Of King Claudius

Shakespeare worked with the simplest of principals, writing at the mind’s own speed, using everything he read, but reworking it first, and depending upon characters for the defining trait or flaw. One theme which constantly emerges throughout Hamlet is the theme of love and loss, revealed by the characters of Hamlet, Laertes, and Ophelia. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is a young man subjected to much heart ache in the course of this play. His first loss being the suspicious death of Hamlet’s beloved and respected father, Hamlet Sr.

Even Hamlet’s Uncle/Step-father, King Claudius, noted in peaking with young Hamlet that his mourning was serious. “‘Tis sweet and commendable in your nature,” says Caludius of Hamlet’s behavior, “. . . But to persevere in obstinate condolement is a course of impious stubbornness. Tis unmanly grief. . . ” (Act I, Scene II, lines 90-98). Hamlet was heartbroken at the loss of his father, which was reflected in his outlook on life. He regarded Denmark as a prison and spoke to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of having bad dreams. Unfortunately Act I is not the only time where young Hamlet expresses pain from love and loss.

Although he is cruel and nkind to Ophelia in their meetings of both Act III, Scenes I and II, he is only expressing the frustration that has built up inside of him toward all women, and directed it at Ophelia because she was available. Hamlet had not ceased to love her. He explains his true feelings for Ophelia upon arrival at her burial, completely shocked that his beloved maid has died, saying, “What is he whose grief bears such an emphasis, whose phase of sorrow conjures the wand’ring stars and makes them stand like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I,” (Act V, Scene I, lines 267-271).

He then goes on to say he would do anything to prove his love, including be buried with her. Hamlet lost yet another person dear to him, his lover, fair Ophelia. Hamlet is only one character in the play who experiences love and loss. Ophelia is another. In Act III, Scene IV, after the performance of The Mouse Trap and The Murder of Gonzago for the royal court, Hamlet mistakenly kills Polonius, the father of Ophelia and Laertes. Ophelia already believed she had lost the affections of her Hamlet due to their dialogue from Act III, Scenes I and II.

She had sacrificed his love because her father and rother had ordered her to turn him away. And now, to learn that her respected father, whom she had given up her lover for, was dead, was far too great a grievance for the young woman. In Act IV, Scene V, reports reach Queen Gertrude that Ophelia has gone mad. She sings songs of unrequited love, betrayal, and death. The King, the Queen, Horatio, and the Gentleman recognize that it is the trauma of her loss that has driven her to be so. Claudius remarking, “O, this is the poison of deep grief. It springs all from her father’s death, and now behold! ” (Act IV, Scene V, Lines 80-81).

And so we see another ho was affected by the theme of love and loss. Finally, there is the son of Polonius, a man of great talent with a rapier, whose losses seem already totaled when he sees his sister in her state of madness and he concludes, “And so have I a noble father lost, and a sister driven into desp’rate terms, whose worth, if praises may go back again, stood challenger on mount of all the age for her perfections,” (Act IV, Scene VII, Lines 27-31). Laertes feels the loss of his sister before she actually kills herself in the river – and then he has truly lost both his father and younger sister.

It is tragic, but rather than sadness, Laertes expresses anger. Anger towards Hamlet because, to him, Hamlet is to blame for the death of both of Laertes’ family members. Shakespeare wrote Hamlet with several key players in mind to portray the theme of love and loss to its audience. When it was not young Hamlet experiencing love and loss, it was fair Ophelia dealing with the same feelings, or it was her brother, Laertes. In every act at least one of these three experiences dealing with love and/or loss. Therefore love and loss is a relevant theme to Hamlet which is successfully traced from beginning to end.

On How Tragedy Leads to Deception in: “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”

In the play “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark,” William Shakespeare has used the theme of deception, and how its use by one or more characters leads to their downfall. Polonius explicitly stated this theme when he said to Laertes in I, ii, “By indirections find directions out. ” Each major character in Hamlet, in his or her own way, provided an example of this theme. By using deceit the characters in “Hamlet” employed methods to fulfill their own agenda, an action that ultimately resulted in tragedy. Shakespeare’s use of deception is seen most clearly in Hamlet’s actions.

He began to “act mad” early in the play in order to manipulate his friends. “Hereafter [I] shall put an antic disposition on” (I. v. 171-2). Hamlet swore to use this antic disposition to uncover his father’s murderer. He used this performance as a tool of artifice in order to cover up his true feelings. Hamlet went too far however, and his underhanded plan began to work against him. By not coming clean with those he trusts most, Hamlet served to alienate them from himself, and from his cause (of avenging his father’s death). In III i, Hamlet said to Ophelia, “God hath given you a face, and you make [yourself] another.

Prince Hamlet hypocritically attacked her for concealing her opinions, while he counterfeited his own opinions with the antic disposition. Ophelia is not the only character he acted mad toward; he used the same duplicity toward all characters in the play. When speaking to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, for example, he asked them to “be even and direct” with him, but did not inform them of the intent behind his own deceitful actions. As shown when Rozencrantz said to Hamlet, “You bar the door upon your own liberty, if you deny [telling] your griefs to your friend[s]” (III. ii. 7-8), Hamlet had not been fully open with his friends.

Hamlet’s use of an antic disposition is what lead to his death. He had overdone his acting mad, and the madness he had created began to control him as seen in V, ii when Hamlet speaks of himself in the third person to Laertes: I here proclaim [my] madness If Hamlet from himself be ta’en away, / And when he’s not himself, does wrong Laertes, / Then hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it: / Who does it then? His madness. If’t be so, / Hamlet is of the faction that is wronged, / His madness is poor Hamlet’s enemy. ” (Lines 213-22)

Hamlet’s acting mad swelled to such a level that he could not claim responsibility for the offenses that he committed. His loss of control is a crucial aspect of the play’s theme, because it shows Hamlet’s deterioration by the same actions he had previously preformed in order to mask his true outlook. Claudius is another character in “Hamlet” who used treachery to reach his objective. Everything he tried to accomplish he did in a sly manner, beginning with the killing of his brother. The ghost of the king saw Claudius as a man, “[ who has] the power to seduce my most virtuous queen.

He killed the king not by confrontation, but with a “leprous distilment” poured slowly and quietly into his ear. The sly manner in which he did this is what spurred Hamlet to seek revenge. Claudius, while praying, admitted to himself that he could not repent for what he had done: “Yet what can it, when one cannot repent? ” (III. iii. 66). He knew what he did was wrong, and that it would come to haunt him in the form of the tragic loss of his life. Through underhanded means King Claudius tried to kill Hamlet several times. The first of which he used Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as guardians accompanying Hamlet to England,

I like him not, nor stands it safe with us / To let his madness rage. Therefore prepare you, / I your commission will forthwith dispatch, / And he to England shall along with you: / The terms of our estate may not endure / Hazard so near’s as doth hourly grow / Out of his brows” (III. iii. 1-7). The king recognized his nephew’s objective of trickery through “madness”, and tried to put a premature end to Hamlet’s plans. To accomplish this he did not try to eliminate Hamlet himself, rather, the king turned Laertes against him, again embodying the theme of deception.

Another method of portraying the theme of deceit is seen in the way Shakespeare depicted Polonius. He is much like Hamlet, in the fact that he is very a hypocritical character. For example, he passed this advice on to his son: “[do] not then be false to any man. ” He proceeded to tell Claudius of how they could hide behind the arras and spy on Hamlet, in order to find out why he had been “acting mad. ”

He also hid behind the arras in Gertrude’s bed chambers in order to spy on Hamlet further, “Behind the arras I’ll convey myself” (III. i. 28). This is what led to his death though, in the end of the third act. Shakespeare portrays this as Polonius’ conniving, underhanded ways coming back to kill him. As a relatively minor character Laertes exhibits all the same traits as the rest of Shakespeare’s cast – deception and deceit. He is seen as almost identical to Hamlet. Both loved Ophelia, both of their fathers were wrongfully murdered, and both sought revenge. The only difference is that Laertes was more willing to act on his convictions.

This alone was not devious, but the methods he employed definitely were. “I will do it I’ll anoint my sword that if I gall him slightly, / it may be death. ” (IV. vii. 137-47). By poisoning the tip of his sword, Laertes not only killed Hamlet, he used the themes of the play to do so. This, as repeatedly shown, is what led him to tragedy; his death. The play’s motifs of deceit and deception are furthered with Rozencrantz and Guildenstern. They claimed to be Hamlet’s friends, when really they were profiting at his expense by collaborating with the King and Queen.

Shown when the Queen said, “Your visitation will receive such thanks / As fits a king’s remembrance,” it is explicitly implied that they are receiving compensation for their “service. ” By betraying their friend in return for pay, Rozencrantz and Guildenstern choose deceitful actions to fulfill their own agendas. It ends up killing them though, because Hamlet finds out and changes the letters. Each character in the play “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” utilizes the theme of deceit, and provides an example (through their death) of how it repeatedly leads to tragedy.

The Tragedy of Hamlet

Arguably the best piece of writing ever done by William Shakespeare, Hamlet the is the classic example of a tragedy. In all tragedies the hero suffers, and usually dies at the end. Othello stabs himself, Romeo and Juliet commit suicide, Brutis falls on his sword, and like them Hamlet dies by getting cut with a poison tipped sword. But that is not all that is needed to consider a play a tragedy, and sometimes a hero doesn’t even need to die. Making Not every play in which a Hero dies is considered a tragedy. There are more elements needed to label a play one.

Probably the most important element is an amount of free will. In every tragedy, the characters must displays some. If every action is controlled by a hero’s destiny, then the hero’s death can’t be avoided, and in a tragedy the sad part is that it could. Hamlet’s death could have been avoided many times. Hamlet had many opportunities to kill Claudius, but did not take advantage of them. He also had the option of making his claim public, but instead he chose not too. A tragic hero doesn’t need to be good. For example, MacBeth was evil, yet he was a tragic hero, because e had free will.

He also had only one flaw, and that was pride. He had many good traits such as bravery, but his one bad trait made him evil. Also a tragic hero doesn’t have to die. While in all Shakespearean tragedies, the hero dies, in others he may live but suffer “Moral Destruction”. In Oedipus Rex, the proud yet morally blind king plucks out his eyes, and has to spend his remaining days as a wandering, sightless beggar, guided at every painful step by his daughter, Antigone. A misconception about tragedies is that nothing good comes out of them, but it is ctually the opposite.

In Romeo and Juliet, although both die, they end the feud between the Capulets and the Montegues. Also, Romeo and Juliet can be together in heaven. In Hamlet, although Hamlet dies, it is almost for the best. How could he have any pleasure during the rest of his life, with his parents and Ophelia dead. Also, although Hamlet dies, he is able to kill Claudius and get rid of the evil ruling the throne. Every tragic play must have a tragic hero. The tragic hero must possess many good traits, as well as one flaw, which eventually leads to his downfall.

A tragic hero must be brave and noble. In Othello, Othello had one fatal flaw, he was too great. Othello was too brave, too noble, and especially too proud to allow himself to be led back to Venice in chains. A tragic hero must not back down from his position. He also has to have free will, in order to ezd up for what he believes in. Finally, the audience must have some sympathy for the tragic hero. In MacBeth, although MacBeth commits many murders, one almost feels sorry for him and his fate. Hamlet is the perfect example of the tragic hero.

Hamlet has all the good traits needed to be a tragic hero. He is brave and daring. One example of this is that when he went to England, he was taking a big risk. If his plan didn’t work, he would have been executed He also is also loyal. His loyalty to his father, was the reason he was so angry at Claudius and his Mother. Another trait was that he was intelligent. He was able to think up the idea of faking insanity, in order to get more information about Claudius. But Hamlet like all other tragic hero’s had a flaw. He couldn’t get around to doing anything, because he couldn’t ove on.

He was a full grown adult, yet he still attended school in England, because he couldn’t move on. Also, it took him a long time to stop grieving about his father, because he didn’t want to move past that part of his life. And after he finally did, Hamlet couldn’t get around to killing Claudius. He kept pretending he was insane even after he was sure that Claudius killed his father. The final example of Hamlet’s inability to get around to do anything was that he was dating Ophelia for a long time, but never got around to marrying her.

The audience was able to eel sympathy for Hamlet too. He had just lost his father, and his mother remarried so quickly that according to him they could have used the leftover food from the funeral in the wedding reception. Also, the audience could feel that Hamlet loved his parents and this sudden change was hurting him. In any tragedy there is a tragic hero, and he must possess certain characteristics in order to be one. He must have many good traits such as loyalty and bravery, but one bad one such as pride. Also the audience must have sympathy for the hero.

A tragic hero also must have free will or his ate would be decided for him, and his death could be avoided. Finally, the audience must have sympathy for the tragic hero, or it wouldn’t seem so tragic. Hamlet is a perfect example of a tragic hero. He was brave, loyal, and intelligent, but he couldn’t move on past one thing, which led to his death. He had a choice of how he would deal with Claudius, and like other tragic hero’s made a decision. Also, the audience was able to feel sympathy for the position Hamlet was in. These attributes made Hamlet the perfect example of a tragic hero.

Hamlet’s Madness Essay

Is Hamlet Madness Not Likely Madness is a condition of the mind which eliminates all rational thought leaving an individual with no proper conception of what is happening around him/her. Madness typically occurs in the minds of individuals that have experienced an event or series of events that their mind simply cannot cope with and, thus, to avoid their harsh reality, they fall into a state of madness. In William Shakespeares masterpiece Hamlet, there is much debate around the protagonist, Hamlet, and whether or not his madness in the play was real or feigned.

It was a disastrous time in the prince, Hamlets life as his father had just passed away, his uncle then took the kingship and wed Hamlets mother, then the ghost of his deceased father appeared to him with instructions for revenge and, finally, the love of his life was no longer permitted to see the prince by order of the ladys father. This would seem to many to be reason enough for an individual to lose touch with reality and fall into madness, but this was not the case with the brilliant strong-minded Hamlet.

Though the prince displayed numerous signs of madness during the play, Hamlet never lost touch with reality as he continued acting rational both in his thoughts as well as while speaking with certain individuals. If Hamlet were truthfully insane, he would not have been able to suddenly stop displaying his insanity as he did in the play after his altercation with Laertes in the graveyard. He also had motive for putting on the contrivance as it would disguise his investigation of his fathers strange death and his plans for revenge against his uncle Claudius if he found him to be guilty.

After Hamlet witnessed the appearance of his dead fathers ghost and heard what the spirit had to say, Hamlets sole mission in life was to uncover the truth behind his Williams 2 fathers death and avenge it accordingly. By putting on this scheme it would serve him better on his quest as opposed to going about his business in a sane and rational manner. Firstly, it allowed Hamlet to confuse those around him about what the cause of his troubled mind was and, also, about what his true intentions are behind any of his actions.

This thought is portrayed through Hamlet deceiving Polonius into believing that his love for Ophelia was the root of his madness. Consequently, Polonius went immediately to the king and queen who remark: Do you think tis this? / It may be; very like (2. 2. 151-52). After Hamlets encounter with the ghost, he obtains a great distrust and distaste for women. His feigned madness permitted Hamlet to express these emotions freely towards Ophelia: … Get thee to a nunnery, / farewell. Or if thou wilt needs marry, marry a / fool; for wise men know well enough what monsters / you make of them… (3. 138-41).

It was also important for Hamlet to be so vulgar towards Ophelia because it would not have been possible for him to continue being a caring loving boyfriend while attempting to avenge his fathers death. Lastly, by pretending to be mentally disturbed, it provided Hamlet with an excuse for any sinful deeds he would commit on his pursuit of revenge. Hamlet exemplifies this conception as he seeks for Laertes forgiveness for murdering his father Polonius: If Hamlet from himself be taen away, / And when hes not himself does wrong Laertes, / Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it.

Who does it then? His madness… (5. 2. 230-33). Hamlets pursuit of the truth and revenge was much better accompanied by madness rather than sanity which gave Hamlet a clear motive to fabricate insanity in the play. In the midst of Hamlets supposed madness, the prince continues to speak rationally with certain individuals as well as maintain sensible and logical thoughts. This idea is depicted through his conversations with his good friend Horatio who is assisting Hamlet in his search for the truth behind Old Hamlets death.

For example, before the performance of the play Hamlet explains to Horatio, There is a play tonight before the Williams 3 king: / One scene of it comes near the circumstance / Which I have told thee of my fathers death. / I prithee, when thou seest that act afoot, / Even with the very comment of thy soul / Observe my uncle. If his occulted guilt / Do not itself unkennel in one speech, / It is a damned ghost that we have seen (3. 2. 75-82). Hamlet has devised a plan to determine his uncles guilt and is outlining it to Horatio and asking for some assistance with complete sanity.

Hamlets thought process remains sane and logical through the entire play as he examines his life in his soliloquies. In these soliloquies Hamlet ponders the question of suicide and what the ramifications of it are: To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles And by opposing end them. To die-to sleep, No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to: tis a consummation Devoutly to be wishd.

To die, to sleep; To sleep, perchance to dream-ay, theres the rub: For in that sleep of death what dreams may come. (3. 1. 56-66) In other soliloquies Hamlet explores the faults of passion and how emotions can be faked as well as his own character flaws such as his inability to take action. A third portrayal of the princes sanity occurs during Hamlets conversation with his mother after the spirit of Old Hamlet came but revealed itself only to Hamlet. Hamlet talks to his mother in a clear, truthful and rational manner and even offers to Gertrude: …

It is not madness / That I have utterd. Bring me to the test, / And I the matter will re-word, which madness / would gambol from… (3:4:143-46). In conclusion, if Hamlet was an individual Williams 4 consumed by madness, he would have entertained only irrational thoughts and would not have had the power to choose certain individuals to speak rationally with. The final argument proving Hamlets sanity during the course of the play is that after Hamlets altercation with Laertes at Ophelias funeral, Hamlet suddenly ceases to put on this antic disposition.

During Hamlets feigned madness, whenever he was speaking to someone that was not aware of his plan he would ridicule them but in the form of ambiguous metaphors and irony to imitate madness. After the conflict with Laertes, however, Hamlet no longer continued this masking of his insults. For example, while speaking to Osric, one of the kings courtiers, Hamlet remarks: Thy state is the more gracious, for tis a vice to / know him. He hath much land and fertile.

Let a / beast be lord of beasts and his crib shall stand at the / kings mess. Tis a chuff, but, as I say, spacious in the / possession of dirt (5:2:85-89). Hamlet makes no attempt here to disguise the fact that he believes that Osric is a member of the court only because he possesses a great deal of fertile land. Immediately prior to Hamlet and Laertes engaging in their duel Hamlet, whilst speaking in a sane coherent fashion, requests: Give me your pardon, sir. I have done you wrong; / But pardont as you are a gentleman (5:2:222-23).

If Hamlet were truly mad he would not recognize the wrongs he committed against others and possess feelings of anguish over them. Further proof that Hamlet is no longer acting mad is that in the final moments of his life he performs very noble acts that were executed out of the goodness of his heart. One of these acts consisted of drinking the remainder of the poison left in the glass that Claudius and Gertrude had already drank from, to prevent Horatio sipping from this glass and dying as well.

Madness is a mental illness that does not come and go as it pleases and, therefore, Hamlet could not have been truly mad as he simply interrupted his antic disposition once again acting completely sane. Hamlet was a great individual, who when confronted with a number of tragedies in his life, as well as with the proposition that his uncle killed his father, he did not lose Williams 5 control of his conscious mind, but instead, knew exactly how to resolve his pending maladies.

There is no question that his apparent madness was his own concoction devised to aid in his efforts in revealing the truth behind his fathers death and seeking out to revenge it. His motives for doing so were to keep his investigation hidden for as long as possible, to drive away all other aspects of his life that might interfere with his task and to absolve himself of all guilt he may acquire while on his quest.

There is proof in his actions that his madness was feigned as he continued thinking rationally and speaking logically to characters like Horatio and Gertrude. A madmans thought are not composed of logical rationale and he does not speak sanely to some, while at the same time, insanely to others. Hamlet then suddenly drops his antic disposition right after his dispute with Laertes in the graveyard as he began speaking and acting completely normal at all times which was illustrated while he mocked the courtier, Osric.

The absence of hamlets madness was exemplified further as he confessed feelings of remorse towards Laertes for killing Polonius and Hamlet also performs extremely noble acts as his life was waning. True madness is an illness that inhibits the mind of an individual and assumes total control of thought and action within that person. It is not a condition that flourishes only when called upon or that can be completely disregarded if the host wishes to ignore it.

Reasons For The Anticipation Of Claudius’s Suicide

In the tragic play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, a particular deterrent in Hamlet’s quest to be rid of his regal uncle is his procrastination. This act of murder intended to set the future right is Hamlet’s sole responsibility, ordered by his deceased father. Hamlet’s main target throughout the play is for Claudius to commit suicide. To achieve this goal, he produces a play chiefly for the king called the “Mousetrap. ” This play is used as one of many tools for Hamlet’s indirect manipulation of Claudius’s mind.

Just as a mousetrap lures a pest to its own self-destruction while in search of ways to gratify itself, so does Hamlet use the play as a lure to trap the king in his own conscience. Claudius’s possible suicide would be the result of the guilt traps Hamlet sets with the use of mental stratagem. As Hamlet scolds his mother for her behavior toward the king’s honor, he says many cruel things to her. Yet, among these are his pleas for her to repent. One of the last pieces of advice he gives his mother is not to let Claudius tempt her again: “Pinch wanton on your cheek, call you his mouse” (III. . 200).

Hamlet’s uncle, besides tempting the queen, is also willing to let her be the mouse that gets caught in the mousetrap intended for him. He does not love Gertrude as Hamlet’s father once did and probably never will. To the plotting king, his only regard for her is purely to serve his own selfish needs. Most of Hamlet’s efforts to make the king want to kill himself fail because of Claudius’s strong hold on his mother, which is Hamlet’s weakness. Hamlet puts off certain efforts to kill Claudius for various reasons.

At one point, Hamlet does not go through with Claudius’s murder because he does not want him to enter heaven at the time of his death: “Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven / And that his soul may be as damn’d and black / As hell, whereto it goes” (III. iii. 97-98). If Claudius had killed himself, which in almost all religions is considered a sin, he would surely go to hell. Hamlet prefers Claudius’s acknowledgment of the impetus behind his actions to be his method of self-destruction. The more that Claudius thinks about his evil deed, the more he will come up with reasons as to why he should not go on living.

Claudius is lured into taking the throne by the bait of Gertrude, which was the thought that he could have a privileged place in society alongside the queen. He lusts after her and soon finds himself in the former king’s shoes: “A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that fed of that worm” (IV. iii. 30-31). Claudius uses the king’s wife as bait to fish for his own personal gain. He is oblivious to Hamlet’s determination to seek silent vengeance on the person who has trapped him in a world of repugnance. To Claudius, Hamlet will be that ever present, yet scheming force in his life.

Hamlet’s desire is for Claudius to be reminded of his evil deed so much that, like the fish that fed of the worm, he will nourish his every thought bringing him closer to trapping himself in his own guilt. When asked what Hamlet meant by the fish analogy by the king he gives a strikingly similar example of his relationship towards Claudius: “Nothing but to show you how a king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar” (IV. iii. 33-34). When he says this, Claudius is not clear as to what he is speaking of, but he does give a clue that offers insight into Hamlet’s mission in the play.

The king that is talked about by Hamlet is his real father. He is telling Claudius how his father is using him as an instrument to gain vengeance. Like the fish Claudius captures, Hamlet is this creature which carries the blood of a king within him. The memory of the king that lives in his son is the fish that “goes a progress though the guts of a beggar. ” This idea of Hamlet’s is to keep the remembrance of the king alive through himself in the very gut of Claudius. If he decides to kill himself it would be a triumph for Hamlet.

This act would completely remove Hamlet’s physical attendance at his uncle’s death. Yet, since the job does not get carried out by the king, Hamlet seems to be procrastinating throughout the play. Occasional points in the story demonstrate how Hamlet falls victim to the memory of his father instead of Claudius. With a passive outlook of what Claudius does to Hamlet, he avoids letting his murderous act bother him. Hamlet cannot help but think of his father. The ghost of his father is always on his mind because his memory lives in him and is constantly reiterating that he be remembered.

Without a continuous image of Claudius’s brother in his conscience, Hamlet feels obligated to change all that. He senses he is alone and feels the deepest pain of losing his father when he was the one who did nothing at all to harm him. Hamlet tries to vent his anger toward Claudius’s inconsiderate nature by trying to make him know his distress twofold. Although it seems, throughout the play, as if Hamlet is watching nature take its course, this is in fact what he is doing. He is watching and waiting for Claudius to react to his set traps. One of these traps is the play Hamlet produces for Claudius to watch.

The only real reaction he gives is a demand for the play to be stopped and for the presence of light. This symbolizes the authority he has to sever Hamlet’s attempts at defeating him as well as his newfound awareness of Hamlet’s scheme. When Hamlet notices that the play has no real effect on the king’s mental health, it is an indication that the king will never feel any guilt. This may well be the point where Hamlet begins to realize that he cannot totally change the king. The king must play a role in being responsible for taking his own life.

An example of Hamlet seeming paralyzed in his effort to kill the king is found in a comparison with a Trojan battle: “Takes prisoner Pyrrhus’ ear. For lo! his sword, Which was declining on the milky head Of reverend Priam, seemed i’ the air to stick. So, as a painted tyrant, Pyrrhus stood, And, like a neutral to his will and matter, Did nothing” (II. ii. 484-89). Hamlet is similar to Pyrrhus in that both of them are unable to kill because of something holding them back. Hamlet and Pyrrhus are perfectly capable of slaughtering their enemies, except for this major hindrance.

For Pyrrhus, it is almost as if the hands clenching his sword will not move until the victim accepts the fact that he is worthy to die and finally shouts, “Just kill me! ” and he will do it. This is exactly the type of acceptance Claudius needs to face up to before Hamlet’s plan for his death succeeds. Another trap Hamlet sets for the king is the false pretense that he is mad. He acts as though he is mad to show the king that he is suffering deeply from his father’s death, which he is, but not visibly. He wishes to spark guilt in Claudius, causing him to see the effects of his evil deed on his brother’s son.

Again, his attempts fail. Claudius does nothing noticeable to show emotion for his brother or any genuine sympathy for Hamlet, yet he keeps thinking of more possibilities that might work against Claudius: “Thanks to the notion of strategy, men can postpone revenge indefinitely without ever giving up. They are equally terrified by both radical solutions and they go on living as long as possible, if not forever, in the no man’s land of sick revenge” (Girard,180). Hamlet figures that the more strategic his ideas for revenge become, the more effective they will be.

The progress of his strategy can be seen as he goes from a visual image (the Mousetrap play) to a more melodramatic act (his false madness). Hamlet continues to draw courage to maintain his silent plot against the king. The driving force behind his will to carry out the plan to kill him thrives off of Claudius’s neutrality to all his efforts: “Hamlet, on the other hand is always studying himself” (Lowell,36). Hamlet notes his qualifications for getting the job done when he says, “Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means To do’t. Examples gross as earth exhort me. Witness this army of such mass and charge,

Led by a delicate and tender prince, Whose spirit, with divine ambition puffed, Makes mouths at the invisible event” (IV. iv. 47-52). Hamlet recognizes his duty to his father. What keeps him going is Claudius’s “examples gross as earth. ” This is the way he acts toward things that would normally bring anyone guilty of a crime to suffer the plights of their conscience. The absence of guilt that should come as natural and as normal as earth disgusts Hamlet. Although Hamlet is as determined in his quest to bring the king to suicide as a powerful army, he goes about it as a “tender” favor to help Claudius die with a clear conscience.

A violent battle between the two will never occur because “the invisible event” can only take place in Claudius’s mind when he agrees to take on the mental dual between the memory of his brother and himself. Hamlet is so convinced that Claudius just has to kill himself, he denies the fact that it will only take the murderous action of himself for him to die: “Hamlet is continually drawing bills on the future, secured by his promise of himself to himself, which he can never redeem” (Lowell,35).

It is no wonder that along with the pressure of avenging his father’s death, his efforts to undermine the king proving unfruitful, and finding not even his mother to confide in, Hamlet contemplates suicide instead of Claudius: “His hope of recovery to the normal state of healthy mental life depended largely on his ability to forget his father, to forgive his mother” (Knight,81). Both of these things are almost impossible for him.

The memory of his father and seeking justice for him is what keeps him going every day and his mother is almost to blame for her inability to be virtuous: “She seems not to care, and seems particularly not to care about his grief” (Kirsch,132). The moral stress Hamlet undergoes is entirely meant for the appropriate person being Claudius. Hamlet knows that conscience makes cowards of people which is why he figures that if Claudius had one, he would have a fear of living his life.

Suicide victims are often referred to as cowards or individuals who refuse to find a way to deal with life’s problems. A person’s conscience tends to make one weigh moral pros and cons before carrying out an action. It also tends to perpetuate a feeling of disappointment in oneself after carrying out a wrong action depending on the severity of it. As always, Hamlet suffers from what Claudius does not.

Hamlet is a coward, not for refraining from murdering the king, but because he cannot find it within the confusion he experiences to make peace with himself and continue living life like the king has been able to do: “This paralysis arises, however, not from physical or moral cowardice, but from that intellectual cowardice, that reluctance to dare the exploration of his inmost soul, which Hamlet shares with the rest of the human race” (Jones,103).

Hamlet is repulsed by the fact that someone who can be so horrible can also maintain their mental stability better than he can with the least of effort: “The tragedy is titanic because the effort and the mind are titanic” (Erlich,253). Although this is not fair, it is the true tragedy in Hamlet. In the play, the mental strength Hamlet uses up in order to come up with ways to punish Claudius is exasperating. All of this because Hamlet’s father had things his brother did not. He had riches, a desirable queen, and the authority and wisdom of nobility. Jealousy was a factor in his death and prosperity was his enemy.

Every opportunity Hamlet gets at mental revenge-the play he produces and his faked madness-he is faced with his ultimate destiny: “We will see that in these incidents Hamlet needs to fail because, in part, success would confront him with his father’s weakness. ” If Hamlet was to murder the king he would thus be putting an end to his own nature. It is not normal for him to be the center of attention: “He was clam in his temper, artless in his conduct; neither pleased with idleness, nor too violently eager for employment” (Goethe,9). The opposite would be the result if he sought physical revenge on his uncle.

Yet, this quality of being more forward has always been his father’s nature. This can be seen in the king through his ghost who dominates Hamlet’s thoughts. Hamlet, on the other hand, is the one who tends to dwell on his things from a distance as opposed to acting upon them. When it comes time for the death of the king, Hamlet does stab him once and for all. When this long awaited action is finally complete, Hamlet has no other choice but to die because he goes against his nature. Even though the death of his father is avenged, there exists a violation of what was sustaining Hamlet for the longest time.

This is his hope for Claudius to suffer the mental strain of killing his brother before his death. If Hamlet had seen this in Claudius before both of their deaths, he would have finally found someone who could relate to what he was feeling. Maybe if he had experienced what he silently sought out in all his efforts to trigger the king’s conscience, he might have been able to go on with his life. Without a father figure and his mother unemotional toward his loss, there is nowhere he can turn for an outlet to direct his confusion.

However, he finds a way of expressing himself through creating his play and being dramatic. They may be disguised as frivolous forms of entertainment for the king and queen, but they are also hidden cries for help coming from a confused Hamlet. Toward Hamlet’s death when he is about to fight Laertes, he comes to a realization. These few words he speaks to Horatio tell much about what happens before his death: “When our deep plots do pall; and that should learn us / There’s a divinity that shapes our ends / Rough-hew them how we will” (V. ii. 9-11).

Hamlet uses what he has experienced in life and applies it to mankind. After many times wherein Hamlet’s plots have seemed to not have any effect, he makes known a phenomenon that occurs which makes it worthwhile to have suffered things not going a certain way. He says that individuals should learn that the intentions that they set before them will not always dictate what is sure to happen. This is basically what happens to Hamlet in his plot to capture the king’s conscience. Still, there is some sort of divine intervention that changes the course of our nature near death.

For Hamlet, this was the sudden ability to do what was against his nature for so long and that was to carry out the action of stabbing the king. Hamlet also talks about the nature that will soon manifest itself before killing Claudius: “Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes / Between the pass and fell-incensed points / Of mighty people” (V. ii. 64-66). This “baser nature” Hamlet speaks of is the nature of what humans are supposed to have basically stemmed from-the beasts. Hamlet refers to this total disregard of compassion toward human life as being “dangerous.

This is exactly the word to describe what happens when the king and Hamlet, the “mighty opposites” they are, are at both of their ends. What takes place thereafter is total destruction. Four people wind up dead in their presence where the atmosphere was already extremely tense before any deaths had occurred. In the end, Hamlet realizes that his nature was not able to allow what his intentions willed to happen. If Claudius had indeed killed himself, he would have violated his nature as well.

Claudius acknowledges that Hamlet’s righteous obligation to avenge his father’s death held ulterior motives that Claudius could relate to: “There is no shuffling, there the action lies / In his true nature, and we ourselves compell’d” (III. iii. 64-65). Claudius knows that there is no doubt about it, or “no shuffling,” that the action to kill him is there. Claudius is “compelled” to his bestial nature that he does not want to deny Hamlet also has within him. Although, he knows it is his true nature that he is unable to feel anything for his brother: “Try what repentance can.

What can it not? / Yet what can it when one can not repent? ” (III. iii. 68-69). When one cannot repent, it is said that their sins are not forgiven. When Claudius is unable to at least attempt repenting, this suggests his inability to want to be like everyone else. Most people would favor being forgiven than not. Hamlet is an individual who wants to change a person with a certain mindset and drive him to end his own life. At the same time he struggles with his own physical incapabilities. Yet, the physical aspect of killing someone does not mean that the mind can not do the same damage.

Hamlet fails most of the time, but each time he does he gets more creative in his plans and finds a new way to express his anger about the action never being carried out. He is an individual who is faced with many tasked and in the end is aware of his status in dealing with them all. He is an “instrument” that no human is worthy to make speak, yet the “divinity that shapes our ends” is all that is able to “play upon him. ” This silent control of himself toward his death coming from a divine force assumes the task he tries to make happen for what is remaining of his life. And “the rest is silence. “

Hamlet and Ophelia

Melancholy, grief, and madness have pervaded the works of a great many playwrights, and Shakespeare is not an exception. The mechanical regularities of such emotional maladies as they are presented within Hamlet, not only allow his audience to sympathize with the tragic prince Hamlet, but to provide the very complexities necessary in understanding the tragedy of his lady Ophelia as well. It is the poor Ophelia who suffers at her lover’s discretion because of decisions she was obligated to make on behalf of her weak societal position.

Hamlet provides his own self-torture and does fall victim to melancholia and rief, however, his madness is feigned. They each share a common connection: the loss of a parental figure. Hamlet loses his father as a result of a horrible murder, as does Ophelia. In her situation is more severe because it is her lover who murders her father and all of her hopes for her future as well. Ultimately, it is also more detrimental to her c! haracter and causes her melancholy and grief to quickly turn to irretrievable madness.

Critics argue that Hamlet has the first reason to be hurt by Ophelia because she follows her father’s admonitions regarding Hamlet’s true intentions for their beginning ove. In Act 3, scene 1, line 91 Hamlet begins with his malicious sarcasm toward her. “I humbly thank you, well, well, well,” he says to her regarding her initial pleasantries (Johnson 1208). Before this scene, he has heard the King and Polonius establishing a plan to deduce his unusual and grief-stricken behavior.

Hamlet is well aware that this plan merely uses Ophelia as a tool, and as such, she does not have much option of refusing without angering not only her busybody father but the conniving King as well. Hamlet readily refuses that he cared for her. He tells her and all of his uninvited listeners, “No, not I, I never gave you aught” (lines 94-95). Some critics stress, as does J. Dover Wilson, that Hamlet has a right to direct his anger to Ophelia because even though many critics “in their sy! pathy with Ophelia they have forgotten that it is not Hamlet who has ‘repelled’ her, but she him” (Wilson 159). It is possible that Wilson does not see the potential harm to Ophelia should she disobey her authority figures (i. e. her father and her king). Furthermore, Ophelia cannot know “that Hamlet’s attitude toward her reflects his disillusionment in his mother . . to her, Hamlet’s inconstancy can only mean deceitfulness or madness” (Lidz 158). She is undeniably caught in a trap that has been layed, in part, but her lover whom she does love and idealize.

Her shock is genuine when Hamlet demands “get thee to a nunnery” (line 120). The connotations of the dual meaning of “nunnery” is enough in and of itself to make her run estranged from her once sweet prince, and it is the beginning or her sanity’s unraveling as well. Hamlet’s melancholy permits him the flexibility of character to convey manic-depressive actions while Ophelia’s is much more overwhelming and ainful. “Shakespeare is ambiguous about the reality of Hamlet’s insanity and depicts him as on the border, fluctuating between sanity and madness” (Lidz 156).

Hamlet mourns for his father, but it is the bitterness and ill-will that he harbors towards his mother for her hasty marriage to his uncle that is his most reoccurring occupation. His thoughts of Ophelia are secondary at best. When it happens that Hamlet accidentally slays Polonius, he does not appear to be thinking of the potential effect of his actions on Ophelia. Hamlet has sealed her fate, and along with the “vacillations in [his] attitude and ehavior toward her could not but be extremely unsettling to the very young woman who idolized [him]” she does not have much in the way that is positive for her (Lidz 157).

Throughout the entire murder scene in Act 3, Scene! 4, Hamlet does not remark about the damage he has done to Ophelia. His emotional upswing is devoted entirely to his mother, and while his emotions are not an imitation, he does admit that he “essentially [is] not in madness,/ But mad in craft” (lines 187-188). Ophelia is then left to mourn her father, but it is not his death alone that spurns her insanity. Her predicament is such that she is forced to fear and hate her father’s murder who is also her lover and the one person to whom all of her future hopes were pinned -Prince Hamlet.

Her entire orientation to the future has suddenly been destroyed,” and with her brother gone, Ophelia has no one to turn to for comfort (Lidz 157). Hamlet then delves further into his manic feigned madness and Ophelia is cheated into the belief that he really is mad. The options for her sanity are none; melancholy and grief are madness for malcontent Ophelia. Hamlet and Ophelia are confronted with the irretrievable loss of a love object, ” however, it is Ophelia’s dilemma that is the more horrible of the two and is indelibly more tragic.

The audience may of the general opinion that Polonius is bordering on senility, and is a spy who meddle in affair that do not demand his participation, however, he is Ophelia’s sole parent. We are able to discern that his harsh attitude toward his daughter at the beginning of the play may not be cruel for cruelty’s sake; Polonius may actually be showing signs that he is overly protective of Ophelia and instructs her to deny Hamlet’s “tenders” because they represent a hreat toward his position as her father.

We might also infer that as Ophelia’s only parent for such a great duration in her young life that Polonius may actually favored her -letting her act as the replacement for her mother in her father’s life. These ideas are not to implicate their relationship as an abusive Oedipal ci! rcumstance. It is interesting that the same situation can correspondingly be applied to the relationship that Hamlet shares with his mother. Hamlet is fatherless. While this is a more recent position for him, it is interesting to note that rather than have his loss bring him and his other closer, it only serves to bind him in his melancholy and agony.

He battles within himself of doing harm to his mother. Hamlet may very well see his mother’s infidelity to his father’s memory as an infidelity to him as well. This Oedipal Complex is more injurious to his character, and is the determining force for his unsuccessful relationship to Ophelia. Ophelia has nothing to do with this emotional inadequacies, and is nonetheless a victim of them. Her death is the responsibility of Hamlet, who at her gravesite “exhibits some temporary marks of a real disorder” (Mackenzie 903).

It is short-lived, however, and Hamlet again retakes his vengeance upon his father’s murderer –using his ! elancholy as a dull weapon. “He realizes that his emotions are often going to rush beyond his control [and] the fiction that he is mad will not only cloak his designs against the King, but will also free him from the rest of the play” (Campbell 104). It is his fiction that is the leading cause of Ophelia’s demise as well as his own. There is no way out of the created situation for either of them. One could imagine that if this were a different play, Hamlet ould ask for Ophelia’s forgiveness, but that is not the play.

The melancholy, grief, and madness that Hamlet suffers from may well have been the propelling force for all of his unfortunate action in Shakespeare’s play. It is worth allowing that the first of the two are real; his melancholy and grief are not counterfeit. Ophelia is the more tragic of the two because her madness is not feigned, and furthermore, that it is caused by the very love of her life is even more disastrous for her poor young life. They are each malcontents with no real happiness made available to them given their unfortunate circumstances.

The Tragedy Of Hamlet

Arguably the best piece of writing ever done by William Shakespeare, Hamlet the is the classic example of a tragedy. In all tragedies the hero suffers, and usually dies at the end. Othello stabs himself, Romeo and Juliet commit suicide, Brutis falls on his sword, and like them Hamlet dies by getting cut with a poison tipped sword. But that is not all that is needed to consider a play a tragedy, and sometimes a hero doesn’t even need to die. Making Not every play in which a Hero dies is considered a tragedy. There are more elements needed to label a play one.

Probably the most mportant element is an amount of free will. In every tragedy, the characters must displays some. If every action is controlled by a hero’s destiny, then the hero’s death can’t be avoided, and in a tragedy the sad part is that it could. Hamlet’s death could have been avoided many times. Hamlet had many opportunities to kill Claudius, but did not take advantage of them. He also had the option of making his claim public, but instead he chose not too. A tragic hero doesn’t need to be good. For example, MacBeth was evil, yet he was a tragic hero, because he had free will.

He also had only one flaw, and that was pride. He had many good traits such as bravery, but his one bad trait made him evil. Also a tragic hero doesn’t have to die. While in all Shakespearean tragedies, the hero dies, in others he may live but suffer “Moral Destruction”. In Oedipus Rex, the proud yet morally blind king plucks out his eyes, and has to spend his remaining days as a wandering, sightless beggar, guided at every painful step by his daughter, Antigone. A misconception about tragedies is that nothing good comes out of them, but it is actually the opposite.

In Romeo and Juliet, although both die, they end the feud between the Capulets and the Montegues. Also, Romeo and Juliet can be together in heaven. In Hamlet, although Hamlet dies, it is almost for the best. How could he have any pleasure during the rest of his life, with his parents and Ophelia dead. Also, although Hamlet dies, he is able to kill Claudius and get rid of the evil ruling the throne. Every tragic play must have a tragic hero. The tragic hero must possess many good traits, as well as one flaw, which eventually leads to his downfall.

A tragic hero must be brave and noble. In Othello, Othello had one fatal flaw, he was too great. Othello was too brave, too noble, and especially too proud to allow himself to be led back to Venice in chains. A tragic hero must not back down from his position. He also has to have free will, in order to stand up for what he believes in. Finally, the audience must have some sympathy for the tragic hero. In MacBeth, although MacBeth commits many murders, one almost feels sorry for him and his fate. Hamlet is the perfect example of the tragic hero.

Hamlet has all the good traits eeded to be a tragic hero. He is brave and daring. One example of this is that when he went to England, he was taking a big risk. If his plan didn’t work, he would have been executed He also is also loyal. His loyalty to his father, was the reason he was so angry at Claudius and his Mother. Another trait was that he was intelligent. He was able to think up the idea of faking insanity, in order to get more information about Claudius. But Hamlet like all other tragic hero’s had a flaw. He couldn’t get around to doing anything, because he couldn’t move on.

He was a full rown adult, yet he still attended school in England, because he couldn’t move on. Also, it took him a long time to stop grieving about his father, because he didn’t want to move past that part of his life. And after he finally did, Hamlet couldn’t get around to killing Claudius. He kept pretending he was insane even after he was sure that Claudius killed his father. The final example of Hamlet’s inability to get around to do anything was that he was dating Ophelia for a long time, but never got around to marrying her.

The audience was able to feel sympathy for Hamlet too. He had just lost his father, and his mother remarried so quickly that according to him they could have used the leftover food from the funeral in the wedding reception. Also, the audience could feel that Hamlet loved his parents and this sudden change was hurting him. In any tragedy there is a tragic hero, and he must possess certain characteristics in order to be one. He must have many good traits such as loyalty and bravery, but one bad one such as pride. Also the audience must have sympathy for the hero.

A tragic hero also must have free will or his fate ould be decided for him, and his death could be avoided. Finally, the audience must have sympathy for the tragic hero, or it wouldn’t seem so tragic. Hamlet is a perfect example of a tragic hero. He was brave, loyal, and intelligent, but he couldn’t move on past one thing, which led to his death. he had a choice of how he would deal with Claudius, and like other tragic hero’s made a decision. Also, the audience was able to feel sympathy for the position Hamlet was in. These attributes made Hamlet the perfect example of a tragic hero.

Hamlet: Revenge vs Justice

Hamlet’s motives rally between those of both revenge and justice, and it becomes this internal conflict which sets the pace of events throughout Shakespeare’s entire play. Revenge serves Hamlet as his initial goal in the pursuit for vindication of his father’s death. Soliloquy later reveals Hamlet’s torn sensibility and care for justice, which decelerates his ability to proceed in action against Claudius. Not until Hamlet confronts his own procrastination, does the inaction cease.

Hamlet defeats his inner struggle by melding opposing forces and internally justifying revenge. Hamlet does not initially have a strong enough will to act solely on revenge. Even though Hamlet had proclaimed that he would be “swift” and “sweep to my revenge,”In the “rogue and peasant slave” soliloquy, Hamlet admits that he has been “unpregnant of my cause” and wonders whether he is a “coward”. Not until Hamlet becomes completely fed up with his own inaction, does he finally examine the guilt of Claudius.

However this task is thwarted when Hamlet witnesses Claudius praying. His will is rationalized by the notion that Claudius’ soul might escape eternal damnation. Hamlet finally address his “dull revenge” in his climactic soliloquy admitting,” I do not know/ Why yet I live to say This thing’s to do/ Sith I have cause and will and strength and means/ To do’t” Here Hamlet finally swears against his previous inaction “O! From this time forth,/ My thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth”

Hamlet’s overly intellectual mind inhibits him from taking decisive action and he concedes this in two very important soliloquies . First in the “To be or not to be” soliloquy, Hamlet concludes, “Thus conscience does make cowards of us all/ And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied over with the pale cast of thought” While being exiled to England, hamlet thinks his procrastination is a result of ” some craven scruple/ Of thinking too precisely on the event” His insightful mind examines his problems to such an extent that it creates dilemmas rather than solving them.

Just as Hamlet would bloodlust killing Claudius, he would as soon preserve his own guilt by not doing so. It becomes this weak willed back and forth which slowly picks at every character surrounding Hamlet, surmounting to the last tragic scene in which all the most important characters die.

Hamlet: Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword

It is commonly said that if you play too close with the fire, you are going to get burned. This generally means that if you live a dangerous lifestyle, then you will eventually falter and suffer the consequences. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, there are many cases where characters are killed because they lived a murderous lifestyle. Claudius murders his own brother and is then murdered himself. Laertes kills Hamlet but is killed himself before Hamlet dies. Hamlet murders Polonius and Laertes avenges his father by killing Hamlet. The lives and deaths of these three individuals are inextricably interwoven.

Their destinies are forged by the others actions. To attempt to separate the life and death of each separate character would be impossible because their destinies are so closely tied together. Each one’s destiny is determined by the actions of not only their life but also the reactions of others. Claudius, King Hamlet’s brother, desires to have more power than he currently has. He devises and executes a plan to murder his brother, the king by placing poison in the sleeping man’s ear. The king dies from the poisoning, and Claudius exclaims that the king must have been bitten by a snake and died rom the venom.

The serpent that did sting thy father’s life now wears the crown. (p 29) It is the perfect crime except that young Hamlet gets wind of the evil deed from the ghost of his father. Hamlet is told that the only way to put his father’s soul to rest is to right the crime that was committed. So Hamlet sets his sights on proving that Claudius murdered his father. Hamlet devises an ingenious plan to trap Claudius. He rigs a play to portray the same murder that Claudius commits. You shall see anon how the murderer gets the love of Gonzago’s wife (p 79) Claudius is very shaken by this and stops the lay.

Later on, Hamlet is speaking to his mother and chasticizing her on her inappropriate behavior. Polonius, Alert’s father, is listening in on the conversation from behind a large tapestry. When Polonius speaks, Hamlet send his sword through the tapestry and kills the old man. Claudius and the queen send Hamlet away. After many trials, Hamlet returns to Denmark. He is challenged by Laertes to a duel. Hamlet does not know, however, that Laertes and Claudius are planning to kill him. Laertes cuts Hamlet with a sword containing a lethal poison, thus condemning Hamlet.

A hit, a very palpable hit. (p 142) Hamlet then plunges his sword through Laertes. Laertes admits that the king had planned to kill Hamlet. Upon hearing this, Hamlet kills Claudius before death finally takes him too. In Hamlet’s case, he devotes his own life to destroying Claudius. He accidentally kills Polonius in the process. Hamlet lives quite recklessly and doesn’t pay close attention to his surroundings. For his crimes of murder, Hamlet pays the ultimate price as God takes his life from him. Hamlet lived a life of murderous treachery. He lived to kill his uncle.

And because of the ay that he has chosen to live, he dies. Claudius murders his own brother the plans to murder Hamlet much the same way. He lives a live of deception and trickery. In the end, Claudius is turned in my his own follower, Laertes. Claudius suffers the worst death of the three people because he must watch his wife die at his own hand, and he can do nothing to stop her death. He lives his whole life leading people on and controlling them and is deceived himself in the end. Laertes decides to get revenge for his fathers death. He teams up with Claudius, so they can take Hamlet down together.

So after stealing the life from Hamlet, he realizes that he shouldn’t have listened to Claudius. Unfortunately it is too late for him because Hamlet stabs him and kills him. All three of these deaths are directly related to one another. They are all interwoven incidents that cause one another to occur. All three people chose to live a violent lifestyle and all died because of this choice. In life, out destinies are determined by the way we choose to live. If you live a dangerous life, you may die soon. All of our lives are interwoven in to the fabric of life. One bad thread messes up everything.

Shakespeare’s heroes Hamlet

Everyone contains a tinge of Hamlet in his feelings, wants, and worries, and proudly so, for Hamlet is not like the other tragic heroes of his period. He stands apart from other Shakespeare’s heroes in his today much discussed innocence. Is this supposed tragic hero maybe an ideal hero – one without the tragic flaw, which has been a part of the formula for the tragedy since the Golden age of Greece? ; is a question that has been the field for many literary critics’ battles. The main, and, most often, the only flaw that has been attributed to Hamlet is his delay. This seems to constitute the central part in Hamlet.

Critics seem to cling to this detail, as if trying to save the status of Hamlet as a typical Elizabethan tragedy of revenge. By the definition of tragedy, there should exist a flaw in the character of the main hero, who is a great personality that is engaged in a struggle that ends catastrophically (Stratford, 90). If Hamlet had no flaw, what kind of tragic hero is he? No doubt, Hamlet is a tragical drama, for it has many characters “from the top” ending up losing their lives. But the play wouldn’t lose its tragic tone if Hamlet was a an deal hero instead of tragic one, which is exactly the case.

If just all critic realized this, maybe today we wouldn’t have that much trouble trying to “decipher” Hamlet’s character, just like Elizabethan audience never raised any questions concerning Hamlet’s delay. It was only in the last two centuries, that the audience and their perceptions have drastically changed, which causes this confusion concerning the character that was created by Shakespeare for common people, some Hamlet is like a soldier that is thrown into a war where he has to do some things he rather would avoid doing, but under the given ircumstances he bites his teeth and carries himself well (Stratford, 128).

In this war, the circumstances brought on by Claudius’s murdering of King Hamlet are Hamlet’s enemy. His dead father is the destroyed country, painful truth which leaves so much hatred and resentment in his heart. Being a loyal prince and son, and one whom entire kingdom respected, he should seek revenge and bring justice back in the royal court. The whole play would be very simple if this murdered was an open assassination. But no, Shakespeare made sure that this assassination was secret, that no one, except maybe Claudius, knew about it.

This puts in a completely different context the play that was written by Thomas Kyd, a play titled Ur-Hamlet, which Shakespeare used as a basis for his Hamlet (Grebanier, 111). This way, Shakespeare accomplished very different development of action, and ultimately one of the best plays in the history. Along with that, Shakespeare created disagreement concerning reasons why Hamlet waited so long before killing Claudius. A careful reader can notice that more than two months pass between Hamlet being told by the Ghost about the evil deed, and Hamlet following through his plan.

One can argue that from this follows that Hamlet procrastinated, having that one flaw – being passive, not daring to act. But Shakespeare never payed attention to this time interval. An audience wasn’t aware of it, because Shakespeare didn’t want it to be – the rather large time interval was of no consequence, and truly one cannot notice this without a conscious calculation (Grebanier, 179). More critics, especially during popularity of Freud, have tried to explain Hamlet’s delay exclusively from psychological point of view.

But how can one psychologically analyze a character that doesn’t exist n physical world; whose existence is dependent merely on his actions and reactions to the events and other characters from play? J. Dover Wilson summarized it by saying that Hamlet is a “character in a play, not in history” (Weitz, 107). From the point of view of these critics, it follows that character preceded the plot, thus shaping it for its needs. But Shakespeare, not to mention all the other play writers, followed Aristotelian view that drama is imitation of life, of the actions of man.

Plot is a way to organize the action, and thus, plot precedes character in Hamlet (Grebanier, 108). This, without even nowing Aristotelian method, can also be deduced from knowing that Shakespeare adopted plot of Ur-Hamlet, and changed it just slightly. A slight change in the plot, however, hardly slightly affects the characters. But one should notice that “preceding” means “comes before the other one”, and it does not mean “eliminates the other. ” Therefore, the cause of Hamlet’s fall cannot be ascribed exclusively to the situation.

That would mean eliminating every element of tragedy, and even drama, from Hamlet – Hamlet would thus have become a mere collection of fate-dependent events that accidentally so happened not o have a happy ending. So, the reasons for Hamlet’s actions should be understood as a synthesis of original situation, Hamlet’s reactions to it, and then again of situation that was affected by Hamlet’s reactions. Looking at Hamlet’s reactions, one detail cannot be overlooked: Hamlet does not kill Claudius in church, while he has the best chance of doing so up until that point.

This little detail, and it is really a little detail, for if it was more important, Shakespeare would have dedicated to it more then some 100 lines, tends to affect the reader’s evaluation of Hamlet’s delay. Why didn’t he kill the King? Understanding this scene is crucial today in understanding Hamlet’s delay, for we seem to be puzzled by it (if we were in the audience, the whole scene would have lasted only moments, but as readers, we have the freedom to ponder about it).

At least so was Professor Dowden, to name one critic, who holds that Hamlet “loses a sense of fact” because he puts every event through his mind, filtering it until every deed seems to have an alternative – in not doing the deed, but evaluating it even more (Bloom, 66). Coleridge and Goethe would agree with this, holding that Hamlet’s soul is too philosophical nd it lacks ability to instinctually act on impulse, and that he is “too sensitive to avenge himself” (Grebanier, 159). But if one only reads what goes on in the play, Hamlet could by no means be called too sensitive or passive.

After the Ghost appears, he ignores the fears of his friends, is strong enough to break off their restraining hold, and follows the ghastly apparition. In the Queen’s closet he follows his impulse and puts his sword to action. In the battle with the pirate ship, he manages to win over the whole crew without anyone’s help. He is known in the kingdom as a brilliant fencer, and shows his skill in he match with Laertes, after which he is able to cut the king and take the glass of poison from Horatio’s hand, all that while dying of deadly poison.

What then is the reason for his delay of action? Did Shakespeare make it on purpose so that he can fill the five long acts? (Grebanier, 115). Hamlet is very brave and impulsive Prince, but the plot seems to prevent him from finding an “external model or a simple solution for conduct,” so that he must depend more on thinking, and less on acting (Stratford, 105). He realizes that killing a King is a great crime. In seventeenth century, kings have divinity about them, nd hurting a king from that period cannot compare to hurting a politician today.

The proof of this is in the last scene – even after Laertes speaks out and lets everyone that was present know that the match and poison were only King’s plan, the crowd yells, as if having an instinct to defend their King: “Treason! Treason! ” (Shakespeare, 27). Even if it wasn’t that punishable to assassinate the King, Hamlet would still not kill him in the church. He might have taken the sword out, but one thing then went through his mind: ” If King is murdered, the truth is murdered too, and King Hamlet’s assassination would be mpossible to prove”.

His aim is not to kill the King and get the throne. He is primarily concerned with punishing the murderer of his father, punishing him under the shelter of justice (Grebanier, 111-113). So, Hamlet does delay, according to Stoll, but with purpose to create his deed momentous when the right moment comes. This is what’s behind his “procrastination” in the church. Until he has the proof, he must be patient. His words in church, then, are not at all excuse for delay when he says that he must wait for King to be in act that “has no relish of salvation in’t” (1).

Rather, he speaks to imself in attempt to force himself not to use violence, but to be patient. So, instead of showing a flaw in the church, Hamlet shows virtue, his prudent patience. He is now absolutely determined in his plan and all of his actions are directed towards one accomplishment – to justly punish the one who murdered his father. The proof of this is in the last scene when he orders Horatio to let everyone know the truth, and what went on in the kingdom in the last two months. Hamlet is the only Shakespeare’s tragic hero who doesn’t have a tragic flaw, which makes him an ideal hero, instead a tragic one.

Hamlet Summary Essay

The play begins on the outer ramparts of Elsinore castle. It is late and Bernardo, a guard, is on duty waiting for Francisco to relieve him from his watch. Bernardo is nervous because the previous two nights he and Francisco have seen a figure who appears to be the ghost of the recently deceased Francisco approaches, accompanied by Horatio (Hamlet’s only friend and confident). Even though Horatio dismisses the idea of a ghost, the guards start to retell the previous nights’ encounters. As the guards begin, the ghost appears before them- much to Horatio’s surprise. The guards urge Horatio to speak with the ghost.

Because Horatio is a student, they feel he should be able to communicate with the ghost, and their previous attempts to talk with it have failed. Horatio’s attempts also fail. The scene ends with Horatio stating that he will go and inform his friend Hamlet of these incredible events. This scene opens in contrast to the first scene. The first scene takes place on the dark, cold isolated ramparts; this scene begins in a brightly lit court, with the new king, Claudius, celebrating his recent wedding to Everyone in the court appears happy and joyful, except one character who is sitting off to the side.

He is dressed in black, the colour of mourning, and does not like what he sees. The lone figure is Hamlet, the main character of the play. He is wearing black because it has been only two months since his father, Hamlet senior the ghost on the battlements, died and he still is mourning his father’s death. To further upset Hamlet, Claudius’ new bride is Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude. Hamlet is upset because his mother married Claudius so soon after becoming a widow. To add to all the injustices Hamlet is feeling at this time, Claudius is also related to Hamlet.

Hamlet’s uncle is now his father-in-law nd Gertrude’s brother-in-law is now her husband. Claudius conducts several pieces of business during the beginning of this scene. He first tries to take measures to prevent a war with Norway, then discusses Laertes’ request to leave court and go back to school. Claudius agrees with Polonius, Laertes’ father, that Laertes’ plan of going back to school is a good one. He gives Laertes permission to go. This familial scene brings Claudius’ mind to Hamlet.

He recognizes Hamlet is upset and he tries to make amends and urges Hamlet to stay in Denmark, instead of returning to school. After his mother echoes Claudius’ request, Hamlet is left on stage after everyone else leaves. He speaks a soliloquy expressing his anger at the present circumstances in his life and discusses his depression as a result of these events. The scene ends with Horatio, Marcellus and Bernardo entering and talking with Hamlet about the ghost they have seen. Hamlet agrees to join them this coming night to see the Note: a soliloquy is the thoughts of a character being expressed out loud.

These thoughts deal with the true feelings of a character and give insight into what a character is thinking about and how his mind works. This first soliloquy is one several poken by Hamlet throughout the play. Each one gives us further insight into what Hamlet is feeling at the time. This scene opens with Laertes saying his goodbyes to his sister Ophelia, before he leaves for school. We find out from their discussion that Hamlet has been seeing Ophelia and is very serious about their relationship. He has been alone with Ophelia on many occasions and has professed his love for her during these times.

He has also given her gifts during these Leartes, who knows about his sister’s suitor, tries to warn Ophelia that because Hamlet is destined to become King, he can never be serious in his relationship with her. Hamlet may seem virtuous and noble at this time, he warns, but he will leave her to fulfill his duties to the kingdom when the She promises to be careful in this relationship and re-asserts that Hamlet has never taken advantage of her, nor has he ever been anything but a gentleman in their relationship.

The conversation ends with Ophelia lecturing her brother that he should practice what he preaches and not fall into any casual relationships foolishly, and not to worry about her. At this point, Polonius enters and gives his son one more lecture before he leaves on how to conduct himself when he goes back to school. The fatherly dvice includes thoughts on not borrowing or lending money, because it can cause more problems than it is worth.

He also tells his son not to say things that might make others think he is foolish, to hold his tongue and to be careful of getting into quarrels, but once in one give a good show for yourself. Finally, before Leartes leaves, Polonius tells him to be ‘true to himself. ‘ In other words, if you do the right things for the right reasons you can never do any wrong to others. The scene ends with Polonius discussing with Ophelia her relationship with Hamlet. He, like Laertes, does not trust Hamlet’s intentions, because Hamlet is young and young men have no honour; they have only one thing on their minds- sex.

Although Ophelia has no reason to distrust Hamlet’s intentions, she obeys her father’s wishes and agrees she will not see It is the night following Horatio’s first encounter with the ghost and it finds him, the guards and Hamlet on the platform waiting for the ghost. There is a celebration going on in the castle and Hamlet explains to Horatio that it is customary for the king to hold a celebration where cannons are shot off in honour of the King’s health. This celebration is something Hamlet does not agree with; it is too excessive and other ountries look upon the Danes as foolish because of it.

The ghost appears and Hamlet, realizing that it does look like his father -the old king-, approaches it and asks that it speak to him. At this point, Hamlet doesn’t know whether or not the ghost is there for good or evil purposes. The ghost beckons Hamlet. When Hamlet considers going with the ghost, Horatio and Marcellus try to dissuade him. They are concerned for his safety. If the ghost is there for evil purposes, it might lead Hamlet to his death. Hamlet forces his way past them and follows the ghost. The scene ends with Horatio and Marcellus following Hamlet to try and protect

On another part of the platform, the ghost tells Hamlet that he is indeed Hamlet’s father and that he was murdered. The ghost asks Hamlet to revenge his ‘most foul, strange, and unnatural murder’ and Hamlet heartily agrees. Hamlet is shocked when the ghost goes on to tell him that he was murdered by his own brother, Claudius. Unlike the story Claudius told the court, that a serpent stung and killed the old king, the ghost tells Hamlet that during his afternoon nap in the orchard Claudius crept in and poured poison The ghost goes on to tell Hamlet about how Hamlet’s own mother was dulterous with Claudius, before the ghost’s death.

He alos has Hamlet promise him that he will leave her deeds to be judged and punished by God, and that Hamlet should not take revenge on her himself. The dawn comes, forcing the ghost to return to the hellish underworld he must inhabit, because of the wrongful deeds he did prior to his own death. Hamlet is very angry about the events the ghost told him of, and swears that he will remember the ghost and what the ghost asked of him. He also swears that he will forget all trivial matters and that his life will be focused on one event, avenging his father’s murder.

Hamlet And Father

There are many different reasons why Hamlet must avenge the death of his father the late King Hamlet. The aspect of justice versus revenge is a prominent theme throughout the play. Prominent characteristics in each of the characters seeking revenge shows the different aspects of what each character feels is justice. Hamlet is notoriously known for being a man of action. This characteristic hampers the chain of events that follow after his fathers slaying.

There are many reasons why Hamlet wants to avenge his fathers murder, and justice and evenge play a big role in when and where his revenge on Clauduis is played out There is the revenge that he feels must be carried out to save his families name. One of the most common themes is an eye for an eye, and this is shown many times through out the play. This is the main difference in the revenge that hamlet seeks compare to that of the characters foil Laertes. There is also the problems and the turmoil Hamlet goes through with on when and where he must get revenge for his father, because he is having trouble justifying the murder himself.

Critics argue weather or not hamlet waited too long to seek his revenge on Claudius. Weather or not this is a justifiable act is up to the reader. In an article entitled, Hamlet and Two Witness Rule by Peter R. Moore, the work of two scholars is used to draw compelling arguments for both sides of the issue of the murder being justifiable. Scholar S. F. Johnson says there are certain books in the bible calling for revenge as the right thing to do in the case of murder.

He cites, Numbers 35:30 Anyone who kills a person is to be put to death as a murderer only on the testimony of witnesses. But not on is to be put to death on the testimony of one witness. This permits or commands a man whose next of kin has been slain to kill the slayer(Moore1). Therefore is makes Hamlet unaccountable towards God for his actions. Eleanor Prosser the second scholar in his article claims, “Numbers requires the avenger to act immediately and without hatred or malice”(1). This seems more plausible an argument for justifiable murder if it is a heat of the moment act.

Moore agrees with Johnson on this matter however saying, “Johnson is uite right, as several aspects of Mosaic Law on avengers of blood were in Shakespeares mind when he penned Hamlet”(1). This makes a strong case for why Hamlet should have acted earlier if he was wandering about the repercussions for murder in the eyes of God. This is the part of the play were the old phrase “an eye for an eye” comes to play. Hamlet would only be giving Clauduis what he deserves. If murder were justifiable in some severe cases then why did he wait for so long?

Boris Pasternak’s views on why Hamlet waited so long is this, “The real problem of Hamlet’s character concerns ot his procrastination, but rather the fact that living in a world where evil reigns, he finds himself every moment in danger of succumbing to the general infection. Even while preparing to carry out an act of justified vengeance, he causes, in the process, unwarranted pain. How to remain pure in circumstances where evil is unavoidable-here is one of the major human problems rising from the tragedy. “(France 23) This shows more insight into why Hamlet waited as long as he did before getting his revenge.

He is a good person at heart and does ot want to lower himself to the level of his uncle who is “A little more than kin, and less than kind”(1. 2. 65). When one looks at the thought and turmoil Hamlet goes through it is easy to see the difference in the personality traits of Hamlet and Laertes and the different ways they go about achieving their revenge. One critic Boris Pasternak said of Hamlet” He is not at all a young man, but and aggressive heretic, burning with joy of struggle, drunk with struggle with an unequal struggle: against him is forces, his only weapon is thought”(France 25).

This is where is where the main difference between the two characters is seen. While hamlet and Laertes are both honor bound to avenge the murder of their father they go about it in different ways. Laertes is a man of action, filled with impulse. He admits his own treacherous nature, and he does it with great pride. “Why, as a woodcock to mine own spring, Osric; I am justly killed with my own treachery”(5. 2. 317). Laertes murders Hamlet in a church thus widening the gap of their differences. Laertes is a foil of hamlet throughout the play for these reasons.

King Hamlets Spirit

King Hamlets spirit, as a tool to master this. However, Shakespeare portrays this inner struggle of reason against faith as Hamlets insanity. Does Hamlet become insane in the play, or is Shakespeare trying too hard to once again make the audience uncertain? There is a lot of evidence that Hamlet does indeed go insane, however it seems that the audience sees Hamlets insanity as their uncertainty throughout the play, which has been originally brought on by the Ghost. Indeed, Hamlet is not insane, rather the audience thinks him insane because of their uncertainty and uneasiness regarding Hamlets actions.

Many factors contribute to the uncertainty of Hamlets sanity. The source of some of these factors is the Ghost Hamlet encounters in the beginning of the play. Hamlet is Shakespeares most realistic, most modern, tragedy. It is in Hamlet that Shakespeare seems to give his audience the closest interpretation of the spirit and life of his time. Shakespeare indeed does an excellent job of making the spiritualism and superstition accurate throughout the play. The Ghost in Hamlet raises problems of Elizabethan spiritualism.

To understand fully the scenes in which the Ghost appears one must understand the superstitions regarding ghosts in Shakespeares day and also current philosophical and theological opinions concerning them. Generally there were three schools of thought in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries on the question of ghosts. Before the Reformation, the belief in their existence had offered little intellectual difficulty to the ordinary man, since the Catholic doctrine or Purgatory afforded a complete explanation of it in theological terms. In fact, doctrine and popular belief, in this case, found mutual support.

Thus most Catholics of Shakespeares day believed that ghosts might be spirits of the departed, allowed to return from Purgatory for some special purpose, which was the duty of the pious to further if possible, in order for the wandering soul to find rest. However, for Protestants this was not so easy. The majority of them accepted the reality of apparitions without question, not knowing how they were to be explained. It was not possible that ghosts were the spirits of the departed, for Purgatory being a forgotten tradition, the dead went direct either to bliss in heaven or to prison in hell.

Widely discussed and debated, the orthodox Protestant conclusion was that ghosts, while occasionally they might be angels, were generally nothing but devils who assumed the form of departed friends or relatives in order to work evil upon those to whom they appeared (Wilson). The third and final school of thought on the subject is portrayed in the attitude of Horatio at the opening of the first scene. Christians do not deny the existence of spirits. What they contest is the possibility of their assuming material form.

As for the idea that devils can assume the bodies of the dead, it appears to them no less idle than the purgatorial theory, which it superseded. In short, apparitions are either the illusion of a melancholic mind or flat knavery on the part of some evil. With the spirituality of the Elizabethan period, also came superstition, which Shakespeare obviously followed. First, ghosts could not speak until addressed by some mortal. This rule is certainly seen in the opening scene through the actions of the four characters present.

This notion is supported by the text as the ghost does not speak to Hamlet until after Hamlet is summoned by the ghost to follow him. The ghost does not state his intentions until after Hamlet begs for him to state his intentions. Secondly, ghosts could only be safely addressed by scholars, seeing that scholars alone were armed with the necessary weapons of defense, that being a Latin formula for exorcism should the spirit prove to be an evil one. This is apparently why Horatio was brought to view the ghost the second night after the guards had originally seen the apparition.

Throughout the play Shakespeare masters the continuity of the play and Elizabethan spiritualism and superstition (Wilson). Hamlet is not insane. He is a loyal subject, he has a true sense of right and wrong, and at heart is a good person. These points are proven in several passages of the play. He is called valiant, sweet and gentle, and his mother begs him to return to his former self. We know the seeing of the ghost is not a reason to call him insane. This is because he is not the first to see it. Also he sees the ghost while in the presence of others.

Now he is the only one to hear it speak, or so we think. Horatio may have heard it by his statement O day and night, but this is wondrous strange. Also by the fact that during the swearing on the sword, the ghost remarks Swear by his sword and no mention of whether or not the others heard it or not. Others perceive Hamlet as mad according to his actions. Actions such as his deteriorating appearance (with his doublet all unbraced), his indecision (To be, or not to be), and confusion. When all the while Hamlet is just trying to cope with all that has transpired.

The death of his father, the all too soon remarriage of his mother to his uncle. All of these events shook Hamlet’s faith in the way of things (“’tis an unweeded garden that grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature… “). I do believe I would act much the same. As the events unfold we see Hamlet growing more and more crafty in the way he deals with these problems. He tasks the players to enact a play which has the same qualities / events in how Claudius killed Hamlets father. Hamlet then instructs Horatio to watch the kings reaction to the play. This shows a cunning, sly and sane mind.

The ability to set a trap does not prove sanity but, for the reasoning of it does. Hamlets mad actions can be explained away. His boarding of the pirate ship alone, since he knows he is on his way to England to die, what has he to lose? His seemingly arbitrary killing of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is justified in the fact that they plotted with the King to destroy him. His killing of Polonius, although not justifiable in the fact he thought him to be Claudius (I took thee for thy better). The fight with Laertes in the grave of Ophelia, is explained that Laertes attacked Hamlet first.

Hamlet does not want a confrontation as of yet (take thy fingers from my throat). We see as time goes on and the treachery against Hamlet increases, so does Hamlets anger and desire to right the wrongs. He becomes more cunning, asking Ophelia where her father is, knowing she will lie and NOT say Watching us. He starts to realize that he must now fight fire with fire. He is much sterner with Ophelia, Get the to a nunnery, as well as with his mother (as kill a king, and marry his brother. ), (This was your husband. Look what now follows).

We see him become decidedly bloodthirsty, (my thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth! ). I think the end of act IV scene iv is where Hamlet finally decides on his course of action. I believe this is where he can stand the injustices no longer. The conclusion of this play is more justification to prove Hamlet sane. At the end all of the plotting and treachery he perceived is brought to life. The killing of his father by his uncle, and the plot against his life by the king through Laertes proves his suspicions correct. Moreover, does not only Hamlet see this, but the whole of the court present.

The court sees the use of poison, which the Queen inadvertently takes as well as the poison on the sword of Laertes. Had Hamlet only been more decisive and direct, and had killed Claudius much sooner, the Queen, Ophelia, Laertes, Polonius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern would not have died (Bair). While Hamlet was being in his antic disposition stage it allowed him to do several things that he otherwise would not be able to do if everyone thought he was in a normal state. The purpose of Hamlet feigning madness is in order to be undercover and see for certain if what has been told to him by the ghost is true.

By not revealing the fact that he is not insane, he is able to get more information about the death of his father. Did his uncle kill his father and how can he get his mother away from his uncle are what Hamlet is set out to find. Hamlets sanity is one of the most debated questions of the play, because Shakespeare never actually states whether Hamlet has gone insane or not. Whether Hamlet is insane or not plays a huge rule in why many of the events unfolded as they did. This is why there are so many ways to interpret the many aspects of Hamlet.

Hamlet and Go Tell it on the Mountain: Compare

Claudius and Gabriel are very similar, as they are very different people. Claudius and Gabriel share the characteristic that both regret what they do. Gabriel doesn’t actually get down on his knees and pray like Claudius does, the reader could tell though, that Gabriel is having some great problems with the way he is. His personality interferes with his daily life. He hates white people yet he is a preacher, a teacher of God. Gabriel does other things throughout the book that make other characters in the book wonder if Gabriel really wants to be a preacher, if Gabriel really can handle the responsibilities, any longer, that are needed to be a preacher. Claudius killed his own brother. His actions have basically ruined his life. The way he thinks and handles things aren’t the most productive and at times aren’t very bright.

Gabriel has many problems with his life. At times, he can’t really control his thoughts and his actions. He is a very confused person as well. He does so many things throughout the book that make it seem as if he doesn’t care about anyone or anything and just does what ever he wants to do, with out any boundaries being drawn to what he could do. He had sex with a women that was not his wife, while he was married!! How can a preacher do such a thing. It was against Gods Commandments but he did it anyway. Does he regret what he does? Probably. He thinks to himself and maybe prays to God asking him for his forgiveness and help to stop him from being such a person. If something came up like to have sex with another women other than his wife, he would probably go ahead and have sex without thinking to much about it. Gabriel is also a very selfish person. He does things that he wants to do. Gabriel doesn’t sacrifice anything for anyone. If he feels like having sex with another women, he goes ahead and does it. He doesn’t think about Deborah’s thoughts, about Gods thoughts or about anyone else’s thoughts. Does he even love Deborah? There was a part of the book where Gabriel was thinking to himself and he talks about how he hates Deborah. The following is that same part.

“Deborah turned to look at them, and at that moment Gabriel saw, as though for the first time, how black and bony was this wife of his, and how wholly undesirable. Deborah looked at him with a watchful silence in her look; he felt the hand that held his Bible begin to sweat and tremble; he thought of the joyless groaning of their marriage bed; and he hated her.” (pg 118)

What’s wrong with Gabriel? Does he actually love Deborah as his wife? Does he regret for hating Deborah? Does he really want to be a preacher? Does he even regret what he did, in terms of cheating on Deborah or treating John as he does?

Claudius also didn’t have a very delightful life. He murders his own brother to become king and to marry Gertrude, the queen. Did Claudius think about what he was doing? I don’t think so. He didn’t consider Gertrude’s thoughts, Hamlets thoughts or anyone else’s thoughts. He just went ahead and killed him because of his own selfishness. After he commits this crime he then realizes what he has done. He then regrets what he did to his own brother. The difference between Hamlet and Go Tell it on the Mountain is that, they actually show the reader that Claudius regrets what he did, by making Claudius say a prayer to God asking for forgiveness. There are small parts in the book that show that Gabriel does care about what he did. The following quote is one of the few parts where Gabriel wants God’s forgiveness.

“Gabriel,” she asked, “why did you do it?Why you let her go off and die, all by herself? Why ain’t you never said nothing?”

And now he could not answer. He could not raise his head.

“Why?” she insisted. “Honey, I ain’t never asked you. But I got a right to know-and when you wanted a son so bad?”

Then, shaking, he rose from the table and walked slowly to the window, looking out.

“I asked my God to forgive me,” he said. “But I didn’t want no harlot’s son.”

“Esther weren’t no harlot,” she said quietly…………….

“Honey,” she said, in another, stronger voice, “you better pray God to forgive. You better not let go until He make you know you been forgiven.” (pg 148-149)

Its a shame we don’t get to see Gabriel pray to God for forgiveness for what he has done in the book because it would tell the reader that Gabriel does care and realizes that what he has done is wrong. See the similarities between Claudius and Gabriel. They both are selfishness in different ways. Claudius only thinks about himself and Gabriel doesn’t think about anyone else’s opinions on the actions he does, so he is selfish in the sense that he thinks about himself and about what he wants not about what others think and about what others would want him to do and not to do There aren’t very many differences between the two people.

Gabriel is a kind of person who is very confused and needs help to getting back into what is reality. He isn’t really concentrating on the life he has now but he is co ncentrating more on the kind of life that he really wants. I was able to tell that Gabriel didn’t really love Deborah. The reader could realize or question if Gabriel really wanted to be a preacher any longer. Claudius isn’t as confused. He knows exactly what he is doing and he knows exactly what he wants.

I noticed that later in the book of Hamlet, Claudius realized that what he did wasn’t really what he wanted to do. He regrets and asks for forgiveness for what he has done. He knew what he was going to do but wasn’t exactly sure that he wanted to do what he did, which was kill King Hamlet. Another difference was that Gabriel seemed to be a more religious person, considering he is a preacher, than Claudius was. The following selection is just a part when Gabriel is praying to God. It is just to show you how religious Gabriel is.

“He fasted on his knees before God and did not cease, daily and nightly, to pray that God might work through him a mighty work and cause all men to see that, indeed, God’s hand was on him, that he was the Lord’s anointed.” (pg 101)

Claudius was a king and seemed to be not to much of a religious person. There are differences but not as many as there are similarities.

In conclusion, Gabriel and Claudius do have some similarities as well has differences. Some of the similarities that Gabriel and Claudius have are that both are selfish in their own way. Gabriel had sex with another women because Deborah wasn’t “good enough.” He didn’t think about Deborah’s feelings if she ever did find out about Gabriel cheating on her but instead thought about his own feelings and his own desires. Claudius is selfish in the sense that he kills his own brother to become king and to marry Gertrude. He cared more about being king and marrying a “beautiful” women than having his own brother live.

Gabriel and Claudius also have differences. One of the obvious differences is that one is a preacher and the other is a king. Another difference is that Claudius had all his things together, he knew what he was doing and knew what he wanted. Gabriel on the other hand was little more confused and didn’t really have things together, or didn’t really have things the way they should be. He couldn’t control his emotions and couldn’t control most of his actions. I enjoyed reading both books, though I thought Hamlet was a good book to read just because it was different. A kind of book I had never read before.

Hamlet – Comment on Humanity

The Elizabethan play The Tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmark is one of William Shakespeare’s most popular works. One of the possible reasons for this play’s popularity is the way Shakespeare uses the character Hamlet to exemplify the complex workings of the human mind.

The approach taken by Shakespeare in Hamlet has generated countless different interpretations of meaning, but it is through Hamlet’s struggle to confront his internal dilemma, deciding when to revenge his fathers death, that the reader becomes aware of one of the more common interpretations in Hamlet; the idea that Shakespeare is ttempting to comment on the influence that one’s state of mind can have on the decisions they make in life. As the play unfolds, Shakespeare uses the encounters that Hamlet must face to demonstrate the effect that one’s perspective can have on the way the mind works.

In his book Some Shakespeare Themes & An Approach to Hamlet, L. C. Knight takes notice of Shakespeare’s use of these encounters to journey into the workings of the human mind when he writes: What we have in Hamlet. is the exploration and implicit criticism of a particular state of mind or consciousness. In Hamlet, Shakespeare uses a series of encounters to reveal the complex state of the human mind, made up of reason, emotion, and attitude towards the self, to allow the reader to make a judgment or form an opinion about fundamental aspects of human life.

Shakespeare sets the stage for Hamlet’s internal dilemma in Act 1, Scene 5 of Hamlet when the ghost of Hamlet’s father appears and calls upon Hamlet to “revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” (1. 5. 24). It is from this point forward that Hamlet must struggle with the dilemma of whether or not to kill Claudius, his uncle, and if so when to actually do it. As the play progresses, Hamlet does not seek his revenge when the opportunity presents itself, and it is the reasoning that Hamlet uses to justify his delay that becomes paramount to the reader’s underezding of the effect that Hamlet’s mental perspective has on his situation.

In order to fully underezd how Hamlet’s perspective plays an important role in this play, the reader must attempt to answer the fundamental question: Why does Hamlet procrastinate in taking revenge on Claudius? Although the answer to this question is at best somewhat complicated, Mark W. Scott attempts to offer some possible xplanations for Hamlet’s delay in his book, Shakespeare for Students: Critics who find the cause of Hamlet’s delay in his internal meditations typically view the prince as a man of great moral integrity who is forced to commit an act which goes against his deepest principles.

On numerous occasions, the prince tries to make sense of his moral dilemma through personal meditations, which Shakespeare presents as soliloquies. Another perspective of Hamlet’s internal struggle suggests that the prince has become so disenchanted with life since his father’s death that he has neither the desire nor he will to exact revenge. (74) Mr.

Scott points out morality and disenchantment, both of which belong solely to an individuals own conscious, as two potential causes of Hamlet’s procrastination, and therefore he offers support to the idea that Shakespeare is placing important emphasis on the role of individual perspective in this play. The importance that Mr. Scott’s comment places on Hamlet’s use of personal meditations to “make sense of his moral dilemma” (74), also helps to support L. C. Knight’s contention that Shakespeare is attempting to use these dilemmas to llustrate the inner workings of the human mind.

In Hamlet, Shakespeare gives the reader an opportunity to evaluate the way the title character handles a very complicated dilemma and the problems that are generated because of it. These problems that face Hamlet are perhaps best viewed as overstatements of the very types of problems that all people must face as they live their lives each day. The magnitude of these “everyday” problems are almost always a matter of individual perspective. Each person will perceive a given situation based on his own state of mind. The one, erhaps universal, dilemma that faces all of mankind is the problem of identity.

As Victor L. Cahn writes, “Hamlet’s primary dilemma is that of every human being: given this time and place and these circumezces, How is he to respond? What is his responsibility? ” (69). This dilemma defined by Mr. Cahn fits in well with the comments of both L. C. Knight and Mark Scott, because it too requires some serious introspection on the part of Hamlet to resolve, and also supports the idea that Shakespeare is using Hamlet’s dilemma to illustrate the effect that perspective, or state of mind, can have n a given situation.

Hamlet’s delay in seeking revenge for his father’s death plays an important role in allowing Shakespeare’s look into the human mind to manifest itself. If Hamlet had killed Claudius at first opportunity, there would have been little chance for Shakespeare to develop the internal dilemma which all three critics, L. C. Knight, Mark Scott, and Victor Cahn, mention in support of the widely held view that, in Hamlet, Shakespeare is attempting to make a comment about the complexity of the human mind, and the power that a person’s mental perspective can have on the events of his life.

The Ghost of Hamlets Father

In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the ghost of Hamlet’s father appears very briefly. However, he provides the basis for the development and eventual downfall of Hamlet’s character. The play begins with a dismal Hamlet mourning his father’s death Recognizing this gloom, Queen Gertrude urges Hamlet to “cast thy nighted color off, and let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark” (I, ii, 68-69). Soon after, the ghost appears, insisting, “If thou didst ever thy father love, revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” (I, v, 24-25).

As Hamlet decides to scourge the past and present evils in Denmark, the host unleashes death and malice onto the stage. The first and most obvious change which the ghost instills into Hamlet is a vengeful spirit. Not only must Hamlet destroy Claudius, but he must also stop Fortinbras from invading Denmark. Although less obvious, the second task can be inferred from the fact that the ghost appears wearing “the very armor he had on when he the ambitious Norway combated” (I, i, 60-61). Hamlet spends the entire play trying to carry out these orders, eventually causing the downfall of his spirit.

Partly because he feels reserve and uilt for his task, Hamlet delays taking action throughout the play. However, this paradoxical delay only makes Hamlet feel more guilty. He questions his self-worth and even considers suicide, pondering, “To die — to sleep — no more; and by a sleep to say we end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to” (III, i, 60-63). He cannot accept the goodness of life or destroy its evils. Because of the ghost’s words, Hamlet also becomes increasingly concerned with his mother’s sexual relations with his uncle.

In his first appearance to Hamlet, the ghost nsults his brother saying, “Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast… O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power so to seduce! –won to his shameful lust the will of my most seeming-virtuous queen” (I, v, 42-45). Hamlet, adopting this malicious spirit, later responds to the ghost with a fervent, “O most pernicious woman! O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain” (I, v, 105-106). Hamlet now has a valid reason to be disgusted with both his uncle and his mother and proceeds to confront his mother on this incestual issue.

He does this by comparing his father, a “combination and a form indeed which very god did seem to set his seal to give the world assurance of a man” (III, iv, 61-63), to his uncle, a “mildewed ear blasting his wholesome brother” (III, iv, 65). Hamlet focuses on a minute and inconsequential part of avenging his father’s murder; thus, he The ghost also induces Hamlet’s preoccupation with death and decay, seen through Hamlet’s many allusions to the subject. Hamlet makes puns involving death: “Your worm is your only emperor for diet. We fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots.

Your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service-two ishes, but to one table” (IV, iii, 21-24). He ponders and foresees death: “I see the imminent death of twenty thousand men that for a fantasy and trick of fame go to their graves like beds… O from this time forth, my thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth” (IV, iv, 60-66). Hamlet even seems fascinated by death: “That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once… That might be the pate of a politician… might it not? ” (V, i, 67-71). We can assume that Hamlet was not previously obsessed and intrigued by death and decay.

However, with the ghost’s appearance, and with his increasing feelings of uilt, Hamlet becomes more macabre and (covertly) depressed. The ghost ultimately causes Hamlet’s destruction by requiring that his son avenge his death. The ghost also causes Hamlet’s feelings of self-doubt and guilt thanks to Hamlet’s procrastination — he never even reaches the task of stopping Fortinbras — and to his somewhat incestual preoccupation with his mother’s and uncle’s relationship. The ghost’s influence wrenches Hamlet’s spirit out of its normal frame so that he destroys himself while simultaneously destroying his enemies.

Hamlet as a Tragic Hero

William Shakespeare, the greatest playwright of the English language, wrote a total of 37 plays in his lifetime, all of which can be categorized under tragedy, comedy, or history. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Shakespeares most popular and greatest tragedy, displays his genius as a playwright, as literary critics and academic commentators have found an unusual number of themes and literary techniques present in Hamlet. Hamlet concerns the murder of the king of Denmark and the murdered kings sons quest for revenge.

Its main character, Hamlet, possesses a tragic flaw which obstructs his desire for revenge and ultimately brings about his death. This tragic flaw makes him a tragic hero, a character who is destroyed because of a major weakness, as his death at the end could possibly have been avoided were it not for his tragic flaw. Hamlets flaw of irresolution, the uncertainty on how to act or proceed, is shown when Hamlet sees a play and the passion the actors had, after Hamlets third soliloquy, in Hamlets fourth soliloquy, and in Hamlets indecisive pursuit in avenging his fathers death.

First, Hamlets flaw of irresolution is shown when he sees a play and the passion one particular actor had. A group of players has arrived and Hamlet arranges a personal viewing of The Murder of Gonzago with a small portion of his own lines inserted. Hamlet then observes one portion of the play in which one of the players put on a great display of emotion. Hamlet, besieged by guilt and self-contempt, remarks in his second soliloquy of Hamlet of the emotion this player showed despite the fact that the player had nothing to be emotional about.

Hamlet observed that he himself had all the reason in the world to react with great emotion and sorrow, yet he failed to show any that could compare with the act of the player. Hamlet calls himself a “rogue and peasant slave” and a “dull and muddy-mettled rascal” who, like a “John-a-dreams”, can take no action. Hamlet continues his fiery speech by degrading himself and resoluting to take some sort of action to revenge his fathers death. Next, Hamlets flaw of irresolution is shown after his third soliloquy, the famed “To be or not to be” lines.

Hamlet directly identifies his own tragic flaw, remarking of his own inability to act. Hamlet, 2 unsure whether or not the his uncle Claudius was responsible for his fathers murder, schemes to have The Murder of Gonzago presented to the royal court, with a few minor changes, so its contents would closely resemble the circumstances behind the murder. Reflecting on his own guilt, he talks of death, referring to it as the undiscovered country, and then continues by riddling his own feelings.

He declares “conscience does make cowards of us all” and that the natural ruddy complexion of one intent, or resolute, on an action is “sicklied” over with the “pale cast of thought”. This makes an individual second guess his own actions and often times take no action at all, due to his own irresolution. These statements not only applied to what had occurred up to that point but also foreshadowed what was to occurr. Next, Hamlets flaw of irresolution is shown during his fourth soliloquy. Fortinbras, the Prince of Norway, and his army have passed by Hamlet and his escorts.

Hamlet sees the action Fortinbras was taking in fighting and then examines Fortinbrass efforts and bravery in an attempt to rekindle his own desire for revenge against Claudius for his fathers death. Hamlet remarks how everything around him attempts to “spur my dull revenge”, yet he takes no action. He notices how he thinks “too precisely on an event” and that he has “cause, and will, and strength, and means” to get revenge and how the evidence pointing to Claudius as his fathers killer is as evident as earth itself.

Hamlet finally decides “my thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth! ” He has finally decided he must take action against Claudius in some form or fashion. Last, Hamlets indecisive pursuit in avenging his fathers death is shown as evidence of his tragic flaw. Hamlet encounters numerous opportunities to kill Claudius, yet he always comes up with some excuse preventing action. After first hearing of the crime from his fathers ghost, Hamlet immediately sets out to take action.

Hamlet then began to think that perhaps his fathers ghost was conjured by the devil in an attempt to make Hamlet become irrational and kill Claudius, who might happen to be innocent, which would forever damn his soul. Hamlet then schemes to determine Claudiuss guilt through the play. Claudius views the play and becomes very uncomfortable with the situation to the point of stopping the play and leaving. This confirms Claudiuss guilt to Hamlet, and Hamlet again sets out to avenge his fathers death. Hamlet then catches Claudius in prayer, a rare time he will find Claudius alone.

Hamlet, again, begins to think how Claudius will have had his sins forgiven and that he wants to damn Claudiuss soul. Hamlet 3 resolves to wait and kill Claudius at another time. Claudius, through all of this, realizes Hamlet knows of his crime and plots to have Hamlet killed by first sending him to England and then having him murdered. Hamlet escapes this ploy and Claudius plots again to have Hamlet killed in a fencing match. At the fencing match, Hamlet is wounded by a poisoned strike with the foil. Hamlet, in a dying act, kills Claudius by making him drink poison.

Hamlets flaw of irresolution essentially destroyed him, as his failure to act in previous situations led to his own death. Hamlets irresolution is obvious in his actions after viewing the emotion of the actors, after his third soliloquy, in his fourth soliloquy, and in his indecisive pursuit of revenge for his fathers death. Hamlet was able to avenge his fathers death, but his own death due to his irresolution labels him as a tragic hero. The Tragedy of Hamlet masterfully shows how the inability to act, however noble the intentions, can be detrimental to character.

Reasons For The Anticipation Of Claudiuss Suicide

In the tragic play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, a particular deterrent in Hamlet’s quest to be rid of his regal uncle is his procrastination. This act of murder intended to set the future right is Hamlet’s sole responsibility, ordered by his deceased father. Hamlet’s main target throughout the play is for Claudius to commit suicide. To achieve this goal, he produces a play chiefly for the king called the “Mousetrap. ” This play is used as one of many tools for Hamlet’s indirect manipulation of Claudius’s mind.

Just as a mousetrap lures a pest to its own self-destruction while in search of ways to gratify itself, so does Hamlet use the play as a lure to trap the king in his own conscience. Claudius’s possible suicide would be the result of the guilt traps Hamlet sets with the use of mental stratagem. As Hamlet scolds his mother for her behavior toward the king’s honor, he says many cruel things to her. Yet, among these are his pleas for her to repent. One of the last pieces of advice he gives his mother is not to let Claudius tempt her again: “Pinch wanton on your cheek, call you his mouse” (III. . 200).

Hamlet’s uncle, besides tempting the queen, is also willing to let her be the mouse that gets caught in the mousetrap intended for him. He does not love Gertrude as Hamlet’s father once did and probably never will. To the plotting king, his only regard for her is purely to serve his own selfish needs. Most of Hamlet’s efforts to make the king want to kill himself fail because of Claudius’s strong hold on his mother, which is Hamlet’s weakness. Hamlet puts off certain efforts to kill Claudius for various reasons.

At one point, Hamlet does not go through with Claudius’s murder because he does not want him to enter heaven at the time of his death: “Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven / And that his soul may be as damn’d and black / As hell, whereto it goes” (III. iii. 97-98). If Claudius had killed himself, which in almost all religions is considered a sin, he would surely go to hell. Hamlet prefers Claudius’s acknowledgment of the impetus behind his actions to be his method of self-destruction. The more that Claudius thinks about his evil deed, the more he will come up with reasons as to why he should not go on living.

Claudius is lured into taking the throne by the bait of Gertrude, which was the thought that he could have a privileged place in society alongside the queen. He lusts after her and soon finds himself in the former king’s shoes: “A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that fed of that worm” (IV. iii. 30-31). Claudius uses the king’s wife as bait to fish for his own personal gain. He is oblivious to Hamlet’s determination to seek silent vengeance on the person who has trapped him in a world of repugnance. To Claudius, Hamlet will be that ever present, yet scheming force in his life.

Hamlet’s desire is for Claudius to be reminded of his evil deed so much that, like the fish that fed of the worm, he will nourish his every thought bringing him closer to trapping himself in his own guilt. When asked what Hamlet meant by the fish analogy by the king he gives a strikingly similar example of his relationship towards Claudius: “Nothing but to show you how a king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar” (IV. iii. 33-34). When he says this, Claudius is not clear as to what he is speaking of, but he does give a clue that offers insight into Hamlet’s mission in the play.

The king that is talked about by Hamlet is his real father. He is telling Claudius how his father is using him as an instrument to gain vengeance. Like the fish Claudius captures, Hamlet is this creature which carries the blood of a king within him. The memory of the king that lives in his son is the fish that “goes a progress though the guts of a beggar. ” This idea of Hamlet’s is to keep the remembrance of the king alive through himself in the very gut of Claudius. If he decides to kill himself it would be a triumph for Hamlet.

This act would completely remove Hamlet’s physical attendance at his uncle’s death. Yet, since the job does not get carried out by the king, Hamlet seems to be procrastinating throughout the play. Occasional points in the story demonstrate how Hamlet falls victim to the memory of his father instead of Claudius. With a passive outlook of what Claudius does to Hamlet, he avoids letting his murderous act bother him. Hamlet cannot help but think of his father. The ghost of his father is always on his mind because his memory lives in him and is constantly reiterating that he be remembered.

Without a continuous image of Claudius’s brother in his conscience, Hamlet feels obligated to change all that. He senses he is alone and feels the deepest pain of losing his father when he was the one who did nothing at all to harm him. Hamlet tries to vent his anger toward Claudius’s inconsiderate nature by trying to make him know his distress twofold. Although it seems, throughout the play, as if Hamlet is watching nature take its course, this is in fact what he is doing. He is watching and waiting for Claudius to react to his set traps. One of these traps is the play Hamlet produces for Claudius to watch.

The only real reaction he gives is a demand for the play to be stopped and for the presence of light. This symbolizes the authority he has to sever Hamlet’s attempts at defeating him as well as his newfound awareness of Hamlet’s scheme. When Hamlet notices that the play has no real effect on the king’s mental health, it is an indication that the king will never feel any guilt. This may well be the point where Hamlet begins to realize that he cannot totally change the king. The king must play a role in being responsible for taking his own life.

An example of Hamlet seeming paralyzed in his effort to kill the king is found in a comparison with a Trojan battle: “Takes prisoner Pyrrhus’ ear. For lo! his sword, Which was declining on the milky head Of reverend Priam, seemed i’ the air to stick. So, as a painted tyrant, Pyrrhus stood, And, like a neutral to his will and matter, Did nothing” (II. ii. 484-89). Hamlet is similar to Pyrrhus in that both of them are unable to kill because of something holding them back. Hamlet and Pyrrhus are perfectly capable of slaughtering their enemies, except for this major hindrance.

For Pyrrhus, it is almost as if the hands clenching his sword will not move until the victim accepts the fact that he is worthy to die and finally shouts, “Just kill me! ” and he will do it. This is exactly the type of acceptance Claudius needs to face up to before Hamlet’s plan for his death succeeds. Another trap Hamlet sets for the king is the false pretense that he is mad. He acts as though he is mad to show the king that he is suffering deeply from his father’s death, which he is, but not visibly. He wishes to spark guilt in Claudius, causing him to see the effects of his evil deed on his brother’s son.

Again, his attempts fail. Claudius does nothing noticeable to show emotion for his brother or any genuine sympathy for Hamlet, yet he keeps thinking of more possibilities that might work against Claudius: “Thanks to the notion of strategy, men can postpone revenge indefinitely without ever giving up. They are equally terrified by both radical solutions and they go on living as long as possible, if not forever, in the no man’s land of sick revenge” (Girard,180). Hamlet figures that the more strategic his ideas for revenge become, the more effective they will be.

The progress of his strategy can be seen as he goes from a visual image (the Mousetrap play) to a more melodramatic act (his false madness). Hamlet continues to draw courage to maintain his silent plot against the king. The driving force behind his will to carry out the plan to kill him thrives off of Claudius’s neutrality to all his efforts: “Hamlet, on the other hand is always studying himself” (Lowell,36). Hamlet notes his qualifications for getting the job done when he says, “Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means To do’t. Examples gross as earth exhort me. Witness this army of such mass and charge,

Led by a delicate and tender prince, Whose spirit, with divine ambition puffed, Makes mouths at the invisible event” (IV. iv. 47-52). Hamlet recognizes his duty to his father. What keeps him going is Claudius’s “examples gross as earth. ” This is the way he acts toward things that would normally bring anyone guilty of a crime to suffer the plights of their conscience. The absence of guilt that should come as natural and as normal as earth disgusts Hamlet. Although Hamlet is as determined in his quest to bring the king to suicide as a powerful army, he goes about it as a “tender” favor to help Claudius die with a clear conscience.

A violent battle between the two will never occur because “the invisible event” can only take place in Claudius’s mind when he agrees to take on the mental dual between the memory of his brother and himself. Hamlet is so convinced that Claudius just has to kill himself, he denies the fact that it will only take the murderous action of himself for him to die: “Hamlet is continually drawing bills on the future, secured by his promise of himself to himself, which he can never redeem” (Lowell,35).

It is no wonder that along with the pressure of avenging his father’s death, his efforts to undermine the king proving unfruitful, and finding not even his mother to confide in, Hamlet contemplates suicide instead of Claudius: “His hope of recovery to the normal state of healthy mental life depended largely on his ability to forget his father, to forgive his mother” (Knight,81). Both of these things are almost impossible for him.

The memory of his father and seeking justice for him is what keeps him going every day and his mother is almost to blame for her inability to be virtuous: “She seems not to care, and seems particularly not to care about his grief” (Kirsch,132). The moral stress Hamlet undergoes is entirely meant for the appropriate person being Claudius. Hamlet knows that conscience makes cowards of people which is why he figures that if Claudius had one, he would have a fear of living his life.

Suicide victims are often referred to as cowards or individuals who refuse to find a way to deal with life’s problems. A person’s conscience tends to make one weigh moral pros and cons before carrying out an action. It also tends to perpetuate a feeling of disappointment in oneself after carrying out a wrong action depending on the severity of it. As always, Hamlet suffers from what Claudius does not.

Hamlet is a coward, not for refraining from murdering the king, but because he cannot find it within the confusion he experiences to make peace with himself and continue living life like the king has been able to do: “This paralysis arises, however, not from physical or moral cowardice, but from that intellectual cowardice, that reluctance to dare the exploration of his inmost soul, which Hamlet shares with the rest of the human race” (Jones,103).

Hamlet is repulsed by the fact that someone who can be so horrible can also maintain their mental stability better than he can with the least of effort: “The tragedy is titanic because the effort and the mind are titanic” (Erlich,253). Although this is not fair, it is the true tragedy in Hamlet. In the play, the mental strength Hamlet uses up in order to come up with ways to punish Claudius is exasperating. All of this because Hamlet’s father had things his brother did not. He had riches, a desirable queen, and the authority and wisdom of nobility. Jealousy was a factor in his death and prosperity was his enemy.

Every opportunity Hamlet gets at mental revenge-the play he produces and his faked madness-he is faced with his ultimate destiny: “We will see that in these incidents Hamlet needs to fail because, in part, success would confront him with his father’s weakness. ” If Hamlet was to murder the king he would thus be putting an end to his own nature. It is not normal for him to be the center of attention: “He was clam in his temper, artless in his conduct; neither pleased with idleness, nor too violently eager for employment” (Goethe,9). The opposite would be the result if he sought physical revenge on his uncle.

Yet, this quality of being more forward has always been his father’s nature. This can be seen in the king through his ghost who dominates Hamlet’s thoughts. Hamlet, on the other hand, is the one who tends to dwell on his things from a distance as opposed to acting upon them. When it comes time for the death of the king, Hamlet does stab him once and for all. When this long awaited action is finally complete, Hamlet has no other choice but to die because he goes against his nature. Even though the death of his father is avenged, there exists a violation of what was sustaining Hamlet for the longest time.

This is his hope for Claudius to suffer the mental strain of killing his brother before his death. If Hamlet had seen this in Claudius before both of their deaths, he would have finally found someone who could relate to what he was feeling. Maybe if he had experienced what he silently sought out in all his efforts to trigger the king’s conscience, he might have been able to go on with his life. Without a father figure and his mother unemotional toward his loss, there is nowhere he can turn for an outlet to direct his confusion.

However, he finds a way of expressing himself through creating his play and being dramatic. They may be disguised as frivolous forms of entertainment for the king and queen, but they are also hidden cries for help coming from a confused Hamlet. Toward Hamlet’s death when he is about to fight Laertes, he comes to a realization. These few words he speaks to Horatio tell much about what happens before his death: “When our deep plots do pall; and that should learn us / There’s a divinity that shapes our ends / Rough-hew them how we will” (V. ii. 9-11).

Hamlet uses what he has experienced in life and applies it to mankind. After many times wherein Hamlet’s plots have seemed to not have any effect, he makes known a phenomenon that occurs which makes it worthwhile to have suffered things not going a certain way. He says that individuals should learn that the intentions that they set before them will not always dictate what is sure to happen. This is basically what happens to Hamlet in his plot to capture the king’s conscience. Still, there is some sort of divine intervention that changes the course of our nature near death.

For Hamlet, this was the sudden ability to do what was against his nature for so long and that was to carry out the action of stabbing the king. Hamlet also talks about the nature that will soon manifest itself before killing Claudius: “Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes / Between the pass and fell-incensed points / Of mighty people” (V. ii. 64-66). This “baser nature” Hamlet speaks of is the nature of what humans are supposed to have basically stemmed from-the beasts. Hamlet refers to this total disregard of compassion toward human life as being “dangerous.

This is exactly the word to describe what happens when the king and Hamlet, the “mighty opposites” they are, are at both of their ends. What takes place thereafter is total destruction. Four people wind up dead in their presence where the atmosphere was already extremely tense before any deaths had occurred. In the end, Hamlet realizes that his nature was not able to allow what his intentions willed to happen. If Claudius had indeed killed himself, he would have violated his nature as well.

Claudius acknowledges that Hamlet’s righteous obligation to avenge his father’s death held ulterior motives that Claudius could relate to: “There is no shuffling, there the action lies / In his true nature, and we ourselves compell’d” (III. iii. 64-65). Claudius knows that there is no doubt about it, or “no shuffling,” that the action to kill him is there. Claudius is “compelled” to his bestial nature that he does not want to deny Hamlet also has within him. Although, he knows it is his true nature that he is unable to feel anything for his brother: “Try what repentance can.

What can it not? / Yet what can it when one can not repent? ” (III. iii. 68-69). When one cannot repent, it is said that their sins are not forgiven. When Claudius is unable to at least attempt repenting, this suggests his inability to want to be like everyone else. Most people would favor being forgiven than not. Hamlet is an individual who wants to change a person with a certain mindset and drive him to end his own life. At the same time he struggles with his own physical incapabilities. Yet, the physical aspect of killing someone does not mean that the mind can not do the same damage.

Hamlet fails most of the time, but each time he does he gets more creative in his plans and finds a new way to express his anger about the action never being carried out. He is an individual who is faced with many tasked and in the end is aware of his status in dealing with them all. He is an “instrument” that no human is worthy to make speak, yet the “divinity that shapes our ends” is all that is able to “play upon him. ” This silent control of himself toward his death coming from a divine force assumes the task he tries to make happen for what is remaining of his life. And “the rest is silence. “

Is Hamlet Mad

“I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw” (II. ii. 369-370). This is a classic example of the “wild and whirling words” (I. v. 134) with which Hamlet hopes will persuade people to believe that he is mad. These words, however, prove that beneath his “antic disposition,” (I. V. 172). Hamlet is sane. Under his strange choice of imagery involving points of the compass, the weather, and hunting birds, he is announcing that he is calculatedly choosing the times when to appear mad.

Hamlet is saying that he knows a hunting hawk from a hunted “handsaw” or heron, n other words, that, very far form being mad, he is perfectly capable of recognizing his enemies. Hamlet’s madness was faked for a purpose. He warned his friends he intended to fake madness, but Gertrude as well as Claudius saw through it, and even the slightly dull-witted Polonius was suspicious. His public face is one of insanity but, in his private moments of soliloquy, through his confidences to Horatio, and in his careful plans of action, we see that his madness is assumed.

After the Ghost’s first appearance to Hamlet, Hamlet decides that when he finds it uitable or to his advantage, he will put on a mask of madness so to speak. He confides to Horatio that when he finds the occasion appropriate, he will “put an antic disposition on” (I. v. 172). This strategy gives Hamlet a chance to find proof of Claudius’s guilt and to contemplate his revenge tactic. Although he has sworn to avenge his father’s murder, he is not sure of the Ghost’s origins: “The spirit that I have seen / May be the devil” (II. ii. 584-585).

He uses his apparent madness as a delaying tactic to buy time in which to discover whether the Ghost’s tale of murder is true and to decide how to handle the situation. At the same time, he wants to appear unthreatening and harmless so that people will divulge information to him, much in the same way that an adult will talk about an important secret in the presence of a young child. To convince everyone of his madness, Hamlet spends many hours walking back and forth alone in the lobby, speaking those “wild and whirling words” (I. V. 134) which make little sense on the surface but in fact carry a meaningful subtext.

When asked if he recognizes Polonius, Hamlet promptly replies, “Excellent well; you are a fishmonger” (II. ii. 174). Although the response seems crazy since a fish-seller ould look completely unlike the expensively dressed lord Polonius, Hamlet is actually criticizing Polonius for his handling of Ophelia, since “fishmonger” is Elizabethan slang for “pimp. ” He plays mind-games with Polonius, getting him in crazy talk to agree first that a cloud looks like a camel, then a weasel and finally a whale, and in a very sane aside, he then comments that “they fool me to the top of my bent” (III. i. 369). Although he appears to have lost touch with reality, he keeps reminding us that he is not at all “far gone, far gone” (II. ii. 189) as Polonius claims, but is in fact very much in command of himself and he situation. With his ranting and ravings and his seemingly useless pacing of the lobby, Hamlet manages to appear quite mad. The nave and trusting Ophelia believes in and is devastated by what she sees as his downfall. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are also fully convinced.

They are Hamlet’s equals in age but are far inferior in intellect and therefore don’t understand that he is faking. However, although Hamlet manages to convince these simple friends and Ophelia of his insanity, other characters in the play such as Claudius, Gertrude and even Polonius eventually see through his behavior. Claudius is constantly on his guard because of his uilty conscience and he therefore recognizes that Hamlet is faking. The king is suspicious of Hamlet from the very beginning. He denies Hamlet permission to return to university so that he can keep an eye on him close by.

When Hamlet starts acting strangely, Claudius gets all the more suspicious and sends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to spy on him. Their instructions are to discover why Hamlet is pretending to be mad: ” And can you, by no drift of circumstance, / Get from him why he puts on this confusion, / Grating so harshly all his days of quiet / With turbulent and dangerous lunacy” (III. i. 1-4). The reason Claudius is so reluctant to believe that Ophelia’s rejection has caused Hamlet’s lunacy is that he doesn’t believe in his madness at all.

When Claudius realizes through the play-within-the-play that Hamlet knows the truth about his father’s death, he immediately sends him away to England. The prevailing piece of evidence demonstrating Claudius’s knowledge of Hamlet’s sanity is the fact that he feels threatened enough by Hamlet to order him killed by the king of England: “For like the hectic in my blood he rages, / And thou must cure me: till I know ’tis done, / Howe’er my haps, my joys were ne’er begun” (IV. iii. 65-67).

In the scene in his mother’s bedroom, Hamlet tells Gertrude that his insanity is assumed: “it is not madness / I have utter’d: bring me to the test, / And I the matter will reword, which madness / Would gambol from” (III. iv. 142-145), but even without his confirmation, the queen has seen through his act. While Hamlet is reprimanding her, she is so upset that she describes his words as “daggers” (III. iv. 95) and claims, ” Thou hast cleft my heart in twain” (III. iv. 158). The words of a madman could not have penetrated her soul to such an extent.

The queen takes every word Hamlet says seriously, proving she respects him and elieves his mind to be sound. Furthermore, she believes Hamlet’s confession of sanity immediately. She does not question him at all but instead promises to keep it her secret. “I have no life to breathe / What though hast said to me” (III. iv. 200-201). Even Polonius can see that Hamlet has not completely lost touch with the world. Although he frequently misses the meanings of Hamlet’s remarks and insults, he does recognize that they make some sense.

After a confusing conversation with Hamlet he remarks, ” Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t” (II. ii. 203-204). When his theory of rejected love proves rong, he becomes very suspicious of Hamlet’s behavior and offers to test it by hiding behind the “arras” in Gertrude’s bedroom so that he can listen in on Hamlet’s private conversation with his mother. Polonius’s suspicions about the legitimacy of Hamlet’s madness lead to his death when Hamlet stabs the “arras” in the mistaken belief that the eavesdropper is Claudius.

Hamlet’s soliloquies, his confidences to Horatio, and his elaborate plans are by far the most convincing proof of his sanity. Throughout the play, Hamlet’s soliloquies reveal his inner thoughts which are completely rational. In one such speech, Hamlet criticizes himself for not having yet taken action to avenge his father’s murder: “O what a rogue and peasant slave am I / . . . the son of the dear murder’d, / Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, / Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words” (II. ii. 534-571). Hamlet calls himself a “dull and muddy-mettled rascal” (II. i. 552), a villain and a coward, but when he realizes that his anger doesn’t achieve anything practical other than the unpacking of his heart, he stops. These are not the thoughts of a madman; his emotions are real and his thoughts are those of a rational man. Even when he contemplates suicide in the “to be or not to be” soliloquy, he reasons himself out of it through a very sane consideration of the dangers of an unknown afterlife: “And thus the native hue of resolution / Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought” (III. i. 84-85).

A further important proof of his sanity is how patiently he devises plans to prepare for his revenge. As he explains to Horatio, his “antic disposition” (I. V. 172) is a device to test his enemies. His mounting of the play-within-the-play is another well-laid plan to trap Claudius into admitting guilt: “The play’s the thing / Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king” (II. ii. 590-591) and even when the play brings him concrete proof, he is careful not to rush to take his revenge at the wrong moment. He could easily kill Claudius while he is praying but restrains himself so that there is no chance of Claudius’s entering heaven.

Although Hamlet’s patience can be seen as an example of his procrastination, I think that it is rather a sign of rationality. Hamlet shows himself perfectly capable of action, as well as of rational thought, in escaping the king’s armed guard, dispatching Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to their deaths in England, dealing ith the pirates and making it back to Denmark. In addition, the letter Horatio from him through the ambassador bound for England is clear and precise and shows no signs of a confused mind. Finally, I am convinced of Hamlet’s sanity by his very normal reactions to the people around him.

He is perfectly sane, friendly and courteous with the players, giving them good acting tips which they appreciate and respect. When Polonius and Claudius test the theory of rejected love by “loosing” Ophelia to him, Hamlet acts completely rationally. He greets Ophelia sweetly, gets a little cold when he remembers that he has not seen her for this many a day,” is very hurt when she returns his remembrances, and becomes completely furious, insulting womankind in general, when she lies to him about her father’s whereabouts and he realizes he is being spied on.

He reacts the way any hurt young rejected lover would. In the end, it is surprising that he is able to keep up the charade of faking madness for so long, and part of his tragedy is that it doesn’t help him anyway; in the end, he avenges his father by killing Claudius not through an act of madness, but as a result of Claudius’s own treachery.

The Ghost of Hamlet Senior

Samuel Johnson writes “Hamlet is through the piece rather an instrument than an agent. ” This statement is true, it is exhibited in several ways. The manner in which Hamlet’s father manifests himself is an indication of his true intentions. Hamlet acts as an earthly means of revenge, he is the output for actions directed by a mortal being. Inner weakness has riddled Hamlet’s life, it runs rampant in his decisions, or lack of, and has plagued his fate. His inability to overcome insecurity, procrastination, and an over analytical mind contribute, overwhelmingly, to his downfall.

Hamlet allows negative character attributes to steer his life, the point being, He is an instrument of his own indecision, which spawned from flaws within his character. Establishing Hamlet’s sanity is a difficult task. It’s stability in his life is questionable, but his contemplation of madness has left him vulnerable to its control. This control has led Hamlet to act outside of character and in an extremely peculiar fashion. Hamlet is an instrument of his father, his own self, and of sanity. The appearances of the Ghost, although sporadic, do not come without meaning.

Hamlet Senior, arguably, is one of Shakespeare’s finest creations. The character was molded using the Elizabethan view on death and apparitions. Such belief stated hauntings had a communication value that was used to seek resolve in unfinished business. The basis for Hamlet Senior’s untimely visits should be sought. “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder. ” (Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. United kingdom: Longman Group UK Limited, 1995. Act One, Scene Five, ll 29. ) The above quotation provides insight into the Ghost’s purpose.

Hamlet is a device that is readily available for use, he is the bridge between death, vengeance, and reality. Hamlet  had been already effected by the marriage of his Uncle, Claudius, to his Mother, but the factor that remains liable for Hamlet’s eventual downfall is the involvement of the apparition. To classify Hamlet as an instrument of his father is not farfetched. His obsession with life and it’s happenings cannot be attributed to his madness, the revenge that coursed through Hamlet’s veins provided a platform for his antic disposition to finally be laid out.

One must not lose sight of the fact that Hamlet’s vengeance was spurred by his father, thus making him a tool of Hamlet Senior’s involvement and wishes. Flaws in character have also proven to be costly for Hamlet. Instead of relying on positive characteristics, Hamlet emphasizes weakness in will, procrastination, and indecision. “He seems incapable of deliberate action, and is only hurried into extremities on the spur of the occasion, when he has no time to reflect, as in the scene where he kills Polonius and again, where he alters the letters which Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are taking with them to England purporting his death. Bratchell, D. F. Shakespearean Tragedy.

Hamlet has fallen to a poor will, he acts blindly and therefore behaves in a harsh manner and without cause. “Begin murderer; pox, leave thy damnable faces and begin. Come; the croaking raven doth bellow for revenge. ” (Act Three, Scene Two, ll 258. ) His obsession with revenge is terrifying, it has mangled his thoughts and damaged his will. “He clearly was a heroic revenger, a procrastinator, lost in thought and weak of will. ” (Courtney, Richard. Shakespeare’s World of Death: the early tragedies.

Toronto, Simon & Pierre Publishing Company Limited, 1995. ) Hamlet is a brave soul, but his sense of good judgement wanders, and procrastination becomes more apparent with each new day. It is by his “… Careless of death” attitude that Hamlet “loses the power of action in the energy of resolve. ” (Bratchell, D. F. Shakespearean Tragedy. ) Madness can be taken on in two forms, one being the insanity of mind and the latter  being of the heart. Madness of the mind would entail that a person is capable of planning and scheming harmful events and/or weapons.

Madness of the heart is much more devastating. To be mad at heart would mean that the ability to make critical decisions is still present. Hamlet is mad on both levels. “His contradictory extremes of conduct were reminiscent of the Elizabethan accounts of melancholy… Such an approach makes Hamlet mostly mad and rarely sane. ” (Courtney, Richard. Shakespeare’s World of Death: the early tragedies. ) Courtney comments on Hamlet’s feelings in relation to his actions. Hamlet’s mind, on occasion is critical, but his actions are those of a madman.

The madness that pervades him is, ironically, admitted easily. “I essentially am not in madness, but mad in craft. ” (Act Three, Scene Four, ll 206-207. ) He is conscious of his actions and openly admits to madness in them. The problem that lies is its control. Sanity is questioned to the point that it has become overbearing and manipulative. It  has molded Hamlet’s life, he no longer has command, it is has been lost in madness. The Ghost of Hamlet Senior, indecision, and sanity are important factors that contribute immensely to Hamlet’s life.

His actions in life will surely be remembered in purgatory, but what must be examined is his individuality. He, by no means, was a leader. His indecision, which lasted for months at a time, revealed his character. The decisions that his actions backed were clearly made in haste and can be to the credit of an outside force. Sanity and life, two factors that rip Hamlet in two, are result of an overactive mind that has countered all action through the ability to find reason in inaction. His follower  and procrastinating lifestyle has made him an instrument of many elements within his life.

What is Hamlets flaw

Nor to any one is he known to have defect. No one ever ventures to speak of him slightingly or critically. Why does not the King, Laertes, or Fortinbras despise him for a scholar and a dreamer, at least, instead of taking him as they all do for the worthy son of his warrior sire? Why does not the Queen once sigh, or Horatio sadly shake his head? He is a courtier, soldier, scholar, the expectancy and rose of the fair state, cries Ophelia, and there is no suggestion that she is saying it as one who does not know. It is the accepted opinion.

The king fears him, and he shrinks form bringing him to account for Polonius death, he says because of the great love the general gender bear him. This sinful Queen quails under his rebuke, and yet loves him too well to betray his confidence. And as often in Shakespeares tragedies, at the end of the play judgment to the same effect is pronounced on his character by a disinterested party. Was Hamlet out of his mind, or was he pretending to be crazy? Did anyone realize what Hamlets dilemma, such as Ophelia, the King, and the Queen? What was his delay?

Could it be that Hamlet was not so much afraid of killing the king, but hurting his mother, mentally, emotionally, after the death of her King and her abrupt marriage to Claudius. Was Hamlet afraid, that maybe the ghost of his father wasnt really his fathers ghost at all, in that it was a trick of the devil? Hamlets over analysis is what turns out to be the reason for so many deaths, including his own. His procrastination kills not only himself, but also his mother, his girlfriend, and others, but it also leaves the reader full of doubt.

Of course the average reader is aware that Hamlet will kill the new king, but was it necessary to have so many deaths due to one mans uncertainty? Yes, his father, the king, was killed by his own brother, Hamlets uncle, and at seems as quickly as he died, he queen was re-married just as quickly. More often than not, Hamlet questions himself, his goal, his reason for being alive, but for every question came an opportunity to kill Claudius and he didnt. Hamlet, undoubtedly was confused, and probably scared, but the key question here is, was he in his right mind?

Was he stable nough to attempt such a deed as to kill his king without questioning his every thought, reason, and his judgment of himself. Opinions vary on this question, but from a reasonable, and rational point of view, the Hamlet presented to me was not a person of sound mind, in fact, probably insane to the point of a breakdown, simply because of the amount of time in which these events occurred. Nor to any one is he known to have defect. At least not until the end, when his over thinking of a situation gets the best of him, and not only kills himself, but those close to him.

Hamlets Madness Paper

Madness is a condition of the mind which eliminates all rational thought leaving an individual with no proper conception of what is happening around him/her. Madness typically occurs in the minds of individuals that have experienced an event or series of events that their mind simply cannot cope with and, thus, to avoid their harsh reality, they fall into a state of madness. In William Shakespeare’s masterpiece Hamlet, there is much debate around the protagonist, Hamlet, and whether or not his madness in the play was real or feigned.

It was a disastrous time in the prince, Hamlet’s life as his father had just assed away, his uncle then took the kingship and wed Hamlet’s mother, then the ghost of his deceased father appeared to him with instructions for revenge and, finally, the love of his life was no longer permitted to see the prince by order of the lady’s father. This would seem to many to be reason enough for an individual to lose touch with reality and fall into madness, but this was not the case with the brilliant strong-minded Hamlet.

Though the prince displayed numerous signs of madness during the play, Hamlet never lost touch with reality as he continued acting rational both in his thoughts as well as while speaking with ertain individuals. If Hamlet were truthfully insane, he would not have been able to suddenly stop displaying his insanity as he did in the play after his altercation with Laertes in the graveyard. He also had motive for putting on the contrivance as it would disguise his investigation of his father’s strange death and his plans for revenge against his uncle Claudius if he found him to be guilty.

After Hamlet witnessed the appearance of his dead father’s ghost and heard what the spirit had to say, Hamlet’s sole mission in life was to uncover the truth behind his ather’s death and avenge it accordingly. By putting on this scheme it would serve him better on his quest as opposed to going about his business in a sane and rational manner. Firstly, it allowed Hamlet to confuse those around him about what the cause of his troubled mind was and, also, about what his true intentions are behind any of his actions.

This thought is portrayed through Hamlet deceiving Polonius into believing that his love for Ophelia was the root of his madness. Consequently, Polonius went immediately to the king and queen who remark: “Do you think ‘tis this? It may be; very like” (2. 2. 151-52). After Hamlet’s encounter with the ghost, he obtains a great distrust and distaste for women. His feigned madness permitted Hamlet to express these emotions freely towards Ophelia: “… Get thee to a nunnery, / farewell. Or if thou wilt needs marry, marry a / fool; for wise men know well enough what monsters / you make of them… ” (3. . 138-41).

It was also important for Hamlet to be so vulgar towards Ophelia because it would not have been possible for him to continue being a caring loving boyfriend while attempting to avenge his father’s death. Lastly, by pretending to be mentally disturbed, it provided Hamlet with an excuse for any sinful deeds he would commit on his pursuit of revenge. Hamlet exemplifies this conception as he seeks for Laertes forgiveness for murdering his father Polonius: “If Hamlet from himself be ta’en away, / And when he’s not himself does wrong Laertes, / Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it.

Who does it then? His madness… ” (5. 2. 230-33). Hamlet’s pursuit of the truth and revenge was much better accompanied by madness rather than sanity which gave Hamlet a clear motive to fabricate In the midst of Hamlet’s supposed madness, the prince continues to speak rationally with certain individuals as well as maintain sensible and logical thoughts. This idea is depicted through his conversations with his good friend Horatio who is assisting Hamlet in his search for the truth behind Old Hamlet’s death.

For example, before the performance of the play Hamlet explains to Horatio, “There is a play tonight before the king: / One scene of it comes near the circumstance / Which I have told thee of my father’s death. / I prithee, when thou seest that act afoot, / Even with the very comment of hy soul / Observe my uncle. If his occulted guilt / Do not itself unkennel in one speech, / It is a damned ghost that we have seen” (3. 2. 75-82). Hamlet has devised a plan to determine his uncle’s guilt and is outlining it to Horatio and asking for some assistance with complete sanity.

Hamlet’s thought process remains sane and logical through the entire play as he examines his life in his soliloquies. In these soliloquies Hamlet ponders the question of suicide and what the ramifications of it are: To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles And by opposing end them. To die-to sleep, No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to: ‘tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish’d.

To die, to sleep; To sleep, perchance to dream-ay, there’s the rub: For in that sleep of death what dreams may come. (3. 1. 56-66) In other soliloquies Hamlet explores the faults of passion and how emotions can be faked as well as his own character flaws such as his inability to take action. A third portrayal of he prince’s sanity occurs during Hamlet’s conversation with his mother after the spirit of Old Hamlet came but revealed itself only to Hamlet. Hamlet talks to his mother in a clear, truthful and rational manner and even offers to Gertrude: “…

It is not madness / That I have utter’d. Bring me to the test, / And I the matter will re-word, which madness / would gambol from… ” (3:4:143-46). In conclusion, if Hamlet was an individual consumed by madness, he would have entertained only irrational thoughts and would not have had the power to choose certain individuals to speak rationally with. The final argument proving Hamlet’s sanity during the course of the play is that after Hamlet’s altercation with Laertes at Ophelia’s funeral, Hamlet suddenly ceases to put on this antic disposition.

During Hamlet’s feigned madness, whenever he was speaking to someone that was not aware of his plan he would ridicule them but in the form of ambiguous metaphors and irony to imitate madness. After the conflict with Laertes, however, Hamlet no longer continued this masking of his insults. For example, while speaking to Osric, one of the king’s courtiers, Hamlet remarks: “Thy state is the more racious, for ’tis a vice to / know him. He hath much land and fertile.

Let a / beast be lord of beasts and his crib shall stand at the / king’s mess. Tis a chuff, but, as I say, spacious in the / possession of dirt” (5:2:85-89). Hamlet makes no attempt here to disguise the fact that he believes that Osric is a member of the court only because he possesses a great deal of fertile land. Immediately prior to Hamlet and Laertes engaging in their duel Hamlet, whilst speaking in a sane coherent fashion, requests: “Give me your pardon, sir. I have done you wrong; / But pardon’t as you are a gentleman” (5:2:222-23).

If Hamlet were truly mad he would not recognize the wrongs he committed against others and possess feelings of anguish over them. Further proof that Hamlet is no longer acting mad is that in the final moments of his life he performs very noble acts that were executed out of the goodness of his heart. One of these acts consisted of drinking the remainder of the poison left in the glass that Claudius and Gertrude had already drank from, to prevent Horatio sipping from this glass and dying as well.

Madness is a mental illness that does not come and go as it pleases and, therefore, Hamlet could not have been truly mad as he imply interrupted his antic disposition once again acting completely sane. Hamlet was a great individual, who when confronted with a number of tragedies in his life, as well as with the proposition that his uncle killed his father, he did not lose control of his conscious mind, but instead, knew exactly how to resolve his pending maladies.

There is no question that his apparent madness was his own concoction devised to aid in his efforts in revealing the truth behind his father’s death and seeking out to revenge it. His motives for doing so were to keep his investigation hidden for as long as ossible, to drive away all other aspects of his life that might interfere with his task and to absolve himself of all guilt he may acquire while on his quest.

There is proof in his actions that his madness was feigned as he continued thinking rationally and speaking logically to characters like Horatio and Gertrude. A madman’s thought are not composed of logical rationale and he does not speak sanely to some, while at the same time, insanely to others. Hamlet then suddenly drops his antic disposition right after his dispute with Laertes in the raveyard as he began speaking and acting completely normal at all times which was illustrated while he mocked the courtier, Osric.

The absence of hamlet’s madness was exemplified further as he confessed feelings of remorse towards Laertes for killing Polonius and Hamlet also performs extremely noble acts as his life was waning. True madness is an illness that inhibits the mind of an individual and assumes total control of thought and action within that person. It is not a condition that flourishes only when called upon or that can be completely disregarded if the host wishes to ignore it.

Anti Heroism In Hamlet

Antiheroism has always been an interesting aspect of a character that authors have chosen to illustrate. In literature, there has been countless antiheroic characters, from Randle McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Allie Fox in The Mosquito Coast, to others as famous as Robin Hood and … By literary definition, an antihero is the “hero” of the play or novel, but has negative attributes which separate him or her from the classic hero such as Superman.

Such negative aspects may include a violent nature, use of coarse language, or self serving interests which may inadvertently depict the protagonist as a hero since the result of serving those interests may be the betterment of society or an environment. In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the protagonist, Hamlet, is depicted as an antihero. One main factor which gives Hamlet such a label is that he draws sympathy, as well as admiration, from the reader since Hamlet feels the pain of losing his father along with the burden and obstacles in avenging his murder.

Act four places a special emphasis on Hamlet’s intelligence. In scene two, Hamlet is very insolent and rude towards Rosencrantz and Guildenstern with such phrases as, That I can keep your counsel and not, mine own. Beside, to be demanded of a sponge, what replication should be made by the son of a king? (IV, ii, 12-14) The reference to the sponge reflects the fact that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are easily ordered by the king and do not have minds of their own.

Hamlet does not like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern since they are servants of the Claudius, Hamlet’s mortal enemy. The reader does not like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern either which causes the reader to side with Hamlet. Another incident of Hamlet’s high intelligence is shown when he Hamlet tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, I am glad of it: a knavish sleeps in a foolish ear. (IV, ii, 24-25) This statement leaves Rosencrantz and Guildenstern more or less confused. Hamlet is clearly more clever than the two of them combined and is able to toy with them.

Hamlet has an excellent command of the language and because of it, can use words to the point that those around him will not understand and may label him as crazy. Hamlet shows another example of his cleverness, this time towards Claudius, when he says, I see a cherub that sees them. But, come; for England! Farewell, dear mother. (IV, iii, 49-50) The cherub, or the angel, gives Hamlet a sense of superiority over Claudius. Having an angel at one’s side would be a definite sign of power, which is exactly what Hamlet tries to maintain over Claudius in their constant power struggle.

Just when Claudius thinks he controls Hamlet, it is really Hamlet who has the upper hand over Claudius. There are very strong philosophical references made by Hamlet in this act regarding life and death. Hamlet tells Claudius, Your worm is your only emperor for diet: we fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots: your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service, two dishes, but to one table: that’s the end. (IV, iii, 21-26) This statement id a reference to the food chain, and in turn, a reflection on the meaning of life.

It illustrates the equality of men in that whether one is born to be a king or a beggar, when one dies, we are all equal. Worms and maggots do not treat anybody differently once one is dead and buried. The final scene draws the greatest sympathy towards Hamlet even though he is not even in the scene. The forces of Claudius and Laertes have combined against Hamlet. Claudius states, To an exploit now ripe in my device, Under the which he shall not choose but fall, And for his death no wind of blame shall breathe; But even his mother shall unchange the practice, And call it accident.

Claudius is willing to undertake any measures necessary to eliminate Hamlet, to the point that it does not matter whether or not it hurts Gertrude in any way. This scene depicts Hamlet as the victim, much like two bullies picking on a smaller child in school, since the king, with the aid of Laertes, is out to kill Hamlet, this time with a passion. Much like a political revolutionary, Hamlet has the system against him and is facing death because of his loyalty and honour towards his father.

The fact that Hamlet’s life is not indeed in jeopardy attributes to his “hero” status. In addition, his only fault is the desire to avenge his father’s murder, an act considered completely honourable by the reader. However, Hamlet’s negative attributes include his rudeness towards others, including the fair Ophelia, and a violent nature as shown when he kills Polonius, albeit accidently, and shows no remorse, causing a reclassification from the classic hero, to the more appropriate label of antihero.

Hamlet and Ophelia

Melancholy, grief, and madness have pervaded the works of a great many playwrights, and Shakespeare is not an exception. The mechanical regularities of such emotional maladies as they are presented within Hamlet, not only allow his audience to sympathize with the tragic prince Hamlet, but to provide the very complexities necessary in understanding the tragedy of his lady Ophelia as well. It is the poor Ophelia who suffers at her lover’s discretion because of decisions she was obligated to make on behalf of her weak societal position.

Hamlet provides his own self-torture and does fall victim to melancholia and rief, however, his madness is feigned. They each share a common connection: the loss of a parental figure. Hamlet loses his father as a result of a horrible murder, as does Ophelia. In her situation is more severe because it is her lover who murders her father and all of her hopes for her future as well. Ultimately, it is also more detrimental to her c! haracter and causes her melancholy and grief to quickly turn to irretrievable madness.

Critics argue that Hamlet has the first reason to be hurt by Ophelia because she follows her father’s admonitions regarding Hamlet’s true intentions for their beginning ove. In Act 3, scene 1, line 91 Hamlet begins with his malicious sarcasm toward her. “I humbly thank you, well, well, well,” he says to her regarding her initial pleasantries (Johnson 1208). Before this scene, he has heard the King and Polonius establishing a plan to deduce his unusual and grief-stricken behavior.

Hamlet is well aware that this plan merely uses Ophelia as a tool, and as such, she does not have much option of refusing without angering not only her busybody father but the conniving King as well. Hamlet readily refuses that he cared for her. He tells her and all of his uninvited listeners, “No, not I, I never gave you aught” (lines 94-95). Some critics stress, as does J. Dover Wilson, that Hamlet has a right to direct his anger to Ophelia because even though many critics “in their sy! pathy with Ophelia they have forgotten that it is not Hamlet who has ‘repelled’ her, but she him” (Wilson 159).

It is possible that Wilson does not see the potential harm to Ophelia should she disobey her authority figures (i. e. her father and her king). Furthermore, Ophelia cannot know “that Hamlet’s attitude toward her reflects his disillusionment in his mother . . to her, Hamlet’s inconstancy can only mean deceitfulness or madness” (Lidz 158). She is undeniably caught in a trap that has been layed, in part, but her lover whom she does love and idealize.

Her shock is genuine when Hamlet demands “get thee to a nunnery” (line 120). The connotations of the dual meaning of “nunnery” is enough in and of itself to make her run estranged from her once sweet prince, and it is the beginning or her sanity’s unraveling as well. Hamlet’s melancholy permits him the flexibility of character to convey manic-depressive actions while Ophelia’s is much more overwhelming and ainful. “Shakespeare is ambiguous about the reality of Hamlet’s insanity and depicts him as on the border, fluctuating between sanity and madness” (Lidz 156).

Hamlet mourns for his father, but it is the bitterness and ill-will that he harbors towards his mother for her hasty marriage to his uncle that is his most reoccurring occupation. His thoughts of Ophelia are secondary at best. When it happens that Hamlet accidentally slays Polonius, he does not appear to be thinking of the potential effect of his actions on Ophelia. Hamlet has sealed her fate, and along with the “vacillations in [his] attitude and ehavior toward her could not but be extremely unsettling to the very young woman who idolized [him]” she does not have much in the way that is positive for her (Lidz 157).

Throughout the entire murder scene in Act 3, Scene! 4, Hamlet does not remark about the damage he has done to Ophelia. His emotional upswing is devoted entirely to his mother, and while his emotions are not an imitation, he does admit that he “essentially [is] not in madness,/ But mad in craft” (lines 187-188). Ophelia is then left to mourn her father, but it is not his death alone that spurns her insanity. Her predicament is such that she is forced to fear and hate her father’s murder who is also her lover and the one person to whom all of her future hopes were pinned -Prince Hamlet. Her entire orientation to the future has suddenly been destroyed,” and with her brother gone, Ophelia has no one to turn to for comfort (Lidz 157).

Hamlet then delves further into his manic feigned madness and Ophelia is cheated into the belief that he really is mad. The options for her sanity are none; melancholy and grief are madness for malcontent Ophelia. Hamlet and Ophelia are confronted with the irretrievable loss of a love object, ” however, it is Ophelia’s dilemma that is the more horrible of the two and is indelibly more tragic.

The audience may of the general opinion that Polonius is bordering on senility, and is a spy who meddle in affair that do not demand his participation, however, he is Ophelia’s sole parent. We are able to discern that his harsh attitude toward his daughter at the beginning of the play may not be cruel for cruelty’s sake; Polonius may actually be showing signs that he is overly protective of Ophelia and instructs her to deny Hamlet’s “tenders” because they represent a hreat toward his position as her father.

We might also infer that as Ophelia’s only parent for such a great duration in her young life that Polonius may actually favored her -letting her act as the replacement for her mother in her father’s life. These ideas are not to implicate their relationship as an abusive Oedipal ci! rcumstance. It is interesting that the same situation can correspondingly be applied to the relationship that Hamlet shares with his mother. Hamlet is fatherless. While this is a more recent position for him, it is interesting to note that rather than have his loss bring him and his other closer, it only serves to bind him in his melancholy and agony.

He battles within himself of doing harm to his mother. Hamlet may very well see his mother’s infidelity to his father’s memory as an infidelity to him as well. This Oedipal Complex is more injurious to his character, and is the determining force for his unsuccessful relationship to Ophelia. Ophelia has nothing to do with this emotional inadequacies, and is nonetheless a victim of them. Her death is the responsibility of Hamlet, who at her gravesite “exhibits some temporary marks of a real disorder” (Mackenzie 903). It is short-lived, however, and Hamlet again retakes his vengeance upon his father’s murderer –using his ! elancholy as a dull weapon.

“He realizes that his emotions are often going to rush beyond his control [and] the fiction that he is mad will not only cloak his designs against the King, but will also free him from the rest of the play” (Campbell 104). It is his fiction that is the leading cause of Ophelia’s demise as well as his own. There is no way out of the created situation for either of them. One could imagine that if this were a different play, Hamlet ould ask for Ophelia’s forgiveness, but that is not the play.

The melancholy, grief, and madness that Hamlet suffers from may well have been the propelling force for all of his unfortunate action in Shakespeare’s play. It is worth allowing that the first of the two are real; his melancholy and grief are not counterfeit. Ophelia is the more tragic of the two because her madness is not feigned, and furthermore, that it is caused by the very love of her life is even more disastrous for her poor young life. They are each malcontents with no real happiness made available to them given their unfortunate circumstances.

Hamlet A Critical Analysis

Hamlet by William Shakespeare is the tragedy of a young man named Hamlet. His fragile idealism shattered by his fathers brutal death causes him to laose faith in humanity. When his late father’s phantom visits him, he persuades Hamlet to take revenge against his uncle Claudius, his fathers true executioner. Hamlet feigns madness, and in his so called unrestfull stage he devises his plan to take retribution. Throughout the play the death of a character becomes a frequent event. Although most people lose their lives because of their own self centered wrong doing, there are a few whose death is caused by manipulation and deceit.

In this case it is the Family of Polonius. Contrary to popular belief, the tragedy of Hamlet is not about him nor of his family. It is however the tragic fate of Polonius’ family Because their deaths were not the consequences of their own sinful actions rather by the innocent involvement in the schemes of Claudius and Hamlet. Although some may say that polonius deserved his death because of his surreptitious style. Even though all he was really doing was following the king’s inclinations. Polonius was slained by Hamlet after having been mistaken for the King.

The next to die is Ophelia, she, is entirely manipulated by Hamlet and the king, for their own selfish reasons. She killed herself after knowledge of her fathers’ death. Last to die was Laertes, it is easily seen how laertes, in the heat of his anger could conspire to murder, though he kills hamlet he is avenging his fathers’ death, an act, with reference to the moral climate of the 1600’s. Therefore it is condoned. Laertes in his attempt to kill, loses his life by the very poison that was to kill his enemy. Hamlet dies on a poison tipped sword but not till he has killed Claudius and ridded Elsinore of its plague.

Shakespeare utilizes, character, plot and setting to create a mood of disgust and the theme of proper revenge. He use’s these elements as brush strokes to paint a powerful picture. He employs the castle of Elsinore and it’s vicinity to depict a sordid and depressing place where incest ant murder is a normal part of life. Where revenge is a common place motivation, and where feigning of madness is a normal excuse to dissemble one’s feelings Shakespeare incorporates other subplots into the play. Without these subplots, of revenge we are left with a lugubrious play where the ending although necessary is pointless..

Shakespeare created this setting to tell us a story of revenge gone wrong. He created disgust and when we look back and see the depraved way of life that existed in castle Elsinore. We see the room littered with dead and Fortinbras taking his rightful throne among the vengeful. There is also a bit of foreshadowing found in Hamlet all the way in the beginning. Hamlet drawing on biblical allusions, Hamlet redefines the position of man as simply that which came from dust and eventually will return. It is possible that Shakespeare was trying to indirectly warn us of Hamlets fate or of the Fate of Polonius or Claudius.

Hamlet our hero the martyr of Elsinore. Young handsome daring and witty, an emotional soul with a violent temper. He exhibits a puzzling duplicitous nature. He contradicts himself throughout the play. He endorses both of the virtues of acting a role and being true to oneself. He further shows both of these conflicting endorsements with his actions. This ambiguity, by his alleged madness only to become perfectly calm and rational later. These inconsistencies are related to the internal dilemmas he faces. He struggles with avenging his fathers death.

Throughout the entire play he teeters on this issue, because he is unable to form a solid decision about his role playing. Hamlet is an over analytical and pessimistic. But, what leads to his downfall is one fatal flaw his, procrastination. He had several chances to kill Claudius but he seems to lose that conviction after his rationality sets in. Yet we feel no sympathy towards Hamlet. Not because he does not have any sympathetic qualities but because two few sympathetic qualities for us to wish to emphasize. Hamlet eventually does the right thing, but it is the way he does right thing in the wrong way that makes us condemn him.

Hamlet thinks to much, he spends to much time deliberating the action whether than taking action. Hamlet is dour in fact every character in the play is dour the only to characters that show any joie de vivre are the clowns who are the morticians. It is ironic that that the two characters who enjoy life most are those who face death on a regular bases. Despite for his bad qualities he does have several good ones he is very daring and brave. Story holds several examples of his fearless attitude. There are two major examples, first is when he follows the ghost.

Hamlet not knowing whether this is a real ghost or a deception, perhaps the devil himself. Despite this he still followed this transparent apparition. The second major act of bravery is when, he is sent to England to his inevitable death. His cognitive dissonance saves his skin. Hamlet suffers moral destruction throughout the play. In Hamlet’s cosmic view on the planet, he finds the world to be empty and lifeless, dirty and diseased and his particular place in it, to be desolate and lonely, he feels so isolated and entrapped in his native land.

The world is his prison Denmark being the worst. “A goodly one, in which there are many confines,wards, and dungeons, Denmark being one o’ th’ worst. ” ‘(A2S2L264-266) The character of Hamlet is very believable in fact I think that Hamlet identifies better with an adolescent of the 1990’s more than he does with the youth of his time. Hamlet is immature, sarcastic and takes action in the heat of passion witch is very much like the radical behavior of today’s youth. Hamlets’ maturity level for his time was low specially him having such a high position.

He is extremely offensive to people, such as the king the queen. An immature, mouthy, extremist is, the inability to love maturely, and rudeness towards authority are just of few off the things that he shares with today’s youth. It is to my belief that he would have an easier time living during my time rather than his own. Laertes and Hamlet although adversaries exhibit very similar characteristics. They both display impulsive reactions and rash behavior often acting emotion rather than rationality.

Laertes consumed with rage automatically thrusts out attempting to kill Claudius assuming him, his father’s killers. Both their imprudent actions are incited by fury and frustration. Sudden anger prompts them to act spontaneously. Leartes and Hamlet both share a deep love and concern for Ophelia. Leartes provides lengthy advice to Ophelia before leaving for France although both individuals despise each other they are both infatuated with her. . Leartes is also similar to Hamlet in the way that he associates with his family.

Laertes and Hamlet hold a high admiration for their fathers immediately seeking revenge on the assassin. They both exhibit domineering attitudes toward females. Leartes able to control Ophelia’s opinion of Hamlet and his general attitude towards women. In the same way Hamlet can easily persuade Gertrude of his sanity and Manipulate into Making Claudius seem like a foe. Disillusionment, depression, despair, these are the burning emotionschurning in young hamlets had as he attempts to come to terms with his father’s death and his mother’s incestuous, illicit marriage.

While Hamlet tries to pick up the pieces of his shattered idealism, he consciously embarks on a quest to seek the truth hidden in Elsinore. This is the stark contrast to Claudius’s fervent attempts to obscure the truth of the murder. Deception versus truth, illusion versus reality. Throughout the play, the themes of illusion and mendaciousness have been carefully developed. The entire royal Danish court is ensnared in a web of espionage, betrayal, and lies. Not a single man speaks his mind nor addresses his purposes.

As polonius puts it so perfectly “by indirection’s, find directions out”( A2,S2,L71-73) One of the main themes of the play is revenge. “An eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth. ” But revenge is not always right. We often find that when we get over the initial shock and the rage our emotions balance out and our grudge fades away. But to act on impulse can cause deadly repercussions one which time will not heal. The play is the perfect example of such an instance. While trying to exact revenge the killed their minds, their souls and eventually their bodies.

The Presence of Revenge in Hamlet

Revenge is a major theme in the Tragedy of Hamlet. In the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the theme of revenge is repeated numerous times throughout the play and involves a great deal of characters. Of these characters, eight are dead by the end of the play by result of murder which was initiated through revenge. Shakespeare uses the revenge theme to create conflict among many characters. Revenge causes one to act blindly through anger, rather than through reason. It is based on the principle of an eye for an eye, but this principle is not always an intelligent theory to live by. Young Fortinbras,

Laertes, and Hamlet are all looking to avenge the deaths of their fathers. There are three major families in the Tragedy of Hamlet. These are the family of King Fortinbras, the family of Polonius, and the family of King Hamlet. The heads of each of these families are all slaughtered within the play. Fortinbras, King of Norway, is killed by King Hamlet; slain by sword during a man to man battle. “our valiant Hamlet-for so this side of our known world esteem’d him-did slay this Fortinbras. ” This entitled King Hamlet to the land that was possessed by Fortinbras because it was written in a seal’d contract.

Polonius is an dvisor to the King, and father to Laertes and Ophelia. He is nosy and arrogant, and he does not trust his children. He is killed by Young Hamlet while he is eavesdropping on a conversation between Hamlet and his mother. “How now! A rat? Dead, for a ducat, dead! ” King Hamlet is the King of Denmark, and Hamlet’s father. He has killed King Fortinbras, only to be killed by his brother, Claudius. “My offense is rank, it smells to heaven; A brother’s murder? ” Each of these events effects the sons of the deceased in the same way, it enraged them. Shakespeare uses the revenge theme to create conflict between Hamlet and

Claudius. In Act I, scene 5, Hamlet is visited by the ghost who was his father. The ghost makes Hamlet aware of his murderous death when he tells Hamlet of how Claudius had killed him. The ghost says this to Hamlet regarding Claudius, “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder. ” This is where Hamlet is first introduced to the revenge plot between himself and Claudius. Hamlet wants to insure that the ghost really was his dead father before he kills Claudius.

To do this Hamlet has people act out the death of his father in front of Claudius and declares him guilty by his reaction to the play. O good Horatio, I’ll take the ghost’s word for a thousand pound. ” Hamlet declares Claudius’ guilt to Horatio and now realizes that he must continue on with his revenge plot.

The conflict between Hamlet and Claudius is delayed by Hamlet but does eventually occur in the last scene. Hamlet’s mother has just died, Hamlet has been sliced by Laertes’ poison sword, and Hamlet has just struck Laertes with a fatal blow when Laertes says that this was all brought on by Claudius. Hamlet, now realizing that there is no more time for him to delay his revenge, stabs Claudius and kills him.

Revenge was the motive for the onflict between Hamlet and Claudius. Every one of the three eldest sons has one thing in common, they all want revenge for a slaughtered father. In the time in which this play is set, avenging the murder of a father was part of one’s honor, and had to be done. All of the three sons swears vengeance, and then acts towards getting revenge for the deaths of their fathers. Young Fortinbras is deeply enraged by the death of his father, and he wants revenge against Denmark because of this occurrence.

Fortinbras wanted to, by force, regain the lands that had been lost by his father to Denmark. Now sir, young Fortinbras-as it doth well appear unto our state-but to recover of us, by strong hand and terms compulsive, those foresaid lands so by his father losta” Claudius sends messengers to talk to Fortinbras’ uncle, the new King of Norway. He forbids Fortinbras to attack Denmark, and instead convinces him to attack the Poles to vent his anger. “His nephew’s levies, which to him appear’d to be a preparation ‘gainst the Polack; But better look’d into, he truly found it was against your highness.

On Fortinbras; which he, in brief, obeys, receives rebuke from Norway, and, in ine, makes vow before his uncle never more to give the assay of arms against your majesty. ” Laertes finds out about his father’s death, and immediately returned home. He confronts the King and accused him of the murder of his father. Claudius told Laertes that Hamlet was responsible for his father’s death. He then decides to kill Hamlet to avenge the death of his father. He and Claudius concoct a plot to kill Hamlet.

Hamlet dies of wounds from the poisoned tipped sword Laertes used. Hamlet, thou art slain The treacherous instrument is in thy, unbated and envenom’d” Hamlet is deeply sorrowed by his father’s eath. He speaks to a ghost, and this ghost states that his father’s death was a murder, by the hand of his uncle, Claudius. “The serpent that did sting thy father’s life now wears his crown. ” Hamlet is astonished, and then swears vengeance for his father’s death. He then proceeds to try and prove his uncle’s guilt, and then finally kills him while he himself is dying of poisoned wounds inflicted by Laertes during their duel.

The point envenomed too! Then venom, to thy work Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane, drink off this potion,-is thy union here? Follow my mother. ” This left the King dead, and his ather’s death avenged. Shakespeare uses the revenge plot to create conflict between Laertes and Hamlet by having Laertes avenge his father’s and sister’s death which Hamlet is responsible for. After learning of his fathers unnatural death, Hamlet decides that he can no longer trust anyone, except for Horatio.

While acting out his madness, he visited Ophelia and cut off his ties with her because of his distrust for everyone. In Act III, when Hamlet talks with his mother, he notices that he is being spied upon. Thinking that it is the king, Hamlet mistakenly kills Polonius who was hiding behind a big rug, which for some edeval reason, was hung on the wall. It is believed Ophelia herself went mad because of Hamlet’s rude and violent treatment of her and also because Hamlet killed her father. In Act IV Ophelia’s madness drives her to walk into the river and drown.

When Laertes arrives back from France he has heard the horrible news and says, And so have I a noble father lost; A sister driven into desperate terms, Whose worth, if praises may go back again, Stood challenger on mount of all the age For her perfections: but my revenge will come. Laertes is plotting revenge against the murderer of his father and sister, Hamlet. Claudius sks Laertes, “what would you undertake, To show yourself in deed your father’s son, More than in words? ” Claudius and Laertes come to the conclusion that they will hold a sword duel between Hamlet and Laertes.

Laertes will have poison on his sword and Claudius will have a glass with poison in it ready for Hamlet to quench his thirst. During the duel, Hamlet is scratched by the poison tipped sword of Laertes. It is now inevitable that Hamlet will die. Therefore, the conflict between Laertes and Hamlet has resulted in revenge for Laertes. The lack of thought used in exacting the revenge leads to the deaths of both Laertes and Hamlet. Laertes plans with Claudius to kill Hamlet with the poisoned tipped sword, but they had not thought that the sword might be used against them.

With Laertes believing the King’s accusations that Hamlet had murdered his father, he was in a blind rage, and would not listen to Hamlet’s explanation and apology. “I am satisfied in nature to my revenge I stand aloof and will no reconcilement But till that time, I do receive your offer’d love like love, and will not wrong it. “. He fights Hamlet, and wounds him once with the poisoned tipped sword; but unfortunately, their swords are switched, and Hamlet ounds Laertes with the sword. That is the wound by which Laertes dies.

Hamlet had many chances to kill his uncle, but his rage outweighed his intelligence; and he chose to wait until the lord could see no good in Claudius, and then strike him down into a world of eternal damnation. “Now might I do it pat, now he is praying; A villain kills my father; and for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send to heaven. ” Hamlet waits until he can kill his uncle while he is performing a sin, unfortunately for Hamlet, the sin is the poisoning of his own son in law. Hamlet dies of his poisoned wound. Young Fortinbras egains his fathers land, without use of violence, or death to himself.

Hamlet names him new ruler of Denmark before he dies, and Fortinbras regains all of his father’s lost land, and becomes King of Denmark. Through the revenge theme, Shakespeare creates an interior conflict between Hamlet and himself. In Hamlet’s first soliloquy, Hamlet displays his melancholy state of being and his unwillingness to live. ” Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! ” Hamlet states that if God was not against suicide then he would take his own life. In Hamlet’s second soliloquy, after the meeting with his father’s host, he beats himself up by saying, Am I a coward…? ,and, I am pigeon-liver’d, and lack gall”.

Hamlet wants revenge at this time but he is questioning his willingness to kill Claudius, so he is calling himself a coward. Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave, That I, the son of a dear father murder’d, Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, Must like a whore unpack my heart with words,(2. 2. 584-588) The greatest interior conflict between Hamlet and himself occurs when Hamlet delays the killing of Claudius. Hamlet carefully examines the need to avenge his fathers death: A villian kills my father, and for that, I, his sole son, do this same villain send To heaven.

O, this is hire and salary, not revenge. (3. 4. 76-79) Delaying at this point is Hamlet’s tragic flaw. The conflict between Hamlet and himself is resolved when Hamlet kills Claudius because he himself was going to die soon and had little time left. Therefore, the interior conflict between Hamlet and himself, was created by the revenge plot. Since the Heads of the three major families were each murdered, the eldest sons of these families swore vengeance, and two of the three sons dies while exacting heir acts of vengeance, revenge is a major theme in the Tragedy of Hamlet.

As a theme, revenge was present in all parts of the play. It seems ironic that Claudius, Laertes, and Hamlet all died of the same sword. It is also ironic that the first the seek revenge against Claudius, Fortinbras, becomes King of Denmark. Revenge was the driving force behind three of the main characters of the play, for two it led to downfall, and for the other it led to greatness. The revenge plot was used by Shakespeare to create conflict among many characters throughout the play, Hamlet.

Hamlet, a classic example

“I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw” (II. ii. 376-7). This is a classic example of the “wild and whirling words” (I. v. 134) with which Hamlet hopes to persuade people to believe that he is mad. These words, however, prove that beneath his “antic disposition,” Hamlet is very sane indeed. Beneath his strange choice of imagery involving points of the compass, the weather, and hunting birds, he is announcing that he is calculatedly choosing the times when to appear mad.

Hamlet is saying that he knows a hunting hawk from a hunted “handsaw” or heron, in other words, that, very far form being mad, he is perfectly capable of recognizing his enemies. Hamlet’s madness was faked for a purpose. He warned his friends he intended to fake madness, but Gertrude as well as Claudius saw through it, and even the slightly dull-witted Polonius was suspicious. His public face is one of insanity but, in his private moments of soliloquy, through his confidences to Horatio, and in his careful plans of action, we see that his madness is assumed.

After the Ghost’s first appearance to Hamlet, Hamlet decides that when he finds it suitable or advantageous to him, he will put on a mask of madness so to speak. He confides to Horatio that when he finds the occasion appropriate, he will “put an antic disposition on” (I. v. 173). This strategy gives Hamlet a chance to find proof of Claudius’s guilt and to contemplate his revenge tactic. Although he has sworn to avenge his father’s murder, he is not sure of the Ghost’s origins: “The spirit that I have seen / May be the devil” (II. ii. 596-7).

He uses his apparent madness as a delaying tactic to buy time in which to discover whether the Ghost’s tale of murder is true and to decide how to handle the situation. At the same time, he wants to appear unthreatening and harmless so that people will divulge information to him, much in the same way that an adult will talk about an important secret in the presence of a young child. To convince everyone of his madness, Hamlet spends many hours walking back and forth alone in the lobby, speaking those “wild and whirling words” which make little sense on the surface but in fact carry a meaningful subtext.

When asked if he recognizes Polonius, Hamlet promptly replies, “Excellent well; you are a fishmonger” (II. ii. 172). Although the response seems crazy since a fish-seller would look completely unlike the expensively dressed lord Polonius, Hamlet is actually criticizing Polonius for his management of Ophelia, since “fishmonger” is Elizabethan slang for “pimp. ” He plays mind-games with Polonius, getting him in crazy talk to agree first that a cloud looks like a camel, then a weasel and finally a whale, and in a very sane aside, he then comments that “[t]hey fool me to the top of my bent” (III. . 375).

Although he appears to have lost touch with reality, he keeps reminding us that he is not at all “far gone, far gone” (II. ii. 187) as Polonius claims, but is in fact very much in command of himself and the situation. With his rantings and ravings and his seemingly useless pacing of the lobby, Hamlet manages to appear quite mad. The nave and trusting Ophelia believes in and is devastated by what she sees as his downfall: ” O, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown! / . . . The expectancy and rose of the fair state / . . . ite, quite down! ” (III. i. 152,4,6).

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are also fully convinced. They are Hamlet’s equals in age but are far inferior in intellect and therefore don’t understand that he is faking. However, although Hamlet manages to convince these simple friends and Ophelia of his insanity, other characters in the play such as Claudius, Gertrude and even Polonius eventually see through his behavior. Claudius is constantly on his guard because of his guilty conscience and he therefore recognizes that Hamlet is faking.

The king is suspicious of Hamlet from the very beginning. He denies Hamlet permission to return to university so that he can keep an eye on him close by. When Hamlet starts acting strangely, Claudius gets all the more suspicious and sends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to spy on him. Their instructions are to discover why Hamlet is pretending to be mad: ” And can you, by no drift of circumstance, / Get from him why he puts on this confusion, [my italics] / Grating so harshly all his days of quiet / With turbulent and dangerous lunacy” (III. i. 1-4).

The reason Claudius is so reluctant to believe that Ophelia’s rejection has caused Hamlet’s lunacy is that he doesn’t believe in his madness at all. When Claudius realizes through the play-within-the-play that Hamlet knows the truth about his father’s death, he immediately sends him away to England. The prevailing piece of evidence demonstrating Claudius’s knowledge of Hamlet’s sanity is the fact that he feels threatened enough by Hamlet to order him killed by the king of England: “For like the hectic in my blood he rages, / And thou must cure me: till I know ’tis done, / Howe’er my haps, my joys were ne’er begun” (IV. i. 67-9).

In the scene in his mother’s bedroom, Hamlet tells Gertrude that his insanity is assumed: “[I]t is not madness / I have utter’d: bring me to the test, / And I the matter will reword, which madness / Would gambol from” (III. iv. 143-6), but even without his confirmation, the queen has seen through his act. While Hamlet is reprimanding her, she is so upset that she describes his words as “daggers” (III. iv. 98) and claims, ” Thou hast cleft my heart in twain” (III. iv. 158). The words of a madman could not have penetrated her soul to such an extent.

The queen takes every word Hamlet says seriously, proving she respects him and believes his mind to be sound. Furthermore, she believes Hamlet’s confession of sanity immediately. She does not question him at all but instead promises to keep it her secret. “I have no life to breathe / What though hast said to me” (III. iv. 200-1). Even Polonius can see that Hamlet has not completely lost touch with the world. Although he frequently misses the meanings of Hamlet’s remarks and insults, he does recognize that they make some sense.

After a confusing conversation with Hamlet he remarks, ” Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t” (II. ii. 205). When his theory of rejected love proves wrong, he becomes very suspicious of Hamlet’s behavior and offers to test it by hiding behind the “arras” in Gertrude’s bedroom so that he can listen in on Hamlet’s private conversation with his mother. Polonius’s suspicions about the legitimacy of Hamlet’s madness lead to his death when Hamlet stabs the “arras” in the mistaken belief that the eavesdropper is Claudius.

Hamlet’s soliloquies, his confidences to Horatio, and his elaborate plans are by far the most convincing proof of his sanity. Throughout the play, Hamlet’s soliloquies reveal his inner thoughts which are completely rational. In one such speech, Hamlet criticizes himself for not having yet taken action to avenge his father’s murder: “O what a rogue and peasant slave am I / . . . the son of the dear murder’d, / Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, / Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words” (II. ii. 545, 581-3).

Hamlet calls himself a “dull and muddy-mettled rascal” (II. . 563), a villain and a coward, but when he realizes that his anger doesn’t achieve anything practical other than the unpacking of his heart, he stops. These are not the thoughts of a madman; his emotions are real and his thoughts are those of a rational man. Even when he contemplates suicide in the “to be or not to be” soliloquy, his reasons himself out of it through a very sane consideration of the dangers of an unknown afterlife: “And thus the native hue of resolution / Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought” (III. i. 85-6).

A further important proof of his sanity is how patiently he devises plans to prepare for his revenge. As he explains to Horatio, his “antic disposition” is a device to test his enemies. His mounting of the play-within-the-play is another well-laid plan to trap Claudius into admitting guilt: “The play’s the thing / Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king” (II. ii. 602-3) and even when the play brings him concrete proof, he is careful not to rush to take his revenge at the wrong moment. He could easily kill Claudius while he is praying but restrains himself so that there is no chance of Claudius’s entering heaven.

Although Hamlet’s patience can be seen as an example of his procrastination, I think that it is rather a sign of rationality. Hamlet shows himself perfectly capable of action, as well as of rational thought, in escaping the king’s armed guard, dispatching Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to their deaths in England, dealing with the pirates and making it back to Denmark. In addition, the letter Horatio from him through the ambassador bound for England is clear and precise and shows no signs of a befuddled mind. Finally, I am convinced of Hamlet’s sanity by his very normal reactions to the people around him.

He is perfectly sane, friendly and courteous with the players, giving them good acting tips which they appreciate and respect. When Polonius and Claudius test the theory of rejected love by “loosing” Ophelia to him, Hamlet acts completely rationally. He greets Ophelia sweetly, gets a little cold when he remembers that he has not seen her “for this many a day,” is very hurt when she returns his remembrances, and becomes completely furious, insulting womankind in general, when she lies to him about her father’s whereabouts and he realizes he is being spied on.

He reacts the way any hurt young rejected lover would. In the end, it is surprising that he is able to keep up the charade of feigning madness for so long, and part of his tragedy is that it doesn’t help him anyway; in the end, he avenges his father by killing Claudius not through an act of madness, but as a result of Claudius’s own treachery.

Hamlet Play A Very Important Role In This Play

Hamlet play a very important role in this play. Basically the whole play revolves around him. In this play Hamlet is faced with the obligation to kill Claudius because Claudius has killed his father. Some people see Hamlet as a tragic hero with a clear and sacred obligation to kill Claudius but since he is scared to kill him and has many other things going on in his life, he is unable to kill Claudius right away. Throughout the entire play Hamlet procrastinates on killing Claudius. Why does Hamlet procrastinate for so long to revenge his father’s death?

Shakespeare purposely makes Hamlet out to be a procrastinator for one very important reason, if Hamlet would have quickly pursued this revenge, Gertrude, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, Laertes, and of course Hamlet himself would have survived and the play would not have become a tragedy. There are many reasons for Hamlet’s long delay. Some reasons which include not being unable to commit the murder are Hamlet’s fear of what would happen if he did kill Claudius, his concience bothering him for taking the life of his uncle, his disbelief in the ghost, and because of his facination with death.

The most important reason that him back from committing the murder is if Hamlet were to carry out what the Ghost told him and carried out immediate revenge, how would Hamlet be able to convince the people that he justifiably executed an act of revenge. Another reason Hamlet procrastinates is that his psychological feelings confuse his ability to confront his destiny. Hamlet’s dilemma has little to do with what decision he should make, but if he would be able to make any at all. Hamlet could have also lost his desire for revenge because of his constant sadness.

As Hamlet states “my weakness and my melancholy”(II. ii. 630) and his “wild and whirling words”(I. v. 133) his mood shifts from deep depression to elation, which might explain why he is unable to make decisions throughout the play. Hamlet seems to say what he wants to do but not carry it out. In his own words, “. . . the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought. “(III. i. 84-85) Here it shows that when Hamlet thinks he has finally made a decision, thinking about it causes him to change his mind or simply put it off.

One time in the play Hamlet has the opportunity to kill Claudius and achieve his revenge is when Claudius is confessing his sins. Here, Hamlet does not kill him because if Claudius were to die right then, he would have gone to heaven. This is something that Hamlet does not want to see happen. Of course, there are also moral issues standing in the way, which prevent Hamlet from immediately acting upon the Ghost’s orders. Hamlet always finds a way out of what he was about to do because he ends up thinking about it for too long.

When is seems like Hamlet finally makes a decision, he quickly finds a reason to find fault in his decision. This makes him become a person who is has a purpose, but doesn’t have the quality required to accomplish that purpose. Most of these issues are simply due to Hamlet’s reading in to morals too much. When Hamlet sees how promptly Polonius acted towards the death of his father in scene II, he quickly denounces himself as a coward and cries out for vengeance: “Bloody, bawdy villain! Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain! O, vengeance! ”(II. ii. 8-610) it is at this point where Hamlet reveals his plan to catch the conscience of the King.

Again, even though he vows to sweep to his revenge, weeks pass and he has not even made an attempt. Perhaps it is because of Hamlet’s disbelief in the honesty of the Ghost which causes such hesitation in Hamlet’s actions. Hamlet is called upon to execute private vengeance, an eye for an eye, even though this goes against all Christian teachings. Hamlet therefor, gets confused because he is a man that believes in heaven and hell and whose thinks that any man who commits murder must face his punishment.

Also, according to Shakespeare, a Ghost is “a spirit damn’d” which would lead to the idea that Hamlet should not take vengeance into his own hands. When Hamlet does accept what the Ghost tells him to be true, he thinks about it long time, expecting to do the deed immediately, but instead drags it on until the end of the play. In stress and in powerful emotion, Hamlet makes a positive identification of the Ghost as “King, father; royal Dane. “(I. iv. 45) Hamlet’s hasty decision to accept the Ghost as his father, give him second doubts later on in the play.

Hamlet’s fascination with death played a large role in the delay of the death of Claudius. In act I scene ii, when Hamlet is alone he expresses his innermost thoughts and were it not against God’s law, he would commit suicide, because according to him, his world has become “weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable. ” Not only because he has just lost a king and a father, but because his mother has just married a man much inferior to King Hamlet, who got married less than two months after his death. In Hamlet’s famous soliloquy he discusses how death would be the brave thing to do; “To die; to sleep;- To sleep?

Perchance to dream!. . . ”(III. i. 64-68) Yet at the same time Hamlet makes it sound almost like a fear; “But that the dread of something after death, The undiscover’d country from whose bourn No traveller returns, puzzles the will . . .. (III. i. 78-80)” Then again if Hamlet has talked to the Ghost who has told him of the necessary purgatory why does he question it? Or maybe, if Hamlet believes that death is an escape, he does not want to let Claudius escape, instead forcing him to live with himself and what he has done.

Forcing Claudius to live with his conscience bothering him. Hamlet’s fear does not play a that important of a role in the procrastination of taking revenge however. The only major fear in Hamlet is that of people finding out what he is thinking. For this reason he plays the role of a madman so that whatever he says wouldn’t be taken seriously. He must even convince Ophelia of his insanity in order to make sure nothing is revealed. “You should not have believ’d me, for virtue cannot So innoculate our old stock but we shall relish it.

I loved you not. ”(III. i. 118-120) Hamlet’s fear drives him to explain how all of man is corrupted. Since the fall of Adam and Eve, no one can escape corruption. This fear drives him to obtain what he feels must be obtained; revenge. Fear is also what prevents him from acting upon the Ghost’s wishes. He is afraid that if he acts too quickly, he will be unable to obtain enough evidence that he has justifiably acted upon revenge. Thus the reason why Hamlet procrastinated to revenge his father’s death.

The first three acts of the play Hamlet

In the first three acts of the play Hamlet, King Claudius go through a subtle, but defined change in character. Claudius role in the play begins as the newly corrinated king of Denmark. The former king, King Hamlet, was poisoned by his brother, Claudius, while he was asleep. Claudius, however, made it known to everyone that the king died of a snakebite in the garden, and thus no one knew of the murder that had just taken place making his murder the perfect crime. The only problem that Claudius must deal with now is his conscience.

After Claudius commits the deed of killing King Hamlet, he almost immediately arries Hamlet’s wife, Queen Gertrude. Claudius also gains a new son, his former nephew Hamlet, the son of King Hamlet. Young Hamlet is very displeased with his mother’s hasty marriage of Claudius and is angered by this incest. Hamlet has a deep attraction for his mother which goes beyond the traditional, mother-son relationship. At this point in the play, Hamlet does not know that Claudius has murdered his father, but he dislikes him anyway.

Claudius is not a bad king, which is demonstrated by his handling of the situation between Young Fortinbras and Denmark, but he is not extremely popular ith the people and has brought back the obnoxious custom of firing the cannons whenever the king takes a drink. Claudius’ conscience, here is non-existent. After the ghost of the dead King Hamlet tells Hamlet to avenge his murder, Hamlet has a reason to truly hate Claudius. From this point on in the play, there is definitely friction between the two.

When Claudius offers Hamlet the throne after he dies, Hamlet acts apathetic as if the rule of Denmark was, but a mere trifle. Hamlet enters a deep depression which the king and others, see as madness. First they think that Hamlet is ovesick over Polonius’ daughter, Ophelia, but after the king spies on Hamlet and Ophelia in conversation, he comes to the conclusion that Hamlet is mad, a threat to his rule, and must be sent to England to be executed. This is a sign of the king’s uneasiness over the mettle of Hamlet’s anger which is directed towards him.

The last thing that Claudius wants is for Hamlet to be unhappy with him, in fear that Hamlet will overthrow him, discover the murder, or possibly kill him. The king becomes increasingly nervous as time passes, making him a bit paranoid over Hamlet. By the beginning of Act III, Hamlet is almost ready to kill Claudius, but he still needs more proof that Claudius killed his father, and he also wants to put off the murder because he is a bit of a coward. Claudius is beginning to lose his composure.

Hamlet decides to set a trap for him in the form of a play. The subject of the play is the murder of a king by his brother who, in turn, marries the king’s wife. The plot of the play is strikingly similar to the circumstances of King Hamlet’s murder, which strikes a disharmonious chord in the conscience of Claudius. In the middle of the play during the urder scene, Claudius gets up and begs for the play to stop so that he can get some air. Hamlet is very angered by this because it confirms that Claudius did kill his father.

Later that night, Claudius prays to god to forgive him for his sins, but he is not ready to give up his new crown and his new wife. Guilt has begun to cloud over Claudius’ thoughts, and it will indeed drive him to the brink of insanity and beyond. Hamlet spies Claudius, praying with his back turned and on his knees, but he passes up the opportunity to kill the monarch with the excuse of not wanting to accidentally send Claudius to Heaven. The development of Claudius’ guilt is a gradual transformation.

This metamorphosis will come to a head later in the play. The guilt though, has already begun to affect the actions of Claudius in his everyday life, by transforming a normal night out to the theater into a devastating insight into his own life. Hamlet, although he does not know it, is a key instrument in bringing about Claudius’ guilt, and Gertrude is still a bit nervous about her marriage with Claudius. Claudius life, because of the murder, will never be the same because he cannot bear to live with his conscience. This flaw will be his downfall.

A Method in Hamlet Madness

In Hamlet, Shakespeare brings together a theme of madness with two characters, one truly mad, and one only acting mad to serve a motive. We can see this point through two characters namely Hamlet and Ophelia. The madness of Hamlet is frequently disputed. Ophelia’s breakdown and Hamlet’s brand of insanity argue for Hamlet having a method to his seeming insanity. The play offers a character on each side of sanity. While Shakespeare does not directly put Ophelia’s insanity, or breakdown, against Hamlet’s own madness, there is indeed a clear accuracy in Ophelia’s condition and a clear uncertainty in Hamlet’s madness.

Obviously, Hamlet’s character offers more evidences, while Ophelia’s breakdown is quick, but more conclusive in its precision. Shakespeare offers clear evidence pointing to Hamlet’s sanity beginning with the first scene of the play. Hamlet begins with guards whose main importance in the play is to give credibility to the ghost. If Hamlet were to see his father’s ghost in private, the argument for his madness would greatly improve. Yet, not one, but three men together witness the ghost before even thinking to notify Hamlet.

As Hamlet says, “O that this too sullied flesh would melt,” (1. 2. 129) we can see that he is depressed and appalled, but it does not mean he is insane. After the first meeting with the ghost, Hamlet greets his friends cheerfully and acts as if the news is good rather than the devastation it really is. This is the first glimpse of Hamlet’s ability and inclination to manipulate his behavior to achieve effect. Clearly Hamlet is not feeling cheerful at this moment, but if he lets the guards know the severity of the news, they might suspect its nature.

Another instance of Hamlet’s behavior manipulation is his meeting with Ophelia while his uncle and Polonious are hiding behind a curtain. Hamlet’s affection for Ophelia has already been established, and his complete rejection of her and what has transpired between them is clearly a fraud. Hamlet somehow suspects the eavesdroppers, just as he guesses that Guildenstern and Rosencrantz are sent by the King and Queen to question him and investigate the cause of his supposed madness. Hamlet’s actions in the play, after meeting the ghost, lead everyone except Horatio to believe he is crazy.

However, the madness of Hamlet is continuously checked by an ever-present consciousness of action that never lets him lose control. For example, Hamlet questions his conduct in his soliloquy, but after careful consideration decides to go with his instinct and prove to himself without a doubt the King’s guilt before proceeding rashly. Even after the King’s guilt is proven with Horatio as a witness, Hamlet again reflects and uses his better judgement in the soliloquy before seeing his mother. He recognizes his passionate feelings, but tells himself to “speak daggers to her, but use none,” (3. 395) as his father’s ghost instructed.

Again, when in the King’s chambers, Hamlet could perform the murder, but decides not to in his better judgement to ensure that the King doesn’t go to heaven by dying while praying. As Hamlet tells Guildenstern, “I am but mad north-north-west/ when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw. “(2. 2. 378-9) This statement reveals out-right Hamlet’s attempt to fool people with his odd behavior. If Hamlet’s madness is just a fraud of action, then Ophelia’s sanity after her father’s murder is completely a truth of insane.

Her unquestionable insanity puts Hamlet’s very questionable madness in a more favorable light. She is quite obviously mad, and, unlike Hamlet, there seems to be no method to her madness. All Ophelia can do after learning of her father’s death is sing. Beside, she doesn’t have any friend or relatives to comfort her. Indeed, Hamlet’s utter rejection of her combined with this is too much for her, and she doesn’t sing a mourning song at the beginning, but rather a happy love song. Ophelia’s breakdown into madness and inability to deal with her father’s death and Hamlet’s rejection is dealt with neatly and punctually.

There is little evidence against her madness, compared to Hamlet’s intelligent plotting and use of witnesses to his actions. Thus, by defining true madness in Ophelia, Shakespeare subtracts from the chance of Hamlet’s supposed insanity. In the play, Shakespeare uses the dimmer light of reality to expose the brighter light of plan. Hamlet is dynamic, animated, and absurd in his madness, making Ophelia’s true madness seem realistic rather than absurd. Hamlet explicitly states the plan of his madness, while Ophelia does not.

To prove more of Hamlet’s sanity, he questions his actions. “To be or not to be” proves that Hamlet still thinks before he performs his actions. Further, Hamlet has a motive behind leading others to believe that he is insane. Although Hamlet is under severe pressure and emotional strain due to the high situation in the play, he shows a remarkable amount of intelligent, conscious, and rational decision-making in efforts to resolve his situation. Thus we can see that Hamlet is not insane, but actually does have a method and can make intelligent decisions.

To What Extent Is Hamlets Madness Feigned

One of the central issues in Shakespeares play Hamlet is madness. The focus of my essay revolves around Young Hamlet and the questions posed by this character in respect of his sanity. Firstly, is Hamlets madness entirely feigned, as he initially leads us, the audience, to believe? To what extent is Hamlets madness an act? Does Hamlets feigned madness shield him from actually going mad? Or, an opposing proposition would be, does Hamlets feigned madness result in him becoming mad? My essay is an exploration of these key queries. I will conduct almost an enquiry into the sanity of Young Hamlet.

Furthermore, I intend to incorporate into my study a psychological perspective. Primarily, I must put this investigation into historical context. Hamlet was written, and first performed, in the Elizabethan/Jacobean period, around the 1600s. We are aware Shakespeares writing was influenced immensely by his audience. He knew, as all great writers do, that his play would only be a success if he could capture their attention. This is clearly depicted by the introduction of the play. Set in the gloom on a spooky battlement of a Danish Castle, Shakespeare certainly introduces the play with a bang so to speak, or, more to the point, a ghost!

Having attracted the attention of his audience Shakespeares following challenge was to retain it. This is where the theme of madness plays its part. The Elizabethans were fascinated by madness. During the 1600s the mentally ill were tortured and chained in dungeons. Mad persons were publicly beaten and tortured for entertainment of visitors of London, at the hospital of Saint Marys of Bethlehem, later known as Bedlam. Those who carried out the flogging were exempt from legal punishment. Harsh as this may seem, the Elizabethans knew little better.

In fact the common belief of the time, reflected in Shakespeares plays was derived from the doctrines of Hippocrates and Galen which stated illnesses were caused by an excess or deficiency of one of the 4 humours within the body: blood, phlegm, choler and melancholy. Bartholomaeus Anglicus, a 13th century monk, suggested that excessive amounts of choler could give rise to madness. However, others suggested excess melancholy was the cause. I think in respect to Hamlet there is undoubtedly an excess of melancholy to account for any apparent madness! There are several texts thought to have influenced Shakespeare in his creation of Hamlet.

The most obvious is The Spanish Tragedy (1589) by Thomas Kydd, which was still being performed during the Elizabethan period, incorporating the themes of revenge, murder and feigned madness to avoid suspicion. A 12th century Danish chronicler, collecting information about his countrys past, wrote down the story of Amleth, this too includes the themes of revenge, treacherous murder, and the marriage of a mother to the assassin. Shakespeare s plays include a great deal of psychological accuracy. In fact it could be said that, in relation to Sigmund Freud, Shakespeare figured out the human mind before the father of psychology was even born!

Freuds vision of psychology is derived, not altogether unconsciously, from his reading of Shakespeares plays. Freud developed the concept of how unconscious forces could disrupt a persons mental health. Emil Krapelin in the 1890s later classified this as Schizophrenia, which is a common type of psychosis, characterised by hallucinations, delusions, personality changes, withdrawal and serious thought and speech disturbances; linked to depression, feelings of worthlessness, guilt, thoughts of suicide and concentration problems. Typically it develops between late teens to early 30s.

Freuds suggestion leads on to the concept that Hamlets mind has both a conscious and sub-conscious level. Freud understood dreams, like jokes and slips of the tongue, concealed conflicting desires. An example of an indication of these secret urges is when Hamlet says to the king in his final rage, Act 5 sc. ii 318-19, Here thou incestuous, murdrous, damnd Dane, drink off this potion. He mentions incest, which has nothing to do with the King and Queen, but does relate to him and his mother. From this I make an exceptionally provocative proposition.

The Oedipus complex is according to Freud and later Earnest Jones (1949) the boy fated to kill his father and marry his mother. This controversial point is echoed by one raised by Thomas Hanmer, 1736, who drew attention to Hamlets delay in carrying out his revenge. How can he murder Claudius when his uncle carried out the deed he himself subconsciously wanted to carry out? Another suggestion to raise, based again on work of Freuds, relates to Hamlets love of his mother. Every son loves his mother and tries to please her. Subconsciously, Hamlet is motivated by an oedipal urge to sleep with his mother, for various reasons.

First, Hamlet had lost the love of his life Ophelia; her father and brother who instruct her to distance herself from Hamlet have in effect taken her from him. This sends him into anger mode that has to be exerted somehow, which happens to be desire for his mother, the next love in his life. Secondly, Freuds theory that Hamlets mind has a conscious level and a subconscious level helps us to understand Hamlets motivations and actions towards his mother, such as apparently going to her for support. Hamlet might have really been going to his mother for reasons more intricate than that.

To fully analyse Hamlets character I must study him throughout the entire play. From the very beginning Hamlet makes rash decisions. For example in Act1sc. iv he goes alone with the ghost even though Horatio tells him not to. L. 81. Be ruled you shall not go. Hamlet does not know if the ghost is in fact an honest or good ghost. This shows that from the very start we see Hamlet has little respect for his life. In fact Horatios speech here is of equal importance as Hamlets in revealing Hamlets current state of mind. L. 69-78. What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord,

Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff We see that Hamlets best friend, obviously a character who knows him well, is worried about how easily Hamlet may be tempted to his death. He carries on to say: The very place puts toys of desperation He refers here to fanciful impulses, which result in despair and even suicide. It seems that Horatio believes Hamlet to be emotionally vulnerable. This is shown within the lines 73-74: Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason And draw you into madness?… Such analysis would in fact lead one to believe Hamlet is actually on the brink of madness from the start.

Hamlet first directly reveals to the audience the turmoil he feels within his first soliloquy, Act1sc. v L. 92-112. Here Hamlet darts from one topic to another, using fragmented phrases and rhetorical questions. This language depicts his confused emotional state. It is at the end of Act 1 L. 172. that we learn, as he tells Horatio and Marcellus, of Hamlets ploy to, To put an antic disposition on – Could this encourage us to believe that throughout Hamlet is feigning insanity? Even in such crazy situations Hamlet can keep mental stability, shielded from true madness by his feigned insanity.

The next we hear of Hamlets behaviour is from Ophelia, Act2sc. i. Ophelia tells her father, Polonius, that Hamlet has been to see her in a terrible physical and mental state with his clothing all dishevelled. Polonius believes that it is due to Ophelias rejection, which he and Laertes insisted upon, that Hamlet has gone mad, hes sexually frustrated. However later, in an aside, Polonius recognises that Hamlets strange comments may superficially appear mad but there is an underlying meaning to them. Act2 scii. L. 205-206. Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.

This shows that Polonius is suspicious of Hamlets madness, which would urge one to believe Hamlets madness is feigned. To obtain a balanced view of Hamlet I must study a range of perspectives and sources. Doing so it is crucial that I recognise that my perception of Hamlet differs immensely from that of your average Elizabethan. This is a consequence of several factors. Firstly, the majority of the Elizabethan/Jacobean audience would have perceived the plot, and more importantly Hamlet, as they appear on the surface. Hamlet would seem, to the preponderance, as if his madness was entirely feigned and as he himself would lead one to believe.

One reason for this simple perception was due to the limited education available at the time. The play may have also appeared a little more believable to an Elizabethan audience; it would have more relevance to their lives. Even though it was set in Denmark, a country that the minority of the population would knew about, there is frequent reference to disease, illness and the plague, all which were far more common then than they currently are, thankfully. This is a point raised by Clemen who argued that there is a strong vein of imagery suggesting a process of infection and decay in the play.

This statement echoes my suspicion that Hamlets mental stability deteriorates throughout the play. Unlike the majority of the modern day audience the Elizabethans could sympathise with the plot of revenge, during the 1600s the primeval stance of an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth would have been more commonly accepted. The biblically correct attitude, found in Genesis, would be more inclined towards a lack of action or even forgiveness Vengeance is mine, I will repay saith the Lord, the attitude that we are, today, encouraged to adopt.

The soliloquies are key components of the analysis of Hamlet. However, whilst studying them I must bear in mind the variation of production and perception over the eras. It has been suggested that soliloquies performed in the Elizabethan/Jacobean theatre were not necessarily performed as if the speaker was in direct communion with his/herself but spoken directly to the audience as an attempt to persuade them to see the play from their perspective. However, nowadays there are many more ways of portraying the soliloquies, which in turn have varying effects on audiences.

For example, in Laurence Oliviers production Hamlets soliloquies are done in a voice over to give the effect of the audience hearing Hamlets inner most thoughts. This has a different effect than if a modern day production were to have the soliloquies recited, as they appeared to be intended a direct communion with himself, allowing the audience the opportunity to overhear his thoughts. Due to modern stage conditions, such as artificial lighting, the actor cant really see the audience so the soliloquy is forced back onto his/herself.

This results in Hamlet apparently talking to himself which has, inarguably, a far more dramatic effect, consequently the audience are more inclined to perceive Hamlet as mad. Another essential component, greatly influenced by the directors interpretation, is the ghost. We assume that in Shakespeares production the ghost is always visible when the script suggests. Infact it is said that Shakespeare himself often took up the role. However, modern day productions have varying ways of portraying the ghost.

The Laurence Olivier production stays true to the script projecting the ghost as a shadowy human figure dressed in armour. The Royal Shakespeare Company 1965 added a little original flair including the ghost as a 10ft. puppet like creation, whereas the Tony Richardson production creates a slightly spookier effect by implying the ghosts presence with a bright light shone on the faces of the actors in attendance. However, the most persuasive production, and arguably least true to the script, is Richard Eyres 1980.

Here, Jonathon Pryce, the actor playing the Hamlet, spoke the lines of the ghost as if possessed. The 1st scene was cut to support this reading. Controversial as this may seem the idea of Hamlet being possessed by the ghost echoes the perception that mad persons were in fact possessed by spirits, which may still have been upheld by some members of the Elizabethan audience so, it does infact have a historical edge. These differing ways of directing the play have drastic effects on our perception of Hamlets sanity.

For instance, some productions show the ghost in Act1 yet dont include any physical representation when he reappears to Hamlet in Act 3 sc. iv. Such a production would imply Hamlets madness was progressive, his sanity deteriorates. Different productions have other persuasive techniques. For example, in Act 3 sc. iv, which features gross sexual imagery such as Live in the rank sweat of an enseamd bed, L. 94 and making love over the nasty sty L. 95-96. Hamlet has been shown to be raping his mother.

This would be supported by Freuds suggestion of Hamlets subconscious desires. In such a production one would question whether Hamlets subconscious and conscious minds have become confused, has the former temporarily displaced the latter? Here the illusion of the ghost, as it comes to remind him of his vengeful intention, portrays what his conscious mind usually represents. In contrast a production such as Richard Eyres would lead the audience to believe Hamlet was mad from the beginning.

Therefore the conclusion I make is Hamlets sanity can only be measured for each individual performance and production. Hamlet could well be sane, shielded from madness or arguably he could be defined as a schizophrenic. I cant even conclude how Shakespeare intended Hamlets madness to be perceived, only that he made his play simple enough for the poorly-read to follow, yet complicated enough for the father of psychology to derive his work from. All I can conclude is the extent of which Hamlets madness is feigned is an individuals interpretation.

An Instrument of life: Hamlet’s contribution to the play

Samuel Johnson writes “Hamlet is through the piece rather an instrument than an agent. ” This statement is true, it is exhibited in several ways. The manner in which Hamlet’s father manifests himself is an indication of his true intentions. Hamlet acts as an earthly means of revenge, he is the output for actions directed by a mortal being. Inner weakness has riddled Hamlet’s life, it runs rampant in his decisions, or lack of, and has plagued his fate. His inability to overcome insecurity, procrastination, and an over analytical mind contribute, overwhelmingly, to his downfall.

Hamlet allows negative character attributes to steer his life, the point being, He is an instrument of his own indecision, which spawned from flaws within his character. Establishing Hamlet’s sanity is a difficult task. It’s stability in his life is questionable, but his contemplation of madness has left him vulnerable to its control. This control has led Hamlet to act outside of character and in an extremely peculiar fashion. Hamlet is an instrument of his father, his own self, and of sanity. The appearances of the Ghost, although sporadic, do not come without meaning.

Hamlet Senior, arguably, is one of Shakespeare’s finest creations. The character was molded using the Elizabethan view on death and apparitions. Such belief stated hauntings had a communication value that was used to seek resolve in unfinished business. The basis for Hamlet Senior’s untimely visits should be sought. “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder. ” (Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. United kingdom: Longman Group UK Limited, 1995. Act One, Scene Five, ll 29. ) The above quotation provides insight into the Ghost’s purpose.

Hamlet is a device that is readily available for use, he is the bridge between death, vengeance, and reality. Hamlet had been already effected by the marriage of his Uncle, Claudius, to his Mother, but the factor that remains liable for Hamlet’s eventual downfall is the involvement of the apparition. To classify -1- Hamlet as an instrument of his father is not farfetched. His obsession with life and it’s happenings cannot be attributed to his madness, the revenge that coursed through Hamlet’s veins provided a platform for his antic disposition to finally be laid out.

One must not lose sight of the fact that Hamlet’s vengeance was spurred by his father, thus making him a tool of Hamlet Senior’s involvement and wishes. Flaws in character have also proven to be costly for Hamlet. Instead of relying on positive characteristics, Hamlet emphasizes weakness in will, procrastination, and indecision. “He seems incapable of deliberate action, and is only hurried into extremities on the spur of the occasion, when he has no time to reflect, as in the scene where he kills Polonius and again, where he alters the letters which Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are taking with them to England purporting his death.

Hamlet has fallen to a poor will, he acts blindly and therefore behaves in a harsh manner and without cause. “Begin murderer; pox, leave thy damnable faces and begin. Come; the croaking raven doth bellow for revenge. ” (Act Three, Scene Two, ll 258. ) His obsession with revenge is terrifying, it has mangled his thoughts and damaged his will. “He clearly was a heroic revenger, a procrastinator, lost in thought and weak of will. ” (Courtney, Richard. Shakespeare’s World of Death: the early tragedies.

Toronto, Simon & Pierre Publishing Company Limited, 1995. ) Hamlet is a brave soul, but his sense of good judgement wanders, and procrastination becomes more apparent with each new day. It is by his “… Careless of death” attitude that Hamlet “loses the power of action in the energy of resolve. ” (Bratchell, D. F. Shakespearean Tragedy. ) Madness can be taken on in two forms, one being the insanity of mind and the latter being of the heart. Madness of the mind would entail that a person is capable of planning and -2- scheming harmful events and/or weapons.

Madness of the heart is much more devastating. To be mad at heart would mean that the ability to make critical decisions is still present. Hamlet is mad on both levels. “His contradictory extremes of conduct were reminiscent of the Elizabethan accounts of melancholy… Such an approach makes Hamlet mostly mad and rarely sane. ” (Courtney, Richard. Shakespeare’s World of Death: the early tragedies. ) Courtney comments on Hamlet’s feelings in relation to his actions. Hamlet’s mind, on occasion is critical, but his actions are those of a madman.

The madness that pervades him is, ironically, admitted easily. “I essentially am not in madness, but mad in craft. ” (Act Three, Scene Four, ll 206-207. ) He is conscious of his actions and openly admits to madness in them. The problem that lies is its control. Sanity is questioned to the point that it has become overbearing and manipulative. It has molded Hamlet’s life, he no longer has command, it is has been lost in madness. The Ghost of Hamlet Senior, indecision, and sanity are important factors that contribute immensely to Hamlet’s life.

His actions in life will surely be remembered in purgatory, but what must be examined is his individuality. He, by no means, was a leader. His indecision, which lasted for months at a time, revealed his character. The decisions that his actions backed were clearly made in haste and can be to the credit of an outside force. Sanity and life, two factors that rip Hamlet in two, are result of an overactive mind that has countered all action through the ability to find reason in inaction. His follower and procrastinating lifestyle has made him an instrument of many elements within his life.

Hamlet’s Madness Was Feigned For A Purpose

“I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw” (II. ii. 376-7). This is a classic example of the “wild and whirling words” (I. v. 134) with which Hamlet hopes to persuade people to believe that he is mad. These words, however, prove that beneath his “antic disposition,” Hamlet is very sane indeed. Beneath his strange choice of imagery involving points of the compass, the weather, and hunting birds, he is announcing that he is calculatedly choosing the times when to appear mad.

Hamlet is saying that he knows a hunting hawk from a hunted “handsaw” or heron, in other words, that, very far form being mad, he is perfectly capable of recognizing his enemies. Hamlet’s madness was feigned for a purpose. He warned his friends he intended to fake madness, but Gertrude as well as Claudius saw through it, and even the slightly dull-witted Polonius was suspicious. His public face is one of insanity but, in his private moments of soliloquy, through his confidences to Horatio, and in his careful plans of action, we see that his madness is assumed.

After the Ghost’s first appearance to Hamlet, Hamlet decides that when he finds it suitable or advantageous to him, he will put on a mask of madness. He confides to Horatio that when he finds the occasion appropriate, he will “put an antic disposition on” (I. v. 173). This strategy gives Hamlet a chance to find proof of Claudius’s guilt and to contemplate his revenge tactic. Although he has sworn to avenge his father’s murder, he is not sure of the Ghost’s origins: “The spirit that I have seen / May be the devil” (II. ii. 596-7).

He uses his apparent madness as a delaying tactic to buy time in which to discover whether the Ghost’s tale of murder is true and to decide how to handle the situation. At the same time, he wants to appear unthreatening and harmless so that people will divulge information to him, much in the same way that an adult will talk about an important secret in the presence of a young child. To convince everyone of his madness, Hamlet spends many hours walking back and forth alone in the lobby, speaking those “wild and whirling words” which make little sense on the surface but in fact carry a meaningful subtext.

When asked if he recognizes Polonius, Hamlet promptly replies, “Excellent well; you are a fishmonger” (II. ii. 172). Although the response seems crazy since a fish-seller would look completely unlike the expensively dressed lord Polonius, Hamlet is actually criticizing Polonius for his management of Ophelia, since “fishmonger” is Elizabethan slang for “pimp. ” He plays mind-games with Polonius, getting him in crazy talk to agree first that a cloud looks like a camel, then a weasel and finally a whale, and in a very sane aside, he then comments that “[t]hey fool me to the top of my bent” (III. . 375).

Although he appears to have lost touch with reality, he keeps reminding us that he is not at all “far gone, far gone” (II. ii. 187) as Polonius claims, but is in fact very much in command of himself and the situation. With his rantings and ravings and his seemingly useless pacing of the lobby, Hamlet manages to appear quite mad. The nave and trusting Ophelia believes in and is devastated by what she sees as his downfall: ” O, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown! / . . . The expectancy and rose of the fair state / . . . ite, quite down! ” (III. i. 152,4,6).

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are also fully convinced. They are Hamlet’s equals in age but are far inferior in intellect and therefore don’t understand that he is faking. However, although Hamlet manages to convince these simple friends and Ophelia of his insanity, other characters in the play such as Claudius, Gertrude and even Polonius eventually see through his behavior. Claudius is constantly on his guard because of his guilty conscience and he therefore recognizes that Hamlet is faking.

The king is suspicious of Hamlet from the very beginning. He denies Hamlet permission to return to university so that he can keep an eye on him close by. When Hamlet starts acting strangely, Claudius gets all the more suspicious and sends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to spy on him. Their instructions are to discover why Hamlet is pretending to be mad: ” And can you, by no drift of circumstance, / Get from him why he puts on this confusion, [my italics] / Grating so harshly all his days of quiet / With turbulent and dangerous lunacy” (III. i. 1-4).

The reason Claudius is so reluctant to believe that Ophelia’s rejection has caused Hamlet’s lunacy is that he doesn’t believe in his madness at all. When Claudius realizes through the play-within-the-play that Hamlet knows the truth about his father’s death, he immediately sends him away to England. The prevailing piece of evidence demonstrating Claudius’s knowledge of Hamlet’s sanity is the fact that he feels threatened enough by Hamlet to order him killed by the king of England: “For like the hectic in my blood he rages, / And thou must cure me: till I know ’tis done, / Howe’er my haps, my joys were ne’er begun” (IV. i. 67-9).

In the scene in his mother’s bedroom, Hamlet tells Gertrude that his insanity is assumed: “[I]t is not madness / I have utter’d: bring me to the test, / And I the matter will reword, which madness / Would gambol from” (III. iv. 143-6), but even without his confirmation, the queen has seen through his act. While Hamlet is reprimanding her, she is so upset that she describes his words as “daggers” (III. iv. 98) and claims, ” Thou hast cleft my heart in twain” (III. iv. 158). The words of a madman could not have penetrated her soul to such an extent.

The queen takes every word Hamlet says seriously, proving she respects him and believes his mind to be sound. Furthermore, she believes Hamlet’s confession of sanity immediately. She does not question him at all but instead promises to keep it her secret. “I have no life to breathe / What though hast said to me” (III. iv. 200-1). Even Polonius can see that Hamlet has not completely lost touch with the world. Although he frequently misses the meanings of Hamlet’s remarks and insults, he does recognize that they make some sense.

After a confusing conversation with Hamlet he remarks, ” Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t” (II. ii. 205). When his theory of rejected love proves wrong, he becomes very suspicious of Hamlet’s behavior and offers to test it by hiding behind the “arras” in Gertrude’s bedroom so that he can listen in on Hamlet’s private conversation with his mother. Polonius’s suspicions about the legitimacy of Hamlet’s madness lead to his death when Hamlet stabs the “arras” in the mistaken belief that the eavesdropper is Claudius.

Hamlet’s soliloquies, his confidences to Horatio, and his elaborate plans are by far the most convincing proof of his sanity. Throughout the play, Hamlet’s soliloquies reveal his inner thoughts which are completely rational. In one such speech, Hamlet criticizes himself for not having yet taken action to avenge his father’s murder: “O what a rogue and peasant slave am I / . . . the son of the dear murder’d, / Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, / Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words” (II. ii. 545, 581-3).

Hamlet calls himself a “dull and muddy-mettled rascal” (II. . 563), a villain and a coward, but when he realizes that his anger doesn’t achieve anything practical other than the unpacking of his heart, he stops. These are not the thoughts of a madman; his emotions are real and his thoughts are those of a rational man. Even when he contemplates suicide in the “to be or not to be” soliloquy, his reasons himself out of it through a very sane consideration of the dangers of an unknown afterlife: “And thus the native hue of resolution / Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought” (III. i. 85-6).

A further important proof of his sanity is how patiently he devises plans to prepare for his revenge. As he explains to Horatio, his “antic disposition” is a device to test his enemies. His mounting of the play-within-the-play is another well-laid plan to trap Claudius into admitting guilt: “The play’s the thing / Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king” (II. ii. 602-3) and even when the play brings him concrete proof, he is careful not to rush to take his revenge at the wrong moment. He could easily kill Claudius while he is praying but restrains himself so that there is no chance of Claudius’s entering heaven.

Although Hamlet’s patience can be seen as an example of his procrastination, I think that it is rather a sign of rationality. Hamlet shows himself perfectly capable of action, as well as of rational thought, in escaping the king’s armed guard, dispatching Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to their deaths in England, dealing with the pirates and making it back to Denmark. In addition, the letter Horatio from him through the ambassador bound for England is clear and precise and shows no signs of a befuddled mind. Finally, I am convinced of Hamlet’s sanity by his very normal reactions to the people around him.

He is perfectly sane, friendly and courteous with the players, giving them good acting tips which they appreciate and respect. When Polonius and Claudius test the rejected love theory by “loosing” Ophelia to him, Hamlet acts completely rationally. He greets Ophelia sweetly, gets a little cold when he remembers that he has not seen her “for this many a day,” is very hurt when she returns his remembrances, and becomes completely furious, insulting womankind in general, when she lies to him about her father’s whereabouts and he realizes he is being spied on.

He reacts the way any hurt young rejected lover would. In the end, it is surprising that he is able to keep up the charade of feigning madness for so long, and part of his tragedy is that it doesn’t help him anyway; in the end, he avenges his father by killing Claudius not through an act of madness, but as a result of Claudius’s own treachery.

Appearance vs. Reality

In Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet, there is a dominant and overwhelming theme that is concurrent throughout the play. Throughout the play, all the characters appear as one thing on the outside, yet on the inside they are completely different. The theme of appearance versus reality surrounds Hamlet due to the fact that the characters portray themselves as one person on the outside, and one different on the inside. In the play, Claudius, Hamlet’s uncle, appears to be kind, gentle, and caring on the outside, but in actual fact, he uses his loving behavior as a mask to cover up the fact that he is a selfish, mean, and cold murderer.

The women in Hamlet appear to live happy and wonderful lives on the outside, but their happiness is used to cover up the corruptness of their lives on the inside. And finally Hamlet appears to be mad and insane, but really he is using his madness as a veil to hide his secretive quest to seek the truth behind his father’s death. Appearance versus reality is coexistent theme that develops as the Danish kingdom gets engulfed in a web of a deception, corruption and lies. Hamlet is filled with characters covering up their true intentions with a whole other person, whom appears to be innocent.

One character, that used deception to cover up their true intention, was Claudius. Claudius, Hamlet’s uncle, is a very deceptive and cruel person. Claudius killed his brother, which was Hamlet’s father and then married his brother’s wife in order to become the new king of Denmark. No one knew that Claudius committed the murder so he did not receive any punishments for his actions. Claudius was forced to put on an angel-like appearance that transformed him from a cold murderer to the perfect king. This illusion that Claudius puts on ensures that his secret is kept hidden.

Under the illusion, Claudius is no longer a mean, and selfish guy, instead he appears in all aspects to be the perfect gentlemen. Claudius exemplifies the appearance versus reality theme, by the fact that appears to be kind and gentle, but in actual fact he is using his kindness and gentleness as a cloak to cover up the malicious murder that he so violently committed. Claudius through out the play feels guilt for action, and thus tries to repent for his sin in, by praying. In his prayer he says, “My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer can serve my turn? “Forgive me my foul murder? In this scene Claudius is not clear on what to feel.

He struggles to get out his prayer, because he is unsure that he will be forgiven. He wants to repent for his sin, but he knows that he can’t because he is not truly sorry. Claudius list some reasons why he can ask for forgiveness. He says “Of those effects for which I did the murder- my crown, mine own ambition, and my queen. ” Claudius realizes that his outside wants to seek forgiveness but his inside can not give up the positions that gained. Claudius thus realizes that he has to separate his own deceptive illusion from of true feelings.

The women in Hamlet exemplify the theme of appearance versus reality as well. Ophelia and Gertrude display deceptive illusions to hide the corruptions of their lives. Ophelia shields her love for Hamlet in the beginning of the play, but eventually is forced to throw herself to Hamlet, at her father’s request. Ophelia exaggerates her love for Hamlet, so her father can prove to the king and queen that Hamlet’s madness comes from his love for Ophelia. Hamlet senses that Ophelia love is not genuine, and therefore treats her with disgust.

He assaults Ophelia with words, and also with his actions, which included killing her father, though unintentional. Hamlet begins displaying acts of cruelty towards Ophelia, by using malicious sarcasm. He tells her to: “Go thy ways to a nunnery. Where’s your father? Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play fool nowhere but in’s own house. Farewell. “(3. 1. 141-144) Before this scene, Hamlet overhears the king and Ophelia’s dad attempt to form a plan to try to fathom the source of Hamlet’s unusual behavior. Their plan involves using Ophelia as the bait.

Ophelia can do nothing but comply with the king and her father plan. Hamlet is outraged that Ophelia, the girl he loves, is involved in a plot against him. Out of anger, Hamlet says to Ophelia, “I did love you once but you should have not believed me; for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it. I loved you not. “(3. 1. 125-129) Hamlet renounced his love for Ophelia and called her a fool actually believing that he did love her. Hamlet’s acrimonious words caused Ophelia to break down emotionally because she was caught in trap that forced her to go against her lover.

Ophelia’s emotional breakdown could have been prevented if she would have realized that Hamlet’s harsh behavior was an illusion used to conceal his feelings about his mother’s scandalous marriage. The other woman in the play, Gertrude, also displayed the theme of appearance versus reality. Gertrude refuses to believe that Hamlet tells the truth, when he tells her that Polonius is a murderer. Hamlet tells his Gertrude: ” Here is your husband, like a mildewed ear. Blasting his wholesome brother…. In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed. Stewed in corruption, honeying and making love.

Over the nasty sty A cutpurse of the mpire and rule, that from a shelf the precious diadem stole and put it into his pocket. “(3. 4. 74-115) Hamlet tells her that her husband killed the old king, in order to become the new king. Gertrude refuses to believe Hamlet, despite his strong will to make her believe. Gertrude forces herself to be happy despite of the circumstances. Her whole life is an illusion, by the fact that she does not want to accept anything that will make her unhappy. Gertrude wants to live a life filled with nothing but happiness. Her illusion is the unwillingness to accept the tribulations of life.

The character that best exemplifies the theme of appearance versus reality is Hamlet himself. Hamlet acts, as he was a mad man. He acts very strangely, which in turn creates the illusion that he is insane. He appears to be mad in order to conceal his true feelings and intentions. Hamlet’s true intention is to avenge his father’s death by killing Claudius. Hamlet does not let anything get in the of way avenging his father’s death, except a little procrastination. He kills three innocent people, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern and Polonius, if you can call them innocent, without having feelings of guilt.

His malicious actions were actually expressing the way he felt. As the story progresses, Hamlet becomes a very cruel and cold hearted person who cares for no one. His madness over takes him. After Polonius’s death, Hamlets gets into a fight with Laertes, Polonius’s son. Laertes wants to avenge the death of his father. It isn’t until later much later that Hamlet realizes that Laertes is upset over his father’s death. Hamlet contributes Polonius’s death to his madness, when he says to Horatio, “If Hamlet from himself be tak’en away, and when he’s not himself does wrong Laertes, then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it.

Who does it, then? His madness. I’t be so, Hamlet is of the fraction that is wronged; His madness is poor Hamlet’s enemy. “(5. 2. 248-253) Hamlet is telling Horatio that the madness that was within him killed Polonius. The separation between Hamlet and his madness proves that his madness is just an appearance. Hamlet knows that his madness is a just a mask used to cover up his true feeling. Hamlet’s true feeling is that he does not care for anyone but himself. Hamlet has a mask of madness that he uses to conceal his true feelings. Hamlet’s madness, though just as an illusion proves that he does not have care for Ophelia.

Hamlet always harassed Ophelia with denigrating words that belittled her existence. Hamlet harassed Ophelia with his actions too. Hamlet murders Ophelia’s father, which totally destroys Ophelia. Ophelia is forced to commit suicide because she can’t handle the destructive force of her father’s death. At Ophelia’s funeral, Hamlet said,: “I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers could not make up my sum”(5. 1. 285-287) If Hamlet loved Ophelia so much, then why did he treat her so badly. Hamlet’s madness is used to cover up the hatred he had for Ophelia as well as for his mother. Hamlet treats his mother with no respect at all.

He threatens her, and forces her to see give into his ways. Hamlet sits his mother down in her bed and tells her, “This is your husband. Look now what follows”(3. 4. 73) Hamlet tells his mother that her husband Claudius is a murderer and that she should have not married him because he is no good. As I see it, when Hamlet is telling his mother the bad things about her husband, he is not polite and sincere about it at all. He is yelling and screaming at her. This rash behavior is not madness- it is Hamlet. This is one of the few occasions where Hamlet expresses his true feelings without the use of deception.

Hamlet is filled with many falsehoods and deceptions. It seems like no one in the play can express what their true motives are. Deceptive illusions are used frequently in Hamlet to provide protection from the destructive force of truth. All the characters are corrupt, are thus rely on deception to get what they want. The only non-corrupt characters in Hamlet seem to be the gravedigger and his assistant. With the exception of a few characters, the theme of appearance versus reality is the fundamental basis for all actions of the characters in the play.

Hamlet’s Madness Essay

After Hamlet has discovered the truth about his father, he goes through a very traumatic period, which is interpreted as madness by readers and characters. With the death of his father and the hasty, incestuous remarriage of his mother to his uncle, Hamlet is thrown into a suicidal frame of mind in which “the uses of this world”seem to him “weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable. ” No man in his right state contemplates suicide and would take his life due to human frailty.

Ophelia tells us that before the events of the play Hamlet was a model courtier, soldier and scholar, “The glass of fashion and the mould of form,/ The observed of all observers. ” A modern boy scout to say the least, but as the play unwinds, his actions and thoughts catch him and slowly turn him insane. Not to say that he was a crazed madman out of touch with reality as was Ophelia, but a man driven crazy by thought. Hamlet’s behavior throughout the play, especially towards Ophelia is inconsistent. He jumps into Ophelia’s grave, and fights with Laertes in her grave.

He professes “I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers/Could not, with all their quantity of love,/ Make up my sum” [Act V, scene I, lines 250-253], during the fight with Laertes in Ophelia’s grave, but he tells her that he never loved her, when she returns his letters and gifts, while she was still alive. Hamlet subtly hints his awareness of his dissolving sanity as he tells Laertes that he killed Polonius in a fit of madness [Act V, scene II, lines 236-250] Once Ophelia meets Hamlet and speaks with him her love abandons him.

Hamlet realizes that his mother and step father are aware of this love and might use this to end his threat. Hamlet must end their thoughts of using Ophelia to rid him of his condition. To do this he must destroy all the current feelings Ophelia has for him and he does so very well, perhaps too well. Either his love for Ophelia was never as strong as he said, which I doubt, or he has really gone insane by assuming every situation is going to happen and he sacrifices her love for revenge. An honest man would not have done so.

Hamlet has violent outbursts towards his mother. His outburst seems to be out of jealousy, as a victim to the Oedipus complex. He alone sees his father’s ghost in his mother’s chambers. Every other time the ghost appeared someone else has seen it. During this scene he finally shows his madness, because his mother does not see the ghost. “On him, on him! Look you how pale he glares! / his form and cause conjoined, preaching to stones / Would make them Page 2 capable. ” [Act III, scene IV, lines 126-128].

Throughout the play, there are also supporting factors to argue Hamlet’s sanity, as these details compromise his madness, to balance out his mental state. Hamlet tells Horatio that he is going to feign madness, and that if Horatio notices any strange behavior from Hamlet, it is because he is putting on an act. [Act I, scene V, lines 166-180]. He knows that he is not the same as he used to be and fears he is going insane, so by telling his closes friend that he is just act, he covers his tracks. “It is not, nor it cannot come to good. /But break my heart, for I must hold my tongue.

All he can do in this frustrated state is to lash out with bitter satire at the evils he sees and then relapse into suicidal melancholy. Hamlet has mood swings as his mood changes abruptly throughout the play. Hamlet appears to act mad when he hears of his father’s murder. At the time he speaks wild and whirling words: “Why, right; you are I’ the right; And so, without more circumstance at all, I hold it fit that we shake hands and part…” [Act I, scene V, lines 127-134]. After Hamlet kills Polonius he will not tell anyone where the body is.

Instead he assumes his ironic matter, “Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. / A certain convocation of political worms a e’en at him. ” [Act IV, scene III, lines 20-21] In the two months after his meeting with the ghost, he puzzles the court with his assumed madness but does nothing concrete to effect or further his revenge. His inability to either accept the goodness of all life or act to destroy its evils now begins to trouble him as much as his outward hysteria. Hamlet appears to be insane, after Polonius’s death, in act IV scene II.

In conclusion, Hamlet was a genius. In his mind were thoughts and plans in which he always knew each persons next step before they did it. Due to his procrastination and thoughts of revenge he became so overwhelmed with every situation and plot that he entangled himself in his own schemes and had to sacrifice his sanity. Only then did he truly become insane and couldn’t control the web that he was weaving. Even if the madness was true or false, as Hamlet portrayed the role of a madman he took it upon himself to be lost in his control of actions.

Hamlet and his Games

In the play “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare, Prince Hamlet uses many double meaning phrases to speak his mind to the audience and the other characters in the play. “I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw” (II. ii. 387-8). This is a classic example of the “wild and whirling words” with which Hamlet hopes to persuade people to believe that he is mad. These words, however, prove that beneath his “antic disposition,” Hamlet is very sane indeed.

Beneath his strange choice of imagery involving points of the compass, the weather, and hunting birds, he is announcing that he is calculatedly choosing the times when to appear mad. “Hamlet feigns insanity because it allows him to do several things that he otherwise would not be able to do” (The Hamlet Paradigm, by John S. Mamoun). Hamlet is very far form being mad, he is perfectly capable of recognizing his enemies. Hamlet’s madness was faked for a purpose. He warned his friends he intended to fake madness, but Gertrude, Claudius, and even the slightly dull-witted Polonius saw through it.

His public face is one of insanity but in his private moments of soliloquy, through his confidences to Horatio, and in his careful plans of action, we see that his madness is assumed. After the Ghost’s first appearance to Hamlet, Hamlet decides that when he finds it suitable or advantageous to him, he will put on a mask of madness so to speak. He confides to Horatio that when he finds the occasion appropriate, he will “put an antic disposition on” (I. v. 172). This Pg. 2 strategy gives Hamlet a chance to find proof of Claudius’ guilt.

Although he has sworn to avenge his father’s murder, he is not sure of the Ghost’s origins: “The spirit that I have seen / May be the devil” (II. ii. 610-11). He uses his apparent madness as a delaying tactic to buy time in which to discover whether the Ghost’s tale of murder is true and to decide how to handle the situation. At the same time, he wants to appear unthreatening and harmless so that people will divulge information to him, much in the same way that an adult will talk about an important secret in the presence of a young child.

To convince everyone of his madness, Hamlet spends many hours walking back and forth alone in the lobby, speaking those “wild and whirling words” which make little sense on the surface but in fact carry a meaningful subtext. When asked if he recognizes Polonius, Hamlet promptly replies, “Excellent well; you are a fishmonger” (II. ii. 174). Although the response seems crazy since a fish-seller would look completely unlike the expensively dressed lord Polonius, Hamlet is actually criticizing Polonius for his management of Ophelia, since “fishmonger” is Elizabethan slang for “pimp.

He plays mind-games with Polonius, getting him in crazy talk to agree first that a cloud looks like a camel, then a weasel and finally a whale, and in a very sane aside, he then comments that “[t]hey fool me to the top of my bent” (III. ii. 392). Although he appears to have lost touch with reality, he keeps reminding us that he is not at all “far gone, far gone” (II. ii. 190) as Polonius claims, but is in fact very much in command of himself and the situation. With his rantings and ravings and his seemingly Pg. 3 useless pacing of the lobby, Hamlet manages to appear quite mad.

The naive and trusting Ophelia believes in and is devastated by what she sees as his downfall: ” O, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown! / . . . The expectancy and rose of the fair state / . . . quite, quite down! ” (III. i. 153,5,6). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are also fully convinced. They are Hamlet’s equals in age but are far inferior in intellect and therefore don’t understand that he is faking. However, although Hamlet manages to convince these simple friends and Ophelia of his insanity, other characters in the play such as Claudius, Gertrude and even Polonius eventually see through his behavior.

Claudius is constantly on his guard because of his guilty conscience and he therefore recognizes that Hamlet is faking. The king is suspicious of Hamlet from the very beginning. The reason Claudius is so reluctant to believe that Ophelia’s rejection has caused Hamlet’s lunacy is that he doesn’t believe in his madness at all. Hamlet staged the play to learn the truth about Claudius. This would be the final piece to a puzzle Hamlet was piecing together. When Claudius realizes through the play-within-the-play that Hamlet knows the truth about his father’s death, he immediately sends him away to England.

He does this because now “[Hamlet’s] endeavor to kill Claudius is now justified” (The Hamlet Paradigm , by John S. Mamoun). In the scene in his mother’s bedroom, Hamlet tells Gertrude that his insanity is assumed: “[I]t is not madness / I have utter’d: bring me to the test, / And I the matter will Pg. 4 reword, which madness / Would gambol from” (III. iv. 142-5), but even without his confirmation, the queen has seen through his act. While Hamlet is reprimanding her, she is so upset that she describes his words as “daggers” (III. iv. 96) and claims, ” Thou hast cleft my heart in twain” (III. iv. 157).

The words of a madman could not have penetrated her soul to such an extent. The queen takes every word Hamlet says seriously, proving she respects him and believes his mind to be sound. Furthermore, she believes Hamlet’s confession of sanity immediately. She does not question him at all but instead promises to keep it her secret. “I have no life to breathe / What though hast said to me” (III. iv. 199-200). Even Polonius can see that Hamlet has not completely lost touch with the world. Although he frequently misses the meanings of Hamlet’s remarks and insults, he does recognize that they make some sense.

After a confusing conversation with Hamlet he remarks, “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t” (II. ii. 207). When his theory of rejected love proves wrong, he becomes very suspicious of Hamlet’s behavior and offers to test it by hiding behind the “arras” in Gertrude’s bedroom so that he can listen in on Hamlet’s private conversation with his mother. Polonius’s suspicions about the legitimacy of Hamlet’s madness lead to his death when Hamlet stabs the “arras” in the mistaken belief that the eavesdropper is Claudius.

Hamlet’s soliloquies, his confidences to Horatio, and his elaborate plans are by far the most convincing proof of his sanity. Throughout the play, Hamlet’s soliloquies reveal his inner thoughts which are completely rational. In one such speech, Hamlet criticizes himself for not having yet Pg. 5 taken action to avenge his father’s murder: “O what a rogue and peasant slave am I / . . . the son of the dear murder’d, / Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, / Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words” (II. ii. 560, 595-7).

Hamlet calls himself a “dull and muddy-mettled rascal” (II. i. 578), a villain and a coward, but when he realizes that his anger doesn’t achieve anything practical other than the unpacking of his heart, he stops. These are not the thoughts of a madman; his emotions are real and his thoughts are those of a rational man. Even when he contemplates suicide in the “to be or not to be” soliloquy, his reasons himself out of it through a very sane consideration of the dangers of an unknown afterlife: “And thus the native hue of resolution / Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought” (III. 84-5).

A further important proof of his sanity is how patiently he devises plans to prepare for his revenge. As he explains to Horatio, his “antic disposition” is a device to test his enemies. His mounting of the play-within-the-play is another well-laid plan to trap Claudius into admitting guilt: “The play’s the thing / Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king” (II. ii. 616-17) and even when the play brings him concrete proof, he is careful not to rush to take his revenge at the wrong moment.

He could easily kill Claudius while he is praying but restrains himself so that there is no chance of Claudius entering heaven. Although Hamlet’s patience can be seen as an example of his procrastination, I think that it is rather a sign of rationality. Hamlet shows himself perfectly capable of action, as well as of rational thought, in escaping the king’s armed guard, dispatching Pg. 6 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to their deaths in England, dealing with the pirates and making it back to Denmark.

In addition, the letter Horatio from him through the ambassador bound for England is clear and precise and shows no signs of a befuddled mind. Finally, I am convinced of Hamlet’s sanity by his very normal reactions to the people around him. He is perfectly sane, friendly and courteous with the players, giving them good acting tips which they appreciate and respect. When Polonius and Claudius test the theory of rejected love by “loosing” Ophelia to him, Hamlet acts completely rationally. In the end, he avenges his father by killing Claudius not through an act of madness, but as a result of Claudius’s own treachery.

Love Loss And The Court Of King Claudius

Shakespeare worked with the simplest of principals, writing at the minds own speed, using everything he read, but reworking it first, and depending upon characters for the defining trait or flaw. One theme which constantly emerges throughout Hamlet is the theme of love and loss, revealed by the characters of Hamlet, Laertes, and Ophelia. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is a young man subjected to much heart ache in the course of this play.

His first loss being the suspicious death of Hamlets beloved and respected father, Hamlet Sr. Even Hamlets Uncle/Step-father, King Claudius, noted in peaking with young Hamlet that his mourning was serious. Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, says Caludius of Hamlets behavior, . . . But to persevere in obstinate condolement is a course of impious stubbornness. Tis unmanly grief. . . (Act I, Scene II, lines 90-98). Hamlet was heartbroken at the loss of his father, which was reflected in his outlook on life. He regarded Denmark as a prison and spoke to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of having bad dreams. Unfortunately Act I is not the only time where young Hamlet expresses pain from love and loss.

Although he is cruel and nkind to Ophelia in their meetings of both Act III, Scenes I and II, he is only expressing the frustration that has built up inside of him toward all women, and directed it at Ophelia because she was available. Hamlet had not ceased to love her. He explains his true feelings for Ophelia upon arrival at her burial, completely shocked that his beloved maid has died, saying, What is he whose grief bears such an emphasis, whose phase of sorrow conjures the wandring stars and makes them stand like wonder-wounded hearers? This is I, (Act V, Scene I, lines 267-271).

He then goes on to say he would do anything to prove his love, including be buried with her. Hamlet lost yet another person dear to him, his lover, fair Ophelia. Hamlet is only one character in the play who experiences love and loss. Ophelia is another. In Act III, Scene IV, after the performance of The Mouse Trap and The Murder of Gonzago for the royal court, Hamlet mistakenly kills Polonius, the father of Ophelia and Laertes. Ophelia already believed she had lost the affections of her Hamlet due to their dialogue from Act III, Scenes I and II.

She had sacrificed his love because her father and rother had ordered her to turn him away. And now, to learn that her respected father, whom she had given up her lover for, was dead, was far too great a grievance for the young woman. In Act IV, Scene V, reports reach Queen Gertrude that Ophelia has gone mad. She sings songs of unrequited love, betrayal, and death. The King, the Queen, Horatio, and the Gentleman recognize that it is the trauma of her loss that has driven her to be so. Claudius remarking, O, this is the poison of deep grief. It springs all from her fathers death, and now behold! (Act IV, Scene V, Lines 80-81).

And so we see another ho was affected by the theme of love and loss. Finally, there is the son of Polonius, a man of great talent with a rapier, whose losses seem already totaled when he sees his sister in her state of madness and he concludes, And so have I a noble father lost, and a sister driven into desprate terms, whose worth, if praises may go back again, stood challenger on mount of all the age for her perfections, (Act IV, Scene VII, Lines 27-31). Laertes feels the loss of his sister before she actually kills herself in the river – and then he has truly lost both his father and younger sister.

It is tragic, but rather than sadness, Laertes expresses anger. Anger towards Hamlet because, to him, Hamlet is to blame for the death of both of Laertes family members. Shakespeare wrote Hamlet with several key players in mind to portray the theme of love and loss to its audience. When it was not young Hamlet experiencing love and loss, it was fair Ophelia dealing with the same feelings, or it was her brother, Laertes. In every act at least one of these three experiences dealing with love and/or loss. Therefore love and loss is a relevant theme to Hamlet which is successfully traced from beginning to end.

Book Review On Hamlet

People like to put things into categories. Movie critics do so with films: slasher,buddy,western, war, and more. You can do the same with books: science fiction, gothic romance and so on. Shakespeare’s plays also have categories: tragedies, comedies, and histories. But these terms don’t mean exactly what you may think they mean. Shakespeare’s most famous plays are his tragedies, such as Hamlet.

These plays follow the standard rules for tragedies: The hero has a basic human failure that brings about his downfall and death, but before he dies, he learns an important lesson about his ailure and how it destroyed his life (and usually the lives of those he loved). Shakespeare didn’t write these plays to deliver a moral message, butthat doesn’t stop us from learning from his plays. He fills his plays with ordinary people, and we can see ourselves in their situations.

When the heroes face their tragic ends, we can learn from their mistakes and ordinary problems, and we can see ourselves with the same problems. At the same time, we can watch a play that is fun and entertaining, full of action, intrigue, and excitement. Hamlet, for example, is clearly an honest, decent person who is wrongly cheated out of the throne of Denmark by his conniving uncle, Claudius.

We root for Hamlet, cheer his triumphs, and pity his failures. The protagonist is not always a hero, though. Sometimes he is his own worst enemy. Coriolanus, for example, is too proud. He is a great Roman general the best, and he knows it. His arrogance and conceit affect all around him and drive away those who would be his friends. In the end, you almost cheer when they conspire against him and he gets his due. In other words,

The Study Of Transformation

The Study of transformation and its meaning can be difficult to understand. It can however be made easier through he use of sources such as novels, plays and movies. Two plays that help this study, include Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Stoppard’s R + G. Both plays are written in different times making the two a very important aspect, in its relation to the notion of transformation’. Through elements in both plays such as context, themes and techniques we are able to understand the relationship between the two The context and values of both plays are able to bring out the nature of the protagonists.

The context of hamlet reflects mainly on the cahning cociety, in the 16th & 17th century’s, from the Elizabethan society to the Renaissance Period. The context of R + G on the other hand reflects on changed society today focusing on the presence of 20th century existentialism and the influence of the theatre of absurd. Shake’s revenge tradegy clearly exemplifies the value of Elizabethan society. This is most manifested in the divine supremacy afforded the king and the profound & moral consequences of regicide.

Awareness of the divinity’ was paramount in the Elizabethan age as seen with Hamlet grapple with fate “to be or not to be” soliloquy (Act III). In R + G on the other hand, instead of being regarded as high authority, they absolutely have no power and are viewed as your typical ordinary man. Protesting against the notion that the universe is a determined, ordered system, the external argument is clearly manifested through the attempts of stoppards protagonist, to establish a sense of information “which denotes a district lack of order to the universe.

WE can identify R + G as part of a disillusioned age which the world has stopped making sense through the undermining of values & assurances of former generations. This can be seen I Act II of R + G’s apparent onging movement around the stage and inconsequential questioning. The understanding of transformation’ can also be made apparent through theme/character and it helps understand the relationship between the two plays. It brings out the journey on the protagonist in the play. Central to Hamlet is a consideration of the notion of destiny’.

In R + G as in Hamlet, it raises the issue of fate and its role in our lives. The relationship between the two plays is explored raising the issue of its role in our lives. Hamlet shows on of the greatest rites of pass: from immaturity to accommodation with death. Until hamlet leaves for England, he continues to ponder his destiny, posed as what in fact “is man”. (act 4). The questions define him, challenging his self-perception & moral vision. Upon his return however he has come to accept the “divinity that shapes our ends”.

In R + G however, as a tragicomedy, it explores the extent to which the individual can affect control over the unfolding of his destiny in the modern universe. The player furthermore offers a perspective that resonates with Shakespeare’s text. As a tragedian he must follow direction & this affords him the identity & purpose that eludes the courtiers, as he embraces the notion of death as part of the overall “design at work in all art”. Stoppard’s play is about shakespeare’s play and feeds on it for its own meaning. The play is deeply dependant on Shakespeare’s Hamlet and encouraged to find humor in tragic drama.

R + G are lead to a realisation that “there’s only one direction, and time is its only measure”. Any attempt of them to assert themselves within the larger scheme of fate essentially thwarted, as the “move idly toward eternity, without the possibility of reprieve or hope of explanation”. The aspect most important in revealing the elements of this play is the use of techniques and how they are able to bring out the fate of the protagonist in both plays. In us of techniques such as modes of expression, tone and language help in this.

In hamlet the use of soliloquies as a mode of expression gives complexity to the mind-set & vision of the play’s tragic hero by revealing many of the play’s themes through motifs. This can be seen in hamlets first soliloquy reveals a longing death and his offense to his mother’s incestuous actions. It also shows his different views from the beginning of the play compared to the end. In the other hand in R + G, the use of fractured, irregular patterns of dialogue reflect the differences between the condition’ of modern man & that of the Classical Renaissance figure.

This is seen in Stoppards game of questions’ offering the questioning of 20th Century common man. In hamlet we see a transformation in him, where at throughout the whole play he grapples with fate but by the end he accepts it “This I, Hamlet the Dane” (Act. 5). In R + G however the general tone of the central characters is used to illustrate the response of R + G to their predicament as seen in that they have real fates but are within a confused world. This as in hamlet considers Guil. to ponder fate. There views are clearly not as important as hamlets due to their power “you are R + G. that’s enough”.

Hamlet Soliloquies Essay

In William Shakespeares Hamlet there are four major soliloquies that reflect the character of Hamlet. In this paper I will be analyzing and discussing how these four soliloquies reflect changes in Hamlets mental state; his changing attitudes toward life and the other characters in the play, particularly the women; and his reflection on the task of revenge that has been assigned to him. These four soliloquies are the backbones of the play, and they offer the audience a glimpse into Hamlets mind and thought processes.

In the first soliloquy it is very obvious that Hamlets sanity is in question. This is apparent in the first four ines of this soliloquy. O that this too solid flesh would melt, Thaw and resolve itself into a dew, Or that the Everlasting had not fixed, His canon gainst self-slaughter, O God! God! (42) These few lines show that Hamlet is so depressed that he wishes he could melt away into nothingness or commit suicide. It is also very apparent in this soliloquy, that Hamlet is beginning to loath his mother for marrying Claudius only one month after King Hamlets death.

Hamlet loathes his mother and begins to loath all women, because he believes they are all weak. Let me not think ont! Frailty, They name is women! 42) Hamlet seems to view Denmark as a metaphorical garden of Eden which now totally corrupt, this can be seen when Hamlet says Tis an unweeded garden, That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature. (42) This soliloquy presents the audience a glimpse into Hamlets psyche, he is obviously enraged at his mothers marriage, the state of Denmark, and he is still mourning his fathers death.

The second soliloquy is very intriguing and it helps to set up many events that happen during the play. Hamlet is first wondering how an actor, who has no true emotional connection to the play was performing can seem o have such deep emotions; while he in reality is feeling unfathomable pain and anguish and he cannot due anything more than mope around depressed and rant and rave about his fathers death. Whats Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, That he should weep for her?

What would he do, He the motive and the cue for passion, That I have. (134) Hamlet doubts his own character and obedience to his father in this Soliloquy. He ponders whether or not he is a coward because he has yet to kill Claudius. But I am pigeon livered and lack gall, To make oppression bitter, or ere his, I should ha fattee all the region kites, With this slavess offal. (136) During this soliloquy Hamlet contrives a plan to entrap Claudius so that hamlet can be totally sure that Claudius is guilty.

I have heard, That guilty creatures sitting at a play, Have, by the very running of the scene, Been struck so to the soul that presently, They have proclaimed their malefactions, For murder, Though it have no tongue, will speak, with the most miraculous organ. (136) This soliloquy is very important because it demonstrates Hamlets anger at himself and Claudius, and how Hamlet intends to obtain the final piece of evidence about his fathers death. He needs this evidence so he can be absolutely sure that Claudius killed King Hamlet.

In the third soliloquy it is obvious that Hamlet is extremely depressed. Hamlet is seriously considering suicide but he wonders if death is worse then living. To die, to sleep; To sleep, perchance to dream – ay, theres the rub: (142) Hamlet considers suicide throughout the play but when he gets close to doing it he finds an excuse not to. He wonders if death is more hellish than life, and asks why would humans go through all the pain and suffering that ife has to offer, if they could end it all by killing themselves.

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressors wrong, The proud mans contumely, The pangs of despised love, The laws delay, The insolence of office, and the spurns that patient merit of the unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make, With a bare bodkin? (142,144) Hamlets character has truly changed at this point. He is no longer a man pretending to be mad – In the forth soliloquy hamlet wonders if he is fulfilling his purpose in his life, which he now believes is to avenge his fathers murder. He is angry with himself for waiting so long to exact his revenge and fulfill his purpose.

How all occasions do inform against me, And spur my dull revenge! (222) At this point Hamlet is felling ashamed of his procrastination and wonders if he is indeed a great man. When honours at stake. How stained I then, That have a father killed, a mother stained, And let all sleep. (222) His psyche by this time is truly damaged. He is now just a shell of a man with one purpose, revenge! Oh, from now on my thoughts must concentrate on vengeance, or Hamlet is a tragic hero when looked upon from an Aristotelian point of view.

First, he was a great man of noble birth and he had a lot of responsibility in his kingdom. He is looked up to by most for leadership and guidance. Hamlet has the fatal tendency to only concentrate on only one thing, this thing was to revenge his fathers death by killing Claudius. This tendency leads him to his downfall along with his on major character flaw. This flaw is that Hamlet is a serial procrastinator. One example of this procrastination is that he had many chance to murder Claudius but he did not, he always seemed to find some excuse not to do it.

Was Hamlet Insane

Hamlet a hardy man, courageous, and worthy of eternal commendation, who arming himself with a crafty, dissembling, and strange show of being distract out of his mind, under that pretense deceived the wise, and crafty, thereby not only preserving his life from the reasons and wicked practices of the tyrant, but by an new and unexpected kind of punishment revenged his fathers death many years after the act committed . I am here to explain certain theories of Hamlets sanity. Some say he was sane and only pretending, and some say he was insane over certain that happened in his life.

I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a hand saw (II. ii. 376-7). This is a classic example of the wild and whirling worlds (I. v. 134) with which Hamlet hopes to persuade people to believe that he is mad. These words, however, prove that beneath his antic disposition, Hamlet is very sane. indeed. Beneath a strange choice of imagery involving points of the compass, the weather, and hunting birds, he is announcing that he is calculatedly choosing the times when you appear mad.

Hamlets madness was faked I think for a purpose. He warned his friends he intended to fake madness, but Gertrude as well as Claudius saw through it, and even the slightly dull-witted Polonius was suspicious. His public face is one of insanity but, in his private moments of soliloquy, through his confidences to Horatio, and in his careful plans of action, we see that his madness is assumed. After Hamlet has discovered the truth about his father, he goes through a very traumatic period, which is interpreted as madness by readers and characters.

With the death of his father and the hasty, incestuous remarriage of his mother to his uncle, Hamlet is thrown into a suicidal frame of mind in which the uses of this world seem to him ;weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable. Many ironies and misunderstands of the play cannot be understood without a proper awareness of this gap between Hamlets knowledge and the most others ignorance of the murder. For, according to their own lights, Polonius and the rest behave as normally as they should be, obeying and flattering a king whom they acknowledge as their great ruler.

Hamlet, for his part, is so obsessed with the secret murder that he overreacts to those around him, rejecting overtures of friendship and becoming embittered, callous, brutal, and even violent. His antisocial behavior gives the others good reason to fear him as a menace to the state. Nevertheless, we share with Hamlet a knowledge of the truth, and know that he is right whereas the others are at best unhappily deceived by their own blind complicity in evil. No man was in his right state of contemplates suicide and would take his life due to human frailty.

Either his love for Ophelia was never strong as he said, which in doubt, or he has really gone insane by assuming every situation is going to happen and he sacrifices her love for revenge. Throughout the play, there are also supporting factors to argue Hamlets sanity, as these details compromise his madness, and that if Horatio notices any strange behavior from Hamlet, it is because he is putting on an act. [Act I, scene V, lines 166-180]. He knows that he is not the same as he used to be and fears he is going insane, so by telling his closes friend that he is just an act, he covers his tracks.

It is no, nor it cannot come to good… but break my heart, for must hold my tongue. All he can do in this frustrated state is to lash out with bitter satire at the evils he sees and then relapse into suicidal melancholy. Hamlet has mood swings as his mood changes badly throughout the play. Hamlet appears to be insane, after Poloniuss death, in act IV scene II. In conclusion, Hamlet was a genius. In his mind were thoughts and plans in which he always knew each persons next step before they did it.

Due to his procrastination and thoughts of revenge he became so overwhelmed with every situation and plot that he entangled himself in his own schemes and had to sacrifice his sanity. Only then did he truly become insane and couldnt control the web that he was weaving. Even if the madness was true or false, as Hamlet portrayed the role of a madman he took it upon himself to be lost in his control of actions. Two recent writers, Mr. J. M. Robertson and Professor Stoll of the University of Minnesota, have issued small books which can be praised for moving in the other direction of Hamlets attitude.

Mr. Robertson points out, very closely how critics have failed to there interruption of Hamlet by ignoring what out to be very obvious: that Hamlet is a stratification, that it represents the efforts of series of men, each making what he could out of the work of his predecessors. Also Mr. J. M. Robertson states that I do not believe Hamlet was insane, but merely pretending. Mr. Robertson clearly states that Hamlet was insane. Other critics do not believe this fact though. Professor Stoll from the University of Minnesota, believes that Hamlet was insane. For me this is very rare.

This is the first critic that I have read that thinks that Hamlet was not insane. Professor Stoll says Hamlet was truly insane. He spoke to himself when he was alone, he had strange mood swings, he hated his mother, and always talked about death. Professor Stoll does have a point, but Hamlets real reasons for these acting were to get revenge for his fathers death, and in order to get his thoughts together about his revenge on the killer he had to put on an act and not be himself. Some writers are even known for saying that Shakespeare was insane, and he was using Hamlet as his impersonator.

I find this fact somewhat true. In half of Shakespeares tragedies someone has either went insane or was already insane. Othello, The Moor Of Venice he went insane when he found out that his wife was cheating on him, which was not true. Romeo and Juliet, Romeo went insane over his love for Juliet. In Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. I can not say whether he was insane or sane. myself I say that he was sane, but from his actions throughout the play it makes it seem as if he was insane. And also in Macbeth and in Julius Caesar.

Five out of ten William Shakespeares tragedies contains insanity either one of his characters are insane or is becoming insane. In conclusion I do believe that Hamlet was, indeed, insane, but only at certain points in the play. He may appear insane to the people in the play; however, in his soliloquies to the audience, Hamlet is perfectly sane. On parts where Hamlet appears to be insane is when the Ghost comes into the play. Outside of those occasions, Hamlet appears to thing and act like a normal person, based on the knowledge of events he has.

Why is he only insane when he talks to the ghost? Because the Ghost is not the ghost of Hamlets father, as we would think of it. It is a demon that has come to haunt Hamlet of his fathers death. My reason for this is, several elements of the play says that the cries of the Ghost comes from below, meaning that the cries are coming hell. Also the Ghost does not show up again in the play until Hamlet is on the verge of forgiving his mother. The presence of the Ghost is to remind Hamlet of the tragedy of his fathers death and to make him go insane over that.

Another person that could have triggered Hamlets fake insanity, is his love Ophelia. Her plight is symbolic of the one of the main themes of the play. How leaving her inner, and emotional dichotomy untended can only lead to insanity, and ultimately, tragic death. Hamlet loves Ophelia so much that to see her in this condition is driving himself insane even more. While Hamlet is torn between love for his mother and his duty to his father (or what is left to be of his him), he clearly puts on a front to the people that he is insane, because he wants no one to see his the pain that lies inside of him.

Shakespeare’s tragic hero, Hamlet

Shakespeare’s tragic hero, Hamlet, and his sanity can arguably be discussed. Many portions of the play supports his loss of control in his actions, while other parts uphold his ability of dramatic art. The issue can be discussed both ways and altogether provide significant support to either theory. There are indications from Hamlet throughout the play of his mind’s well being. Hamlet’s antic disposition may have caused him in certain times that he is in a roleplay. Hamlet has mood swings as his mood changes abruptly throughout the play. Hamlet appears to act mad when he hears of his father’s murder.

At the time he speaks wild and whirling words:Why, right; you are I’ the right; And so, without more circumstance at all, I hold it fit that we shake hands and part_ [Act I, scene V, lines 127-134]. It seems as if there are two Hamlets in the play, one that is sensitive and an ideal prince, and the insane barbaric Hamlet who from an outburst of passion and rage slays Polonius with no feeling of remorse, Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell! / I took thee for thy better. Take thy fortune;/ Thou find’st to be too busy is some danger. – [Act III. scene IV, lines 31-33] and then talks about lugging his guts into another room.

After Hamlet kills Polonius he will not tell anyone where the body is. Instead he assumes his ironic matter which others take it as madness. Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. / A certain convocation of political worms a e’en at him. [Act IV, scene III, lines 20-21] If your messenger find him not there, seek him I’ th’ other place yourself. But, indeed, if you find him not within this month, you shall nose him as you go up the stairs into the lobby. [Act IV, scene iii, lines 33-36]. Hamlet’s behavior throughout the play, especially towards Ophelia is inconsistent.

He jumps into Ophelia’s grave, and fights with Laertes in her grave. He professes I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers/Could not, with all their quantity of love,/ Make up my sum [Act V, scene I, lines 250-253], during the fight with Laertes in Ophelia’s grave, but he tells her that he never loved her, when she returns his letters and gifts, while she was still alive. Hamlet subtly hints his awareness of his dissolving sanity as he tells Laertes that he killed Polonius in a fit of madness [Act V, scene II, lines 236-250] Hamlet has violent outbursts towards his mother.

His outburst seems to be out of jealousy, as a victim to the Oedipus complex. He alone sees his father’s ghost in his mother’s chambers. Every other time the ghost appeared someone else has seen it. During this scene he finally shows his madness, because his mother does not see the ghost. On him, on him! Look you how pale he glares! / his form and cause conjoined, preaching to stones / Would make them capable. [Act III, scene IV, lines 126-128]. Throughout the play, there are also supporting factors to argue Hamlet’s sanity, as these details compromise his madness, to balance out his mental state.

Hamlet tells Horatio that he is going to feign madness, and that if Horatio notices any strange behavior from Hamlet, it is because he is putting on an act. [Act I, scene V, lines 166-180]. Hamlet’s madness in no way reflects Ophelia’s true madness, his actions contrast them. Hamlet’s madness is only apparent when he is in the presence of certain characters. When Hamlet is around Polonius, Claudius, Gertrude, Ophelia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, he behaves unreasonably. When Hamlet in the presence of Horatio, Bernado, Francisco, The Players, and Gravediggers, his actions are sensible.

Other characters confess that Hamlet’s actions are still unsure whether Hamlet’s insanity is authentic or not. Claudius confesses that Hamlet’s actions although strange, do not appear to stem from madness. And I do doubt the hatch and the disclose/ Will be some danger; which for to prevent,/ I have in quick determination [Act III, scene I, lines 165-167]. Polonius admits that Hamlet’s actions and words have a method to them; there appears to be a reason behind them, they are logical in nature. Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.

Act II, scene II, line 206] Hamlet tells his mother That I essentially am not in madness,/ But mad in craft. [Act III, scene IV, lines 188-199]. Hamlet believes in his sanity at all times, He never doubts his control over his sanity. He realizes his flaw as a man of thoughts and not actions. His cold act of Polonius’ murder is out of rage and furious temper. He is sorry for it has no great compassion towards Polonius, for he already has enough grief over his father’s death. Hamlet, a tragic hero, meets his tragic end not because he was sane or insane.

He ends tragically because of his own tragic flaw, procrastination and grief. Whether he sane or had lost control of his actions, both theories has it own support. The support makes each theory a sensible decision either way. Hamlet as seen from the beginning to end, a prince that was grieve stricken, until a prince of rage and passion, has developed through the stages by his own sanity and madness. Even if the madness was true or false, as Hamlet portrayed the role of a mad man, he took it upon himself to be lost in his control of actions.

Oedipus Rex, Hamlet, & Willy Loman Comparison

An immense desire for personal satisfaction, and extraordinary reputation can often result in a sickly, perverse distortion of reality. In Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, a man well known for his intellect and wisdom, finds himself blind to the truth of his life, and his parentage. William Shakespeare’s Hamlet also contains a character that is in search of the truth, which ultimately leads to his own demise, as well as the demise of many around him. Arthur Miller’s play, The Death of a Salesman, tells of a tragic character so wrapped up in his delusional world, that reality and illusion fuse, causing an internal explosion that leads to his downfall.

Each play enacts the struggle of a man attempting to come to grips with his own, harsh reality and leaving behind his comfortable fantasy world. In the end, no man can escape the truth no matter how hard he may fight it. In choosing the fragility of chimera over the stability of reality, the characters meet their inevitable ruin. From the beginning of Sophocles’ unfortunate play, Oedipus Rex, Oedipus takes many actions and makes many choices leading to his own collapse. He could have endured the plague, but out of sympathy for his anguished citizens, he has Creon go to Delphi.

When he learns of Apollo’s word, he could have calmly investigated the murder of the former King Laios, but in his hastiness, he condemns the murderer, forbidding the fellow citizens “ever to receive that man or speak to himlet him join in sacrifice, lustrationdriven from every house,” (632-3). In doing so, he inadvertently curses himself. Oedipus chooses to ignore multiple warnings, involving truth of his life and parentage. He chooses to disregard the ruinous prophecy of his fate to murder his father and wed his mother, since he thinks he can escape the divination of the gods.

Oedipus attempts to defy the gods by fleeing his homeland, Corinth, but instead launches himself directly into the hands of fate. Oedipus ignores another warning of truth in ignoring the words of Teiresias. He believes he has successfully escaped his own destiny and, therefore, Teiresias’ words mean nothing, yet Oedipus could not have been farther from the truth. In a few moments, Teiresias provides Oedipus with everything he needs to know concerning his fate by saying, “You yourself are the pollution of this country,” (635).

Despite this obvious proclamation of truth, Oedipus chooses to wallow in his pleasant fantasy, that he has escaped his inevitable fate. Oedipus’ foolish decisions ultimately lead to his downfall in the play. Oedipus chooses to kill Laios. He chooses to marry Iocaste. He chooses to forcefully, and publicly, assume the mission of discovering the identity of Laios’ murderer saying ironically, “I say I take the son’s part, just as though I were his son, to press the fight for him and see it won,” (633).

He proceeds on this mission and chooses to ignore the warnings of Creon, Iocaste, Teiresias, the messenger, the shepherd, and anyone who attempts to stand between him and the truth; and, he chooses to blind himself. In the end, Oedipus’ most foolish choice prevails throughout the play; the choice of illusion over reality ultimately costs him his life. Similar to the quest for truth in Oedipus’ case, so does Hamlet lead to his own decease. In the first act of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, after Hamlet is aware of the tormented ghost of his father walking on the ramparts, he goes to witness it for himself.

This immediately exemplifies the theory that Hamlet, like Oedipus, is in search of the truth, until he realizes it is too much to bear. Subsequent to seeing the apparition, he is convinced to avenge his father’s murderer. The ghost tells him, “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder,” (29). As Hamlet lays the trap for the new King Claudius, he is procrastinating in order to solve his self-doubt. Even after the ghost tells Hamlet how his father was murdered, Hamlet has the players act it out, just to be certain. His ambiguity of the truth remains constant.

Although the king gives himself away after watching the reenactment of his brother’s murder, by shouting, “Give me some light. Away! ” (79), Hamlet is still inconclusive. Hamlet must speak with his mother before he persists his plans for revenge. Hamlet meets with his mother in an attempt to set her straight. He intends on making her understand the truth behind her wrongdoings. “Come, come, and sit you down; you shall not budge. You go not, till I set up a glass where you may see the inmost part of you,” (88). It was Gertrude’s subsequent reaction that led to the pivotal moment when Hamlet kills Polonius.

The murder of Polonius was completely impetuous. It is only after the reappearance of the apparition that Hamlet begins to ease up on his mother. It is by this moment in time, that Hamlet cannot deny the truth any longer. In the final scene of the play, Hamlet accidentally kills Laertes with the same poisoned sword that slain him. By not drinking from the poisoned cup, Hamlet is also, effectively, responsible for his own mother’s death. All of these murders have been non-intentional, until Laertes informs him that Claudius is accountable for both the poison on the sword, and in the cup.

It is then that Hamlet, deliberately, faces the malicious truth and murders Claudius, “Here, thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane, drink off this potion,” (145). Hamlet’s quest for truth is liable for all of the deaths in the play, including his own. Finally, Willy Loman of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman tells the story of a character who also, ultimately, sentenced to discover his smallness through the investigation of truth. Willy sustains himself with the illusion that he has countless friends, and that everything will turn out well, including the success of he and his sons, Biff and Happy.

The extreme to which Willy takes this illusion causes him to create his own reality where he says things like, “And they know me, boys, they know me up and down New England. The finest people,” (679). The family lies, even amongst themselves, about their position, as revealed during the climax of the play: Biff: “… We never told the truth for ten minutes in this house! ” Happy: “We always told the truth! ” Biff (turning on him): “You big blow, are you the assistant buyer? You’re one of two assistants to the assistant aren’t you? ” (733).

Another example is the way in which Willy led Biff to believe that he was a salesman for Oliver. The cause for this extrapolation of the truth may be part of Willy’s paranoid psyche that he has not raised his boys right. Willy’s spirit wanes when he has nothing to look forward to, and when his spirit is down, he goes into a flashback. It is as though he is dying, and his life is replaying before his eyes. For example, the morning when he is going to see Howard, and Biff is going to see Oliver, Willy is invigorated, and in the realms of sanity for the first time in the play.

Willy, wholeheartedly, maintains this fantasy life until Howard tells him, “I don’t want you to represent us,” (706). Only at this time, does Willy begin to see the truth of his overwhelming failure in life. Willy searches for happiness, not only through his illusions, but also through having an affair with a young woman. This woman tells Willy everything he wants to hear, but nobody will say to him. Despite Willy beginning to realize the truth, he does not face the truth until the end of the play, when all these events fuse in an explosive scene of father-son anguish.

This finally ends with his self-destruction. Willy never achieves success because of the simple fact that he brings down his life, and the lives of those around him, by choosing illusion over reality. In the end, this tragic choice leads to Willy’s collapse in a final, self-destructive cry for help. An overwhelming desire for personal contentment and unprecedented reputation can often result in a sickly, twisted distortion of reality. In choosing the feebleness of illusion over the permanence of reality, people meet their inevitable defeat. No person has a perfect life.

Everyone has conflicts in his or her life that they must come to terms with, eventually. The way people choose to deal with these conflicts can differ just as much as the people, themselves. Some people feel the need to attack the problem, while some choose to ignore the problem. Thus, they prefer the comfort of fantasy to the harshness of reality. The tragic characters including Oedipus Rex, Hamlet, and the memorable failure, Willy Loman, serve as living proof that bypassing truth, rather than dealing with it, will ultimately lead to one’s termination.

Psychoanalyzing Hamlet Essay

The mystery of Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a phantom of literary debate that has haunted readers throughout the centuries. Hamlet is a complete enigma; a puzzle scholars have tried to piece together since his introduction to the literary world. Throughout the course of Hamlet the reader is constantly striving to rationalize Hamlet’s odd behavior, mostly through the play’s written text. In doing so, many readers mistakenly draw their conclusions based on the surface content of Hamlet’s statements and actions.

When drawing into question Hamlet’s actions as well as his reasons for acting, many assume that Hamlet himself is fully aware of his own motives. This assumption in itself produces the very matter in question. Take for example Hamlet’s hesitation to kill the king. Hamlet believes that his desire to kill King Claudius is driven by his fathers’ demand for revenge. If this were true, Hamlet would kill Claudius the moment he has the chance, if not the moment he knows for sure that Claudius is guilty of murdering his father. Why does Hamlet hesitate? One must call into question what Hamlet holds to be true.

If Hamlet’s given motivation for killing the king is legitimate, then Claudius should die at about Act 3. Because Hamlet’s actions do not correspond with his given reasoning, one is forced to look for an alternate explanation for Hamlet’s behavior. In doing so, one will come to the conclusion that Hamlet is driven by forces other than what is obvious to the reader, as well as Hamlet himself. Given this example, one must denounce the assumption that Hamlet is aware of the forces that motivate him, and understand that Hamlet’s true motivation is unconscious This unconscious force is the true reason behind Hamlet’s mysterious behavior.

In naming this force, one must look beneath the surface of Hamlet’s own level of consciousness, and into what Hamlet himself is consciously unaware. The key to understanding Hamlet lies in the realization of the unconscious energy that provokes him to action and inaction. By channeling into Hamlet’s unconscious, providing both Freudian and Jungian psychoanalytical perspectives, Hamlet’s true unconscious motivation will be uncovered, and the mystery of Hamlet will be silenced. The term consciousness refers to “one’s awareness of internal and external stimuli.

The unconscious contains thoughts, memories, and desires that are well below the surface of awareness but that nonetheless exert great influence on behavior. “(Weiten) Jung and Freud agree upon the existence of the unconscious, but their perspectives are vastly different. The core of the Freudian perspective is centered around Hamlet’s relationship with his mother, and the aforementioned example concerning Hamlet and King Claudius. According to the Freudian view, Hamlet is driven by unconscious sexual desire and aggravation.

This sexual aggression is directed towards his mother and Claudius. The overall analysis of Hamlet’s behavior is represented in Jones’ statement, “So far as I can see, there is no escape from the conclusion that the cause of Hamlet’s hesitancy lies in some unconscious source of repugnance to his task” When Hamlet first hears the ghost’s call for revenge, he answers: Haste me to know’t, that I with wings as swift As mediation or the thoughts of love, May sweep to my revenge. (Act I, Sc. 5) Hamlet says this in Act I, yet Claudius is not killed until Act 5.

Surely Hamlet is not “sweeping” to revenge. Hamlet’s inability to act upon the ghost’s request cannot be linked to any uncertainty of the ghost’s claims, for in Act 3 Sc. 2 Hamlet states “I’ll take the ghost’s word for a thousand pound”. A probable conclusion lies in the possibly that Hamlet does not want to kill the king. Take into consideration the relationship between Hamlet and his mother. According to Freud, all boys develop a sense of sexuality at the early age of three. Due to the mother’s proximity to the child, the boys sexuality is directed toward the mother.

The child then develops a hatred for the main opposition for his mother’s affection-his father. The stage of development where a boy falls in love with his mother and wants to kill his father is called the Oedipus Complex. Hamlet exhibits signs of a lingering Oedipus Complex. Oedipus complex disappears when the young boy realizes “the impossibility of fulfilling the sexual wish for the mother”(Hall) The main factor in making the young boys wish impossible is the father. When Hamlet’s father dies, his main opposition disappears. This poses an opportunity for Hamlet to achieve his boyhood dream-to “have” his mother.

As Jones states, “The association of the idea of sexuality with his mother, buried since infancy, can no longer be concealed from his consciousness. ” These feelings are what drive Hamlet to self-repulsion, and ultimately to the question “To be or not to be-that is the question”,(Act3 Sc. 2)where Hamlet questions the worth of his own life. Hamlet’s unconscious desire for his mother is, as Jones says “Stimulated to unconscious activity by someone usurping this place exactly as he had once longed to do” In seeing Claudius take his father’s place by Gertrude’s side, Hamlet unconsciously realizes his own childhood desire to do the same.

In Hamlet’s statement “O, most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets” (Act1 Sc. 2) , Hamlet reveals this realization. In his use of the word “incestuous” Hamlet projects his own feelings onto his mother and Claudius. Weiten defines Projection as : “Attributing one’s own thoughts, feelings, and motives to another” By calling the union between Claudius and his mother Gertrude “incestuous”, Hamlet informs the reader of his own imagined union with Gertrude; a union that would be “incestuous”. When Hamlet learns that Claudius killed his father, he cries “O my prophetic soul!

My uncle? “. Jones states “The two recent events, the father’s death and the mother’s second marriage, seemed to the world to have no inner casual relation to each other, but they represented ideas which in Hamlet’s unconscious fantasy had always been closely associated. ” These ideas found immediate expression in Hamlet’s cry. The murder of his father and the marriage of his mother are two concepts Hamlet has connected since boyhood, his “prophetic soul” anticipated Claudius being his father’s killer since Claudius had already married Gertrude.

Hamlet, having unconsciously recognized his sexual desire for his mother by seeing Claudius take the throne, realizes the other half of his lingering Oedipal complex in learning that Claudius killed his father. Claudius, by marrying Gertrude and killing Hamlet’s father, has done exactly what Hamlet has unconsciously longed to do since boyhood. As a result, Hamlet cannot kill Claudius, for Claudius in fact personifies Hamlet. This is the answer to the original question.

Hamlet hesitates to kill the king because “In reality his uncle incorporates the deepest and most buried part of his own personality, so that he cannot kill him without also killing himself”(Jones) Claudius represents Hamlet’s deepest and most secretive desires, and in killing Claudius, Hamlet would be forced to consciously recognize these desires. For this reason, Hamlet hesitates to grant the ghost’s call for revenge. Instead, Hamlet takes advantage of his dual with Laertes to produce the final solution-his own death, as well as the death of Claudius, his other self.

In the opposing view of the Jungian analyst, one would argue that there is much more to Hamlet than unconscious sexual aggression. Sex as a basis for all human behavior is simply too limited a concept; Jung claims that “there has to be more to it”. There are two forces that drive Hamlet. One is his anima, which is the “personification of the feminine nature of a man’s unconscious”(Platania). The second is Hamlet’s desire to reach individuation, which will be discussed later. In reference to the anima, Platania states that “we experience the opposite sex as the lost part of our own selves.

There is in each man a feminine side hidden beneath his masculinity. Ultimately, the anima seeks to gain balance by equaling out a man’s masculine and feminine tendencies. If there is good communication between the individual and the anima, balance can be achieved. But in Hamlet, as in most men, there is an inclination to ignore the voice of the anima. Hamlet is a victim to the age old belief that men cannot be in the least bit feminine. Because of this belief, Hamlet does not allow his feminine side to find conscious expression.

Within Hamlet, there is an unconscious battle between his anima, seeking an outlet for expression, and his conscious desire to be “masculine”. This battle is consciously expressed in the contrast between two of Hamlet’s sayings. In Act I Sc. 2 Hamlet says “frailty, thy name is woman! “, and in Act 2 Sc. 2 he says “what a piece of work is a man”. In contrast, these two statements show Hamlet degrading women-kind while uplifting man-kind. Hamlet is stating externally what is going on internally within his unconscious, namely his battle to repress femininity and promote masculinity.

One must assume that this battle between Hamlet’s anima and his masculinity is of great proportions, for in the process Hamlet develops a hatred for all femininity, namely women. This unconscious hatred is consciously expressed through Hamlet’s treatment of Ophelia. Hamlet at one point loves Ophelia, “I loved you once”(Act3 Sc. 1), but then suddenly loses this love, “You should not have believed me, I loved you not. ” Hamlet’s change of heart is a result of his unconscious inner battle.

While he naturally wants to fall in love with Ophelia, Hamlet’s urge to repress all femininity within himself is so great that he comes to hate the femininity in Ophelia as well. The struggle within Hamlet is proven to be unconscious by Hamlet’s constant change of heart, as signified when Hamlet says “I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers could not with all their quantity of love make up my sum”(Act 5 sc. 1) Hamlet wants to love Ophelia, but is torn between his love and his unconscious desire to hate all femininity. Besides his animus, Hamlet is motivated by his desire to achieve individuation.

Jung says of individuation, “I use the term ‘individuation’ to denote the process by which a person becomes an individual”. Hamlet’s entire life is a journey to becoming an individual. To become an individual, one must become consciously aware of one’s own strengths and limitations. The actual journey to becoming individualized is unconscious, for the individual in not aware that he is on a journey. It is only after the individual has reached individuation that he becomes conscious of all aspects of his character. Before Hamlet can reach individuation, he must first recognize the part of himself that he keeps from consciousness.

The side of Hamlet that Hamlet himself restrains from acknowledging is known as the Shadow self. Platania defines the shadow as “an unconscious part of the personality characterized by traits and attitudes which the conscious tends to reject or ignore. ” The emergence of Hamlet’s shadow self is manifested in his “madness”. While in his state of “madness”, Hamlet says some very honest things about himself such as “I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offenses at my beck than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in”.

With this statement, Hamlet is acknowledging his shadow self; the parts of his character of which he is most ashamed. Hamlet’s “madness” is the simple conscious recognition of the worst parts of his personality. In becoming consciously aware of his flaws, Hamlet is making the biggest step towards individuation. But remember, Hamlet at this point is still consciously unaware of his journey towards individuation. At this stage, Hamlet is not aware that he is on a journey, and is only semi-consciously aware of the worst parts of his character, and will not become fully aware until his journey is over.

Sadly, Hamlet does not make it to the end of his journey. Along the path to individuation Platania states that ” we split, we resist, we fly from the inevitable terror of our own personal death”. Perhaps this is the reason why Hamlet does not complete his journey. The realization of ones shadow self can be overwhelming, for with the acceptance of the shadow comes the “death” of one’s character. Hamlet does not reach individuation because he dies in his “madness”, having let his evil half tempt him into killing Polonius, Laertes, and Claudius.

Hamlet is not yet strong enough to recognize his shadow self, his “evil side”, and thus lets his darker half send him into death with blood on his hands. Provided both these Freudian and Jungian perspectives, two separate conclusions can be drawn concerning Hamlet’s unconscious motivation. The Freudian view would suggest that Hamlet is unconsciously inspired by repressed sexual desire and aggression. Hamlet, in witnessing King Claudius’ marriage of Gertrude, is reminded of his own boyhood fantasy to marry Gertrude. Likewise, Hamlet, in learning that Claudius killed his father, is reminded of own childhood fantasy to do the same.

The unconscious desires of Hamlet to kill his father and marry his mother is classified as the Oedipus Complex. Hamlet’s Oedipal complex is the reason for his self-reproach and loathing, finding expression due to the stimulation of his repressed desires. Hamlet comes to realize the duality between Claudius and himself, and therefore cannot bring himself to kill Claudius. In recognizing the similarities between himself and Claudius, Hamlet distinguishes the fact that Claudius is a part of his own personality, and that he cannot kill Claudius without killing himself.

As a result Hamlet’s only solution is to die along with Claudius. The Jungian view suggests that there is more to Hamlet than sexual desire. Hamlet is constantly trying to suppress his animus, the feminine side of his personality. In the struggle to do so, he develops an unconscious hatred for all femininity, as expressed in his relationship with Ophelia. The Jungian view also suggests that as a human being, Hamlet is on an unconscious spiritual quest towards individuation- the becoming of an individual. In order to become an individual, Hamlet must accept the darkest parts of his own personality, his Shadow self.

Hamlet’s supposed madness is a manifestation of the shadow self, in which Hamlet begins to accept his darker side. Yet Hamlet proves to be unready for the acceptance of his shadow self, and his dark half drives him to murder three characters, his step-father being one. Thus, by digging into Hamlet’s unconscious, his true unconscious motives have been unveiled. In overlooking the obvious, the true force behind Hamlet’s actions and inaction has been revealed, resulting in a final product that is an extensive comprehension of Hamlet’s character, and is, as Gertrude would say “more matter than art”.