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Hamlet - Essay Example

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Hamlet is one of the most famous plays of Shakespeare and it is considered a master piece in English literature. Hamlet is a classic tragedy by Shakespeare in which the hero meets his tragic end. It is a story about a prince who takes revenge from his uncle for the death of his father. It is a story of jealousy, treachery and blind revenge. …
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Hamlet

Many attempts have been made to interpret Hamlet and many themes are identified in the play. The character of Hamlet portrays a person torn between his nobility and feeling of revenge. The whole play masterfully represents a inner rift in Prince Hamlet. He is of a noble blood so he is expected to act in a manner that is superior to the commoners but still his desire for vengeance is also forcing him to kill his uncle Claudius. At times the noble Hamlet rises and stuns the audiences and at other times his act are seen as ill-mannered. This confusion also leaves the audience not sure as to what next will happen. When he has a chance to kill Claudius in prayers he refrains and says “Now might I do it pat, now he is praying; And now I'll do't. And so he goes to heaven; and so am I revenged. That would be scann'd: A villain 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…” (Act3. Scene3). This shows the noble side of Hamlet as he spears his enemy’s life. The prince in Hamlet seems to function properly here. Hamlet has royal blood but sometimes his actions do not depict the nobility that is expected of a noble. He says to his mother “Nay, but to live in the rank sweat of an enseamed bed, Stew'd in corruption, honeying and making love” (Act3. Scene4). In these lines Hamlet is talking to her mother and shows no respect towards her. The relationship between son and a mother is sacred and Hamlets destroys this relationship by questioning the character of her mother. Here Hamlet appears as a savage animal that is lost in the ocean of revenge. So there is a noble and a darker side of Hamlet and in the whole play Hamlet is fighting with himself. The fight is between his noble and savage self. This is not uncommon in plays of Shakespeare. Walter Kaufmann also suggests that “Shakespeare’s heroes are intermediate characters are neither downright wicked nor outstanding in virtue” (p. 276). This is quite true interpretation of Hamlet. The character of Hamlet shows no extreme behavior as he is not a noble gentleman nor he devilishly wicked. This intermediacy is found in Hamlet. There are two more themes in Hamlet that are clear throughout the play; the depression of Hamlet and his skepticism. Both of these themes portray specific sides the hero’s character. Hamlet seems depressed throughout the play as he takes no joy in the surroundings around him. Even women cannot take his attention as he is engulfed in his desire of revenge. He is like a burning sole that pay no heed to his surroundings. Only his aim keeps him occupied and nothing else distracts him from his desire of vengeance. He says “How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable, Seem to me all the uses of this world” (Act 1, Scene 2). For a king who has all the pleasures of the world at his disposal to say such words means nothing but severe mental depression. Berzoff & Hayes also say in their book “In Hamlet we Once again encounter futility, pessimism and loss of humor that are signs of a depressed mood” (pg 358). Skepticism is another side of Hamlet’s character. He displays skepticism in his thoughts and this is symbolic of the philosophical aspect of the play. Hamlet says “To be or not to be” (Act 3, Scene 1) and this shows his skeptic nature of thought. The dissonance in Hamlet can be labeled as Skepticism. This is another side o ... Read More
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