One of the key areas where he shows a clash of ideals and a change of attitude is in his perception and attitude towards death. Death is a major theme explored in this play. Throughout the play, readers are exposed to a character whose attitudes towards death keep shifting. As the play closes, Hamlet reveals a new understanding of death. While he initially believed he had the power to control death, he later comes to the conclusion that there is a higher power that controls the world.
Here, Hamlet wishes that his flesh could melt and go away. He wishes that the ‘Everlasting’ or God had not prohibited against committing suicide. He feels human beings are contaminated, and he feels he no longer has to stay in the dirty world. In other words, Hamlet is of the view that God should not have put a canon against suicide. To him, the power to take away life should lie in the hands of the person or people involved (McAlindon, 9). Hamlet’s suicidal thoughts are also brought out when he says that “To be, or not to be: that is the question” (III, i). He wonders whether it is noble for a person to suffer or to take action against the troubles; “To die: to sleep” (III, i). His thoughts regarding suicide at the beginning of the play indicate that he believed death to be the best route away from trouble. To him, by committing suicide, a person does a great thing and therefore escapes the troubles of the world (Draudt, 89). In the book by David Bishop (2000) on Hamlet’s clashing ideals, the author points out that Hamlet was an idealist. He was a young man who wanted to do what he believed to be noblest to the mind. Clearly, his idealistic nature is brought out his contemplation towards suicide. As a young man, and perhaps acting out of naivety, Hamlet believed that suicide is an ideal path that can be taken to avoid troubles. To Hamlet, Death is a ticket ...
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