The fair Ophelia! Hamlet is thinking about life and death, pondering a state of being versus a state of not being — being alive and being dead. Death is empowering, allowing the defeat of fortune.
To die though, action in life is needed, making the proposition circular and hopeless. And life after death is an unknown, possibly worse than life itself. The first six words of the soliloquy establish a balance. There is a direct opposition — to be, or not to be. Hamlet is thinking about life and death and pondering a state of being versus a state of not being — being alive and being dead.
The balance continues with a consideration of the way one deals with life and death. Life is a lack of power: the living are at the mercy of the blows of outrageous fortune.
Death is therefore empowering: killing oneself is a way of taking action, taking up arms, opposing and defeating the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Living is a passive state; dying is an active state. But in order to reach the condition of death one has to take action in life — charge fully armed against Fortune — so the whole proposition is circular and hopeless because one does not really have the power of action in life.
Death is something desirable — devoutly to be wished, a consummation — a perfect closure. With that thought, Hamlet stops to reconsider. What will happen when we have discarded all the hustle and bustle of life? The problem with the proposition is that life after death is unknown and could be worse than life.
And now Hamlet reflects on a final end. Who would bear that when he could just draw a line under life with something as simple as a knitting needle — a bodkin? And how easy that seems. Hamlet now lets his imagination wander on the subject of the voyages of discovery and the exploratory expeditions. Dying is like crossing the border between known and unknown geography. One is likely to be lost in that unmapped place, from which one would never return.
The implication is that there may be unimagined horrors in that land. Hamlet now seems to make a decision. So with that added dimension, the fear of the unknown after death is intensified.
But there is more to it than that. Throughout the action of the play, he makes excuses for not killing him and turns away when he has the chance. At the end of the soliloquy, he pulls himself out of this reflective mode by deciding that too much thinking about it is the thing that will prevent the action he has to rise to.
This is not entirely a moment of possible suicide. In this soliloquy, life is burdensome and devoid of power. The first and second halves mirror each other, the second being an inversion of the first. Chiasma are always short and snappy and say a lot in their repetition of words and their balance.
Look at the balance of the line.In: English and Literature. Hamlet is a young man who experiences a crisis just like many other teenagers. He frequently talks to himself, has problems in his relationship, feels pressure to be like his father, and does not like his stepfather.
Hamlet, son of Queen Gertrude and the late King Hamlet, is a teenage boy who is loyal to his father and wants to protect his mother and his family's legacy. One night, a ghost said to be the ghost of King Hamlet appears to Hamlet's best friend Horatio. When Horatio tells Hamlet about seeing the ghost, Hamlet requests to see the ghost himself. When the ghost appears to Hamlet, it tells him that his father King Hamlet was murdered by his brother Claudius. Hamlet agrees with the ghost to avenge his father's death by killing Claudius, but not to punish his mother for her behavior, which causes a personal conflict for Hamlet.
Hamlet is not sure if he should believe the ghost and struggles to determine what to do about his father's death.
The Ghost in Hamlet
Hamlet is in love with Ophelia, the daughter of Claudius' most trusted counselor, Polonius. As time goes on, Hamlet's behavior becomes more and more disturbing. Everyone believes Hamlet is experiencing extreme grief from the death of his father. Some thought his behavior was the result of being in love. Hamlet's uncle Claudius Shakespeare had a talent like no other that allowed him to create plays that entertained viewers of his era and beyond. One of his most popular plays is Hamlet.
Because this play was one of his more complex works it is also became of the most analyzed plays as well. The main character, Hamlet, has fascinated readers and audiences for centuries, and one of the first thing to point out about him is that he is indecisive 22 Newell. But even though he is thoughtful to the point of obsession, Hamlet also behaves rashly and instinctively.
When he does act, it is quickly with little or no premeditation, like when he stabbed Polonius through the curtain without even checking to see who he was. He seems to step very easily into the role acting crazy, behaving erratically and upsetting the other characters with his careless speech 22 Newell. It is also important to note that Hamlet is extremely laid back and unconcerned with it comes to the state of affairs in Denmark and in his own family.
The Inner Struggle in Shakespeare's Hamlet
He is extremely disappointed with his mother for marrying his uncle so quickly. He rejects, Ophelia, a woman he claimed to have loved once. At a number of points in the play, he contemplates his own death and even the option of suicide. But, despite all of the things with which Hamlet expresses dissatisfaction, it is remarkable On one hand, Hamlet is a contemplative character who acts based on a strict moral code which is often excessive and uncalled for.
On the other hand, Hamlet is an indecisive person by nature and tends to contemplate his every action to the point where it seems unreasonable to the readers of Hamlet. Being a Protestant, educated at the University of Wittenberg, Hamlet is guided by the laws of God and hence, refuses to act unless he can be sure that his actions align themselves with the moral values which exist in his conscience.
In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, the image patterns such as an unweeded garden, rot, and deception conveyed by Hamlet demonstrate how his impelling sense of justice and inability to act on his decisions doom him to his fate. Image patterns used by Hamlet demonstrate his nobility and that his desires are incongruous with his reality.
Fear is Fate For many people, death is the source of an all-consuming - if abstract - terror.Hamlet by William Shakespeare explores many aspects of mankind--death, betrayal, love, and mourning. Out of these, the most prominent theme in this play is death in the form of suicide. The main character, Hamlet, finds himself questioning the quality of life and the uncertainty of the afterlife once he discovers news of his father 's death and the corruption in the kingdom that follows.
Hamlet by William Shakespeare is considered to be the greatest play of all time. This play is very famous for its intricacy and pure genius of the use of the human mind to trick. Shakespeare uses soliloquies to expose fascinating insights into the thoughts and actions of Hamlet and in doing so: the readers can grasp his character. Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare, with out a doubt holds the most famous soliloquy in English history spoken by Hamlet in Act III, scene i, lines Shakespeare uses this logical question asked by Hamlet to drive out his underlying.
To accommodate this, Shakespeare manipulates effective angles. His emotions are never stable, his feelings are constantly changing, and his behavior is confusing and inconsistent. Hamlet is described as "a half a dozen characters rolled into one" Shaw and with as many adjectives in one sentence as "cruel, angry, tender, depressed, clownish, manic, and filled with loathing for women, humanity.
When the play begins, Hamlet is moping around at home. His father recently died, his mother sinfully married her brother-in-law, and he was cheated out of the throne by his ambitious uncle.
He is angry and bitter, and after initial skepticism, is more than willing to accept the ghost who seems to resemble his deceased. Metaphors are one of the main devices used in this soliloquy to further convince the audience to experience sympathy for Hamlet through his thoughts of suicide. The character Hamlet is particularly intriguing in regards to his fatal flaw. Hamlet's View on Death in Hamlet by William Shakespeare Hamlet is scared because he does not know what happens after you die.
He is not afraid to die, but he will not kill himself because he is afraid that he will go to hell. In act 3 scene 3, Hamlet shows his belief in the bible by not killing his father while he is in prayer. According to the bible, if you repent of your sins you will be forgiven and go to heaven when you die, Hamlet believes this and that is why he does not kill Claudius in this scene.
Another reason he does not kill his Claudius based on the reason above, he will not give Claudius the glory of …show more content…. He also learns that the reason his father is in this place is because he was murdered before he could repent of his sins.
Hamlet may also think that Denmark is a place between heaven and hell as his father is in another place between heaven and hell. It seems as though he wants to get away from the new king and get out of being prince. Or he sees the world as a prison keeping him from reaching heaven, like some kind of other hell that is not purely hell nor heaven.
The gravedigger scene in act 5 scene 1 shows the most about how Hamlet feels about death. Hamlet refers to the skulls he finds belonging to other people and their past lives.
Show More. Read More. Popular Essays. Open Document.In the beginning of the play we see Hamlet having feelings for Ophelia, but then we see him talk down to Ophelia and start to deny his feelings towards her. We see Hamlet writing love letters to Ophelia, in the middle of the…. Hamlet is one of the most composite characters in all of the literature. Books have been written about his performance, his incentives, and his intentions.
Nevertheless, For a man thought to be faking madness, Prince Hamlet appears to have very little to no control of his emotions. Actually, Hamlet admits this to Horatio, his trustworthy friend, when he says, "Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting That would not let me sleep" V. This could relate to the fact that Hamlet went through…. Shakespeare interlaces many layers of thematic love through the complex relationships of Hamlet; primarily between Hamlet and Ophelia.
From Act one until the final scene of the play, Hamlet struggles with the decision to kill Claudius while he concurrently tries to comprehend the chaos surrounding…. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered …it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
However, how can Hamlet truly have admired Ophelia if he treated her with such…. Hamlet Shakespeare wrote one of his most famous plays, Hamlet, in For four hundred years, this play has been the ultimate acting challenge. Many actors from Jonathan Pryce to Mel Gibson have acted out Hamlet in many different ways, but the plot remains the same and the story is always fascinating. The reason for the play living on for centuries is not only how rich and complex the plot is, but also because people living in any time period can relate to what Hamlet is going through, which….
With Hamlet feeling very distraught and having to overcome his troubles with his family to the point of questioning his very…. Is the ghost Hamlet confides in real or a figment of his imagination? Does Hamlet truly turn mad? Does Hamlet love Ophelia? These questions and many more are wondered by the audience and even by the characters inside of the play.
Hamlet's View on Death in Hamlet by William Shakespeare Essay
Many instances in Hamlet lead the reader to wonder if the ghost confiding in Hamlet is real…. As an example, feminist perspectives have brought into focus the few women characterized in the play, Ophelia and Gertrude, and analyzed the many sociocultural and historical forces that surround these characters and their roles in Hamlet.
The sexism Ophelia experiences from her family and from Hamlet in her role as a daughter of a lord of the royal Danish…. There are many topics deeply hidden in the works of William Shakespeare. One of his greatest pieces of works is the story of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Not only are the words of Shakespeare meaningful, but there are also many follow up pieces of literature that contain important interpretations of the events in this play. These works about Hamlet are extremely beneficial to the reader.
I have found four of these works and will use them as sources throughout this essay. The first source…. Love turns to madness, which in turn leads to death. Bluntly tragic, this line is fit for a Shakespearian play, and aptly applies to the fall of Ophelia in Hamlet: Prince of Denmark, by William Shakespeare.
Though the main character is Hamlet himself, the maiden Ophelia provides an equally interesting figure.
Hamlet’s Struggle with Life and Death
She has the potential to become a tragic…. Essays Essays FlashCards. Browse Essays.From the opening of the play Hamlet has been marked as a melancholy man. Apparently this had not been his previous character, for the king has spoken of it as "Hamlet's transformation.
Hamlet is portrayed as having a very sensitive and a very moral nature. He had been greatly shocked by the things that had happened, and the suspicions he harbored constituted a direct challenge to his moral faith. If the truth was as he feared, then there was occasion to question the righteousness and justice of the world, and to wonder if life were worth living.
This, apparently, was Hamlet's first encounter with great trouble, with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and it proved a great trial to his moral nature. When the first of these disturbing events occurred, Hamlet was at the university, and apparently he did not arrive in Denmark until they had all come to pass.
The first of these was the sudden death of his father; caused as it was given out by a serpent's sting. The circumstances were suspicious and pointed to his uncle, Claudius, but there was no certain evidence. Then followed immediately the election of Claudius as the new king, apparently before Hamlet could reach Denmark. The great popularity of Hamlet and the great love the people bore him, were doubtless known by him, and would cause him to think his uncle had tricked him in the matter of the election.
Within two months followed his mother's marriage to his uncle Claudius, which she herself afterward spoke of as their "o'erhasty marriage. These events had all occurred before the opening of the play, for when his uncle and mother appear on the stage for the first time I.
Hamlet, then, confronts these as accomplished facts, and his mind is troubled. The suspected villainy of his father's sudden death caused him great worry. He was not much concerned about losing the crown.
But he was stirred to the depths of his moral nature by what he regarded as his mother's incestuous and o'erhasty marriage. Added to these was the further fact that under the rule of Claudius his beloved Denmark was degenerating and being given over to corruption and to pleasure. Everything seemed to him to have gone wrong. His father is dead, his mother dishonored, and his country disgraced and weakened. Under these conditions it is little wonder that he became melancholy, and was in doubt whether or not it was worth while to live.
All he was chiefly interested in had failed. The men who were left did not interest him nor the women either.
He was thrown cruelly back upon himself, and obliged to weigh everything anew. His confidence in the moral government of the world was shaken, and his moral faith was shattered. Everything that was most dear to him had apparently been forsaken of heaven, and he was left to struggle on alone.
Under these adverse circumstances he wishes he were dead, and exclaims against the world: "How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world! This, then, is Hamlet's melancholy. It is the melancholy of the philosophical mind, and is induced by the evils into the midst of which his young life is suddenly plunged.
The course of the play discloses his efforts to overcome his doubts and to regain his native faith in God and in goodness and to right the wrongs about him. The greatness of his mind and character is seen in the fact that he soon recovers from the first rude shock, and holding his faith in the ultimate victory of truth and right, he concludes that "It is not, nor it cannot come to good. Never again does he allow himself to fall into the slough of despond, but through darkness and light he holds to his faith in right.Moreover, throughout the course of the play, the young prince Hamlet appears to be not only impulsive but also inappropriately melodramatic in comparison to all the other characters in the play.
Even more so, his actions seem to be devoid of any rhyme or reason. Laertes and Fortinbras as Foils for Hamlet Hamlet, the major character in the Shakespeare play of the same name, was faced with a decision upon learning that Claudius murdered his father. Should he believe the ghost, and avenge his father's murder?
Or is the ghost evil, trying to coerce him into killing Claudius? Throughout the play, we see Hamlet's struggle with this issue. Many opportunities arise for him to kill Claudius, but he is unable to act because he cannot convince himself….
Hamlet and Laertes are placed in very similar situations throughout the course of the play. However, in the case of reactions, Laertes took immediate action while Hamlet was slow to act. In terms of…. Throughout the play, Hamlet spirals through bouts of insanity, depression, and hostility. A foil is a character whose personality and attitude is opposite of the personality and attitude of another character. While Hamlet plans out his revenge but never acts upon it, both Fortinbras and Laertes act upon revenge at any opportune moment.
Fortinbras is a character…. Is Hamlet a tragic hero?
Not only does he begin with the noblest motivation of avenging his father, but by the end, his situation is so dire that the only possible final act should be his death. The core comparison that springs to mind between these two plays, Othello and Hamlet, is that these are both tragedies driven by character. That is to say, they all follow classically great men from great heights to terrible ends and deaths.
Each man is in a situation where he is especially vulnerable. If these men swapped places, they…. There is no truth or falsity to be discovered.
There is only belief, attitude, emotional reaction, and the like. The laws of mechanics and motion, Descartes claims, can account for all of this. He concludes this section by comparing man to a machine and to an animal. In each case he argues why our rational soul indicates how we are not merely machines or animals. Finally, in Part Six, Descartes discusses his reasoning with regard to not publishing this text when it was first written.
His chief concern was with the Church's condemnation of Galileo's…. Eliot D. Essays Essays FlashCards. Browse Essays. Show More. Even when he is alone with Claudius while he is praying, he comes up with that excuse that it would be a sin to kill someone when praying. On the other hand, this is not the case. Hamlet as a reasonable thinker questions whether or not that was truly his ghost.
Well, not everyone agrees on this point—and Shmoop just can't seem to picture him as an adult. He's just too darn dramatic. Pretty intense stuff, right? And he's got some pretty intense problems: it turns out his father, Old King Hamlet, died less than two months ago, so Hamlet's feeling the loss. To make matters worse, his mother, Gertrude, has already remarried and is now the wife of Hamlet's uncle, Claudius, who's also helped himself to the Danish crown.
Did we mention that Hamlet's new stepdad also calls him a wimp for being sad about his father's death? We can get behind a revenge tragedy—only that's not what happens. Instead, Hamlet pretends to be a madman, runs around delivering lengthy philosophical speeches, verbally abuses his girlfriend, stabs his girlfriend's father in the guts, and terrorizes his mother.
Sounds more like an episode of Days of Our Lives than the greatest play in the history of the world. Yet, that's what makes Shakespeare's character and the entire play so bizarre —and so brilliant. Hamlet's complex psychological response to life and death, his mother's sexuality, and the implications of avenging his father's murder is like taking a psychological roller coaster ride. So, you've probably noticed that Hamlet is seriously angry with his mother—especially her sex life.
Here's what Hamlet says in his first soliloquy after he tells us he wants his "flesh" to "melt. That it should come to this: But two months dead—nay, not so much, not two. And yet, within a month Let me not think on 't; frailty, thy name is woman! OK, we get that Hamlet's ticked that mom's moved on so quickly —less than two months after his old man died. But here's the thing: Hamlet says he can hardly stand to "remember" the way his mother couldn't get enough of his father when he was alive —"she would hang on him" with a major sexual "appetite" that she seems to have simply transferred over to her new husband.
So what's the deal? Is he mad that Gertrude is into her new husband, or that Gertrude is into any man at all, including his dead dad?