Hamlet College Essay

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One of the most intriguing themes of Shakespeare's Hamlet that has baffled critics for centuries is the protagonist's brooding nature and inability to take decision. One of Hamlet's first-act soliloquies (Act I, Scene V, 92-112) is a response to the shocking revelation made by the ghost of his father.


But this does not move Hamlet to immediate action, which is generally the logical response to such information. Instead it seems to present him with a puzzle, something to be thought out and solved prior to taking any action. His famed "To be or not to be" soliloquy highlights his inability to face his mortality and his contradicting battle with suicide, one minute he is ready to die and the next bogged by fear of the afterlife.
He stuns us with impressive soliloquies; his emotions emerge like a repressed torrent let loose, but he fails utterly in evolving beyond them. Why, then, such powerful emotions are followed by inaction That, perhaps, is his nature as some critics say: this is what he is, the antithesis of Macbeth. Many see him as a victim of Oedipus complex, which has relegated him into a belated adolescent. Others still see him as suffering from an overdose of chastity. Others go further: is he not simply a puritan or an irresolute homosexual
However, another reading is quite opposed to this. Considering the events in the play, he's not indecisive, rather an incredibly decisive, sharp, and clever individual. In an instant he kills Polonius, fights pirates, engineers the demise of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, rises to face Laertes, plays at insanity, and cleverly traps Claudius with the "Mouse Trap". He is terrible and ruthless in his actions. ...
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