Hamlet

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Characters Analysis in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: Gertrude and Ophelia

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

Gertrude and Ophelia

In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, the only two women in the play are Hamlet’s mother Gertrude and Hamlet’s love interest Ophelia. Gertrude and Ophelia share similarities in both Hamlet’s view of them and in Shakespeare’s description of them. Hamlet views both women by their morals and Shakespeare depicts both Gertrude and Ophelia as dependent on men.

Hamlet views Gertrude and Ophelia as deceiving and being defined by their morals. Hamlet is disgusted with Gertrude’s quick marriage to Claudius which he views as morally wrong and describes as “most wicked speed, to post/with such dexterity to incestuous sheets” (I.2.156-157) and “an act/that blurs the grace and blush of modesty” (III.4.41-42). Hamlet also tells Ophelia to “get thee to a nunnery” (III.3.121) so that she wouldn’t “be a breeder of sinners” (III.3.122). Hamlet also views Ophelia and Gertrude as deceiving. He doubts whether Gertrude had really loved his father due to her quick remarriage after his death and insufficient mourning. He says that when he was alive “she would hang on him/as if increase of appetite had grown by what it fed on” (1.2.143-144) but “yet, within a month” (1.2.145) she marries Claudius and that “a beast that wants discourse of reason/would have mourned longer” (I.2.150-151). He also tells Ophelia that he is aware of her deceit by telling her:

I have heard of your paintings too, well enough.

God has given you one face and you make

yourselves another (3.1.143-146).

Hamlet expresses a lot of concern regarding both Gertrude and Ophelia’s morality and views women in general as deceitful because of Gertrude’s quick marriage to Claudius after the death of his father.

Shakespeare’s description of Gertrude and Ophelia depicts them as dependent on men. Ophelia is easily manipulated and influenced by men. She is obedient and does what the men in her life, her brother Laertes and her father Polonius tells her to do, such as when she replies “I shall obey my lord” (I.3.135) when Polonius tells her to avoid Hamlet by saying:

From this time

Be somewhat scanter of your maiden presence.

Set your entreatments at a higher rate

Than a command to parley (I.3.119-122).

Ophelia was reliant on her father and she loses him when he dies. As a result she becomes mad and Claudius describes her as becoming “divided from herself and her fair judgment” (IV.4.85). Gertrude is also dependent on men as seen when she marries Claudius right after her first husband was murdered. After Hamlet’s angry confrontation with Gertrude, Gertrude agrees to take Hamlet’s advice that she won’t “let the bloat king tempt [her] again to bed” (III.4.182) and not to tell anyone what Hamlet has told her by saying:

Be thou assured, if words be made of breath

And breath of life, I have no life to breathe

What thou hast said to me. (III.4.197-199)

but right after, she goes back to Claudius and tells him that Hamlet is as “mad as the sea and wind when both contend” (IV.1.7). Through such actions, Shakespeare depicts Gertrude and Ophelia as dependent on men as Ophelia goes mad and commits suicide and Gertrude remarries right after they lose the men that they depended on in their lives.

In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, the two women in the play, Gertrude and Ophelia share similarities with each other in both Hamlet’s view of them and Shakespeare’s depiction of them. Hamlet sees both women as deceiving and being defined by their morals because of what he sees as Gertrude being unfaithful to his father by marrying Claudius. Shakespeare’s depiction of Gertrude and Ophelia presents them as dependent on men as Ophelia goes mad and commits suicide after she loses her father and Gertrude remarries after her first husband’s death.

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139

Adversity – The Pathway to a Renewed Identity

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

Adversity often comes as a surprise to us, yet it is something we all will likely experience. During dealing with hardship, our personality develops and evolves to match the new circumstances. In Hamlet, Shakespeare examines the way in which adversity takes us through a range of emotions that result in our becoming more balanced individuals. In the play, we see how young Hamlet changes after his father’s death and meeting the Ghost. In particular, Shakespeare displays how Hamlet’s identity is shaped: during his mourning phase, as he relies on his closest allies, and when he faces Laertes at the end of the play.

Hamlet faces a torrent of emotions when his father dies. He feels despondent and as though his life is worth nothing. Thus, adversity shapes his identity – bringing out his deepest, darkest qualities. In the beginning of the play Hamlet wishes that his “too sullied flesh would melt”, and this is an indication of his desperation and dissatisfaction with life. Shakespeare shows that adversity first makes us become downhearted and hopeless before we eventually regain our balance. During this phase of Hamlet’s life, he essentially loses his identity and sense of purpose. Added to his father’s death, the “incestuous” re-marriage of his mother furthers troubles Hamlet. We may be able to relate to this initial phase of adversity, where there seems to be no solution to our problems. We may become bitter and despondent and face a range of emotions before we can calm down and reach a logical conclusion. Shakespeare highlights this crucial phase, demonstrating the powerful effect such emotions could have on a person.

Shakespeare also explores how, on the path to coping with our emotions, we look to our closest allies for comfort and support. Though his companions are few, Hamlet cherishes his friendship with Horatio, who is a protective friend to him. Horatio serves the role of a trusty confidant to Hamlet, since Hamlet relies on him to confirm his suspicions towards Claudius. Horatio aids Hamlet in taming his wild impulses, and confirming if his feelings are valid. Representing the good in a world of good and evil, Horatio stands beside Hamlet as he experiences mind-altering difficulties. It is noteworthy that Horatio does not try to impose himself on Hamlet, or manipulate him to change his actions. Rather, he uses his close friendship with Hamlet to listen to Hamlet’s secrets and support him. Shakespeare therefore shows that as we ourselves face adversity, we turn to our closest associates, who can help us balance our emotions and support us through our difficulty. Because of Horatio’s faithfulness, Hamlet “wears” Horatio in his “heart’s core” and views him as a source of encouragement.

Hamlet also demonstrates the way adversity can often lead us from sheer confusion to a point where we become more rational and logical. Through hardship can make us experience wild emotions at first, it often leaves us better able to sympathize even with our enemies and view issues. When Hamlet returns from his trip to England, he notices that Laertes is hostile toward him. Yet, when the two men fight at Ophelia’s burial, Hamlet withdraws first. Hamlet later says to Laertes: “Give me your pardon, sir…I have done you wrong.” After facing difficulties in his life, Hamlet can act maturely and even sympathize with Laertes. Though he strongly loved Ophelia too, Hamlet realizes that Laertes is in a similar position to him. After all, Laertes has also lost his father – Polonius. Hamlet thus endeavors to treat Laertes with greater respect, it seems he realizes that Laertes faces an exasperating situation. Through the play, Shakespeare explains that adversity can help us be more balanced and rational, even when we are suffering ourselves. Through adversity, Hamlet becomes more intelligent and cautious, restraining himself from killing Claudius as Claudius prays, to avoid sending him to heaven.

Hamlet shows the major role adversity plays in shaping our personality, taking us through a range of extreme emotions, before we eventually develop into more balanced individuals. Young Hamlet is very despondent when adversity strikes him. When his father dies he faces a range of emotions, from anger to sadness, even losing the will to live. However, Horatio plays a large role in supporting Hamlet, and helping to calm his feelings by being a loyal eyewitness. By the end of the play, Hamlet has developed into a cautious and more balanced individual who is even able to sympathize with Laertes. Through the play, Shakespeare shows that adversity can actually bring out the best in us as we develop a new identity. Though we often run from challenges, there is little we can do to completely prevent adversity from entering our lives. Moreover, these challenges we face can make us more resilient and confident individuals, who are better able to understand the world around them.

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342

A Comparative Analysis of Claudius and Hamlet

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

To See or Not To See: The Hero-Villain Dichotomy in Hamlet

Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a play with few unambiguous revelations of motive or deed. However, after three acts of intimations, suspicions, and accusals, the freshly crowned King Claudius finally and conclusively reveals that he has killed his own brother. His “O my offence is rank” soliloquy would appear to confirm our assumption of Claudius as villain and Hamlet as victim that is supported throughout the earlier acts. And, in fact, it does. However, to say that is all that it does would be to overlook a profoundly pivotal moment of the play. On the surface, this scene seems to support the previously established hero-villain dichotomy. On a deeper level, it showcases for the first time the parallel indecisiveness of the two men. While it doesn’t quite reverse their previous characterizations, it does place Hamlet’s fatal flaw within Claudius to erode our understanding of their roles and alter culpability for the destruction of the kingdom. Precisely because Hamlet cannot recognize this fatal flaw of indecision within himself, he cannot see through the appearance of piety to recognize the flaw within Claudius, perpetuating a limbo of inaction.

The most conspicuous similarity between Claudius and Hamlet is their indecisiveness. The king cannot force himself to feel remorse, even though he wants to: “Like a man to double business bound,” he tells us, “I stand in pause where I shall first begin, / And both neglect” (III.iii.41-43). He is “bound” to be trapped in this moral dilemma, unable to escape despite his own volition, just as Hamlet is indecisive about whether or not to avenge his father. In fact, Hamlet’s indecision for vengeance reaches a crisis immediately after these lines. “Now I’ll don’t [kill Claudius]” (III.iii.74) he declares. He then analyzes his decision and lays out the consequence: “I, his sole son, do this same villain send / To heaven” (III.iii.76-77). The dawning of this realization leads to a line devoid of four full iambs. Such a pregnant silence, more than words ever could, betrays his vacillation. He then asks whether he might kill the king now, answering with a simple yet emphatic “No!” (III.iii.87). This exclamation also takes up an entire line by itself. Taken together these silences make his response seem stuttered, unbalanced, and unfinished. Hamlet’s inability to verbalize his predicament parallels his loss of moral clarity.

While the nature of their indecision differs – Claudius’ irresolution occurs after his murder of the king, while Hamlet’s occurs before the fact – the reasoning behind it is the same. Both fear damnation and divine judgement, two factors that terrify them to the point of moral inertia. Claudius bemoans the fact that in heaven “the action lies / In his true nature” (III.iii.61-62), with no gilded hand to fool justice like there is on earth. Although Hamlet cannot hear Claudius, he responds almost as if he could, asking “who knows save heaven?” of Claudius’ judgement. Even Hamlet’s earlier speech discloses this terror of the unknown: “Who would bear the whips and scorns of time, … / But the dread of something after death” (III.i.72-80). In fact, both Claudius and Hamlet attribute their actions to outside forces to try to explain their indecision and loss of agency. Claudius gives his offences form: they have a “visage” (III.iii.47) and a “gilded hand” (III.iii.58). He makes them out to be living, breathing entities, so that he deflects blame, victimizes himself, and transfers agency onto his crimes. Hamlet also chooses to explain away his inaction in this manner. “Conscience does make cowards of us all” (III.i.85) he tells us, arguing that cowardice is not a personal fault but instead is intrinsic to the machinations of the mind and thus an inevitable state of being. This loss of agency also signals the rejection of responsibility and ability, preventing them from escaping this limbo of doing/not doing and seeing/not seeing. Hamlet foreshadows this two scenes earlier when he says that with awareness of death, “currents turn awry and lose the name of action”, not only suggesting that he will remain inactive but also that he will purposefully attempt to lose the name of action. This scene is the tipping point, the culminating moment after which there is no hope for “finding” action.

In the end, however, the responsibility for their actions lies with them. Hamlet knows that Claudius is guilty. Yet he operates under the false assumption that the appearance of Claudius’ repentance (the physical act) must therefore equate to a mental state of true repentance. Claudius’ pantomime of a prayer fools him. He can’t recognize that Claudius is only acting remorseful, not that he is actually remorseful. This is ironic in two parts. First, in the opening scenes of the play, Gertrude asks Hamlet why his father’s death affects him so much. “Why seems it so particular with thee?” (I.ii.74-75) she probes. He responds with “Seems, madam! Nay, it is; I know not ‘seems’” (I.ii.76). Hamlet is far too confident in his ability to both project and detect truth. Of everyone in the play, he should be the most aware of duplicitous states, considering how he himself decides put on an “antic disposition” to trick others. Yet his own lack of resolution seems to blind him to the reality of Claudius’ guilt. Claudius even references physical changes that expose sinners in the physical world. He claims his heart is made of “strings of steel” and orders “bow, stubborn knees” (III.iii.70). He links wicked deeds with the corruption of one’s physical body, much like Wilde would write almost three hundred years later in The Picture of Dorian Gray. Even with these intimations that he has been marked by his murder, Hamlet accepts Claudius’ remorse at face value. His resolution to once again wait to kill Claudius suggests a profound lack of self-awareness, not just of the parallels of their dilemmas but also any awareness of his own situation in the first place. His inability to perceive his own flaw within Claudius means the further perpetuation of their conflict.

This is why the scene paradoxically is not the one that presents Claudius in the most villainous light, even though it names Claudius as the murderer. In the first two acts, Hamlet’s characterization is driven by his presentation as the most authentic and perceptive character. However, immediately after Hamlet decides not to kill Claudius because he would go to heaven, Claudius delivers the damning last lines of the scene: “My words fly up, my thoughts remain below. / Words without thoughts never to heaven go” (III.iii.97-98). We’re forced to ask, if Hamlet is so perceptive that he claims to know not even the word “seems”, why does he fail to grasp that Claudius is only presenting a facade much in the same way he is? If Hamlet is so authentic, why doesn’t he truly know himself? If Hamlet’s defining characteristic is not his authenticity but instead his doubt, why should we accept him as the arbiter of justice and Claudius as the ruination of the court?

Ultimately, by presenting the duality of Claudius’ emotional state, the scene throws into relief Hamlet’s own inability to act. Illuminating the similarities between the “villain” and the “hero,” the prayer speech equates the two characters’ moral positions, forcing readers and viewers to revaluate the role of each. Thus the scene represents the damning moment of the play: because Hamlet cannot recognize his struggles in others, neither he nor Claudius will be able to escape the cycle that will lead to the devastation of their kingdom.

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167

Issue Of Revenge in Hamlet By Shakespeare

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

According to Oxford Living Dictionaries, revenge is the action of hurting or harming someone in return for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands. In other words, it is to repay and take vengeance. People need to calm down after being offended to give themselves time to create a plan or even just think about what is going to come out of their mouth in order to not hurt someone else. Forgiveness is a big key when it comes to revenge. You don’t necessarily have to take vengeance to be happy, you can quite simply forgive and let it go and you will feel free right after doing it.

In Hamlet by Shakespeare, we find major characters and also minor ones. Hamlet is one of the major characters in the play, he is the Prince of Denmark and also considered as the protagonist of the play. He is Queen Gertrude’s son and the king’s, Claudius, nephew. We can totally see the hate that hamlet shows toward Claudius since he killed his father in order to marry his mother. Hamlet is very hesitant and indecisive and always contradicting others, but he is sometimes very aggressive and takes impulsive decisions without thinking. Now, our second major antagonist character is Claudius. He is always using his power to attend his goals. In act four, Claudius shows some unworthy and disrespectful traits such as greed and corruption. He manipulates people by his selfishness and evil desires. For example, later on in the play, using his own way of language, he gets Laertes to finally agree on killing Hamlet.

One of the important minor characters is Laertes. During Act four, he hears about his father’s death so he immediately returns to Denmark to see what’s going on there. His anger is explaining how he wanted to punish Claudius and become King himself, but as we know everything about Claudius now, he is convinced that it was Hamlet who caused his father’s death when it’s not. Another minor character is Fortinbras. He is considered as a minor one because he doesn’t react nor speak to anything. Throughout the play, we can see how he impacts Hamlet’s view on his plan to take revenge. In act four, the action is taking place, we see Hamlet’s reflect on his own actions against Fortinbras’ actions. Even though Fortinbras’ actions gave him the idea to take immediate revenge, he still thinks about his actions and mostly the consequences.

To conclude, being selfish and evil just like Claudius doesn’t buy happiness but pain and suffering. In the following quote foolishly clever Claudius tries to kill the rightful king it shows how the rightful people are the innocent ones and that no matter what happens to them, they are going to inherit a better afterlife and a much happier life as well. Here is one of my favorite genius quotes Weak people revenge, Strong people forgive, intelligent people ignore. Revenge is not the solution, always think and overthink your thoughts and actions.

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167

Analysis Of Hamlet’s Tragic Flaw

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

Hamlet’s tragic flaw is his inability to avenge his father’s death because he hasn’t been able to conquer himself in his internal conflict. This recalls the cliché “One’s greatest enemy is no other than oneself”. I think procrastination is the inaction that leads to Hamlet’s downfall and behind the inaction, there were three main flaws: being idealistic, fatalistic and over analytical.

Idealism stops Hamlet from avenging the murder of his father, when he has the opportunity to kill Claudius (his uncle, the murderer of his father ) when he is praying. It is in 3.3.89-91: “Am I then… horrid hent”. Here, Hamlet wants an ideal revenge, that his opponent will suffer damnation in hell.

Since Claudius is praying, Hamlet can’t bear to kill him because of his belief that Claudius’s soul will be purified and sent to heaven, hence he decides to kill Claudius at a more appropriate moment, like his father (King Hamlet) was killed. The time Claudius was praying was the only time in the whole play, where he is left unguarded, which means Hamlet has let go of the best chance to kill Claudius just for the sake of waiting for the perfect moment. Therefore, Hamlet’s idealism causes him to procrastinate.

Besides from his idealism, Hamlet’s fatalism also leads him to his tragic flaw. Hamlet shows signs of being fatalistic by making the claim in 1.4.29: “cannot choose his own origin”. According to Hamlet, a person is not to be stated guilty of having a vicious nature or a natural flaw that he is born with, because it isn’t in the hands of the person to choose where he came from.

Furthermore, Hamlet comments that most people would rather bear those ills we have rather than fly to others that we not know of: 3.1.89-90. Since he would rather choose to suffer from the torment of fate that he believes in, he cares not to change. As a result he commits nothing. Moreover, before his duel with Laertes, Horatio asked Hamlet if he wanted to stop the duel, making him aware that the King might have set up a scheme for him. Nevertheless, Hamlet replies: 5.2.210-11: “There’s a special providence in the fall of sparrow”. Since Hamlet believes in predestination, he walks into Claudius’s trap even if he knows it, because he believes that if he is destined to die then he will die, and there is no way he can figure a way out of it.

This is how fatalism becomes deadly for Hamlet

Above all the reasons, the most important tragic flaw Hamlet possesses is being over analytical. He refers to it as: “craven scruple Of thinking too precisely” in 4.4.42-43. Further in the same speech in 4.4.44-46, he says “which quartered has but one part wisdom and three parts coward”. In this, he is simply criticizing his own hesitation. It is intelligent to analyze the situation and be cautious, however too much of it makes him see of himself as a coward. Due to this tragic flaw, Hamlet has been unable to make important decisions. By considering so many different alternatives and point of views, Hamlet is always kind of finding himself an excuse to procrastinate.

None other than dissatisfaction over took him. As a result, he is passively taken up in the sequence of events as the play unfolds, which lead him to death. In conclusion, as heroic and refined as Hamlet is, he still suffers a downfall which leads to the tragic flaw. By the end, when he finally decides to take action, it’s too late. In short, Hamlet’s flaws illustrate the vulnerability of mankind especially those men with a romantic or philosophical bent, as he himself was.

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123

The Sole Purpose of William Shakespeare in Presentation of Madness in Hamlet

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

He intended to make interesting storyline using creative touch of human nature which stands most prevalent feature through his works. In this case, Hamlet’s dynamic characteristic of insanity not only develops the plot but also makes the story exciting. Here are three ways to examine his lunacy, whether it was real or feigned, the purpose, and his descent to true insanity which is remains consistent throughout the drama. The representation of Hamlet’s character in the drama is perhaps the most artistic disposition of William Shakespeare to establish the complex working of the mind, and how an individual uses deception in order to deceive others and attain truth in the most promising way. The eccentric, insane and straightforwardness of his character reveals the hidden truth of his father’s death. Betrayal, love and passion of Hamlet remain as an inseparable attributes which gradually leads to the development of plot and other characters. Theme of insanity and mystery is dealt is both the cause and the consequence of revenge. Hamlet has been shown as naïve and enigmatic character which paves diminish way to examine truth about his character.

One observation that stands strong is his paradoxical nature which has attracted every reader’s attention. ‘You would pluck out the heart of my mystery’ (Act3 Scene2 Page 16) reveals his hidden personality. Hamlet is a wide-ranging character that, offers various flavors to readers that every time one tries to understand him there is new dimension to it and he never ceases to surprise us. In act one he is shown as a student and mourning son who dauntingly desires to seek revenge of his father’s death. He is introspective thirty year man who is disturbed by his mother’s marriage to his uncle Claudius and as a result he develops hatred for him. Act one has evident hints of foreshadow which prepares the readers of the subsequent happening in the drama.

His sorrowful condition showed him the spirit of his father who eventually became his guiding source through his daily complexion of depression and ambiguity. When he saw Claudius praying in the chapel scene, he thought that it the perfect opportunity to slay him down but his conscious stops him from committing this sin. This leads us to understand that he is not mad. However, the subsequent thought that followed with this act is really has a contradicting thoughts that if he is killed while praying he would go to heaven and don’t want an easy death for Claudius. This further leads to question like, ‘Whether he feign madness and/or use it as a facade? Yet another instance that we can consider to understand his eccentric behavior is the most eminent one is when Hamlet recognizes that his friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were beckoned to Denmark by the King for some obvious reasons, which is to spy on him “I am but mad north-north-west 1 .” This further paves us to understand his sensibility in distinguishing between friends and foe.

As we go deeper, we unveil the reasons for Hamlet’s madness which was a judicious faking of insanity which eventually immerse as morphing of him into a new being, evoking guilt in the his father’s murderer, amuse to the readers and save his life. His inner madness was an outcome of the misfortunes in the drama; majorly, the incestuous marriage of his widowed mother with his uncle whom he suspect as his father’s murderer- “wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king” (Act2 Scene2 Line351). These feign madness was more like an obsession for Hamlet to overcome his guilt which vindicated him. It took over all his sensibility and narrowed his vision restricting his mission and purpose. He certainly had a natural inclination towards deception and dissimulation. This however, transmitted him into mad man. In this rage he also killed his friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern although they were not part of conspiracy. This act of brutality was set in his objective.

This further leads the readers to think about his mental madness that seized his spirit. Yet another evidence of madness could be when he attempts to make his mother realize her guilt of remarriage. He screams, ‘Nay, but to live in the rank sweat of an enseamed bed,/stewed in corruption, honeying and making love/ over the nasty sty-‘ (Act3 Scene4 Page4) he accused his mother for putting up make-up and killing Polonius who was hiding behind the curtain. He also puts up on a facade to protect himself, as he leans from the ghost that; “So lust, though to a radiant angel linked, Will sate itself in a celestial bed And prey on garbage.” (Act1 Scene5 Lines55-57) After stabbing his irrationality and hatred only said wish he was Claudius. His madness only mounted to obsession for death and revenge eventually turning him insane. Fabricating madness for considerable long time finally let him suffer from a disease he created.

At the end, Hamlet often muses about his dead father, and mourning over his sudden, heartbreaking, and tragic death, coming to a point where he starts speaking like lunatics, rambling, and also is in a turmoil between committing suicide or not. For instance, the very first time he speaks like a lunatic was when he agrees that its completely alright to act foolish sometimes: “Here as before, never, so help you mercy, how strange or odd soe’er I bear myself that you.” (Act1 Scene5 Line 170-171). This shows deterioration of Hamlet’s mental state over the progression of the drama and he ends up being mad. Throughout the play Hamlet disguised his madness to take revenge on various occasions that drive him of being mentally unstable and insane. Every events throughout the drama is apparently is strong cues of foreshadow which slowly gulps him into insanity. He deeply traumatized by his father’s death, his mother’s remarrying his uncle, and losing faith on mankind and friends was direct repercussion. He lost trust in very relation he has in his life.

The most important turning point in the drama is in Hamlet’s metal state when Hamlet, Marcellus, and Horatio see the ghost of Hamlet’s father for the first time. Hamlet says, ‘Here as before, never, so help you mercy, how strange or odd some’er I bear myself that you, at such times seeing me, never shall with arms encumb’red thus, or this headshake.’ (Act1 Scene5 Page8) He confesses to Horatio that: “In my mind’s eye, Horatio.” (Act1 Scene2 Page7). Shakespeare has been extremely indulgent in incorporating hallucinations in the play; as this clearly displays his transition from being mentally disturbed to turning insane, it even allows the readers to understand the Hamlet’s perplexity, therefore, portraying his gradual degradation towards true insanity. In addition, his soliloquy: “To be, or not to be? That is the question” (Act 3 Scene 1 Page 3) . In his most critically famed soliloquy; he is contemplating whether he should commit suicide or to live which is full of pain and guilt of committing crimes such as murder and betrayal to his mother. All in all, tumbling into folly of misery was inevitable as he was very close to his father. This only intensified his suffering, his mother’s act of marrying his Uncle Claudius, betrayal, and revenge of his father’s death.

On comparing him to anyone who is truly deranged, as Ophelia (Hamlet’s beloved) became after Hamlet spoke furiously to her and her father’s death. This can also treated as a hidden meaning that characterized Hamlet’s seeming-nonsensicality. Shakespeare uses insanity as a security develop an interesting storyline with fine blend of ingredients, but also to aid the readers to understand how the protagonist is effected and how this ultimately effects other characters, plot and events in the drama.

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154

Gender Equality Within Hamlet

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

In the Elizabethan Era, the people of the time valued and held a patriarchal society. In this type of society, women had a lower ranking compared to men and were held to authority and control by men. Gender equality is a primary and central issue in Shakespeare plays because they were an accurate representation of woman back in the 15th and 16th century. Men had an empowerment over woman thus woman did not have equal rights or a voice to stand up for themselves. The female characters in the play are portrayed as delicate, obedient and are manipulated by the male figures in their lives which is different from modern day as woman have strong voices and are allowed to stand up for themselves which shows gender equality back in the Elizabethan Era. Thus, by examining gender inequalities within the Shakespearean play Hamlet, it is evident that the male social hierarchal dominance is reflective of the Elizabethan era’s social, political and economic perspectives and values of the time.

Shakespeare’s plays demonstrate an accurate representation of women back in the 16th century who were voiceless and deprived of their right to speak as well as they were inferior to men. Men having more advantages than women was a common aspect in historical times. Women have always been seen as weak people and as if they are less than men. Due to this, women did not gain many rights up until the twenty first century. “The Elizabethan society was patriarchal, meaning that men were considered to be the leaders and women their inferiors. Women were regarded as “the weaker sex”, not just in terms of physical strength, but emotionally too. It was believed that women always needed someone to look after them. If they were married, their husband was expected to look after them. If they were single, then their father, brother or another male relative was expected to take care of them” (Sharnette). In Hamlet, Shakespeare very accurately shows the way women were treated in the Elizabethan era. Beginning with Gertrude, who has the power of a queen but is treated as if she has no value. When Claudius decides that he must send Hamlet away to England, Gertrude has no say, even though Hamley is her own son. Gertrude is seen as weak, as she is unable to tell Claudius how she feels about sending Hamlet off. Gertrude must agree with Claudius’ decision, as he is the man in the house who decides each and everything. Along with that, Gertrude is again portrayed as a weak woman when she remarries quickly after her former husband’s death. The fact that Gertrude remarries so quickly simply shows how she is unable to control the kingdom alone and needs a man in her life. Gertrude’s inability to control the kingdom on her own shows that women in this time were unable to do anything on their own and were dependent on men for everything. It is evident that the male social hierarchal dominance reflects the Elizabethan era’s social, political and economic perspectives and values of the time, as it is obvious that the women were always seen to be weaker than the men. Moreover, Ophilia is also portrayed as a weak woman in this play….

Secondly, women were supposed to comply, trust and obey and the men’s orders in their lives whether it is their father, brother, or husband. They were voiceless and powerless underneath men and did not have their own rights. In the Elizabethan Era a man was the head of a marriage for life because there was no divorce, the couple would be together for as long as they both lived. The husband was able to command his wife to do anything as he pleased, however he was expected to take care of her, make sure she had everything she needed, and most importantly to love her and be a good father to any children they had. They were not supposed to inflict bodily harm or cruelty, if did abuse his wife, he would be prosecuted (Sharnette). In the play Hamlet, Gertrude is seen as obedient to her husband throughout out the play numerous times. Claudius shows his concern for Hamlet’s mental illness as he says “His liberty is full of threats to all—/ To you yourself, to us, to everyone. /Alas, how shall this bloody deed be answered? / It will be laid to us, whose providence / Should have kept short, restrained and out of haunt, / This mad young man. But so much was our love” (IV.l.15-20), and he expresses his kindness and emotion and fake love towards Hamlet when he says that he is a threat to all of us—to you, to me, to everyone. How will we deal with this violent deed? I’m the one who will be blamed for not restraining and confining this mad young man. But I loved him so much I didn’t want to think about what I had to do

“O Gertrude, come away! /

The sun no sooner shall the mountains touch / But we will ship him hence,

He tries his best to be nice caring to the queen so that he could seize the crown easily. Gertrude is objectified by Claudius e.g. third in the triplet “my crown, mine own ambition and my Queen” – shows she does not come first to him.

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139

Fiction Elements in Hamlet

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

“Hamlet” is probably the most famous work of the English playwright William Shakespeare, which has a lot of hidden sense. It can be mentioned among the deepest and most philosophical works of this author, which demonstrate different sides of the human soul. From this point of view, psychoanalytic theory is good for explanation of “Hamlet” as it underlines that “a character’s outward behavior might conflict with inner desires, or might reflect as-yet-undiscovered inner desires” (Hamlet Lesson Guide 32). This approach explains the actions of Prince of Denmark and other characters. The presence and operation of psychoanalytic theory can be easily traced in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” because this play includes strong Oedipal connotations, an attempt to find a balance between id and superego, and the important meaning of dreams.

The first aspect, which is present in “Hamlet”, and can be connected to the explanations of psychoanalytic theory, is the presence of Oedipal connotations and, specifically, the Oedipal complex. From the first point of view, Hamlet seems to have a very strong connection with his father, which can be seen even after his death. Prince of Denmark is deeply concerned about the fact that his father has passed away, and he has many ideas about it. The Ghost of his father visits Hamlet, tells the truth about his death, and asks for revenge (Shakespeare 57). It can be assumed that the father also has the strong connection with the son. At the same time, the psychoanalytic theory claims that it can be explained by the “father’s envy of the son” (Hamlet Lesson Guide 32). Father understands that revenge is the risk for the life of Hamlet; however, envy forces him to ask the son for it. Another aspect of Oedipal complex present in play is the son’s desire for his mother (Hamlet Lesson Guide 32). Hamlet is very angry at his mother, Gertrude, that she married his uncle Claudius after the death of his father (Shakespeare 85). On the one hand, it can be explained by his love to father, hate to Claudius, and thought that mother has betrayed his father by this marriage. However, some of Hamlet’s reactions are too bright, which can bring the readers to the conclusion that there is something more in them. It can be explained from the point of view of the psychoanalytic theory as an unconscious sexual desire of Hamlet to Gertrude. The power of superego helps the character to hide the real wishes behind the social obligations; however, the truth can be seen with the help of analysis. Generally, the Oedipal connotations are the most visible part of the psychoanalytic theory that can be observed in the play “Hamlet”.

Another aspect of the psychoanalytic theory, which can be easily traced in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, is the ego part of personality as an attempt to find the balance between the id and superego part. It can be seen in expressions of the most of the characters but, specifically, in the image of Prince of Denmark. This balance and probable conflict are also connected to an eternal struggle of two forces in personality, which are life and death. This struggle can be seen in the famous soliloquy of Hamlet, where he says: “To be or not to be – that is the question” (Shakespeare 127). On the one hand, Hamlet’s id does not find the sense to live because the life is full of pain and suffering. According to psychoanalytic theory, id is the unconscious desire, which “is the fundamental root of what each person wants” (Hamlet Lesson Guide 32). In case the person does not find any desire, he or she unconsciously starts searching for death, and it probably happens to Hamlet. On the other hand, there is superego of the main character, according to which the sense of life lies in the struggle. It is “the repository of all socially imposed behavior and sense of guilt” (Hamlet Lesson Guide 33). That is why Hamlet plans revenge to Claudius and other similar actions. However, because of this inner struggle, Hamlet’s ego seems to go through the conflict, which finally leads the character to death.

The last aspect, which helps to analyze the play “Hamlet” through the prism of psychoanalytic theory, is the meaning of dreams in this literary work. Dreams and inner monologues can be considered an important part life of the characters from the point of view of psychoanalysis (Literary Critical Theory 9). In his soliloquy, Hamlet underlines the fact that the dreams are uncertain. He claims that “For in that sleep of death what dreams may come” (Shakespeare 127). The main character says that the dream can be often compared to death, which is also full of uncertain issues. In psychoanalytic theory, dreams are considered a place “where a person’s subconscious desires are revealed” (Hamlet Lesson Guide 32). It means that the dreams are uncertain but they can often explain the real wishes of people, which are not accepted by consciousness.

Overall, the play “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” can be considered one of the greatest works of English dramatist William Shakespeare. It is a great tragedy, which is full of hidden sense. One of the goals of psychoanalytic theory is also to reveal the hidden sense from the human minds to make their life better. The operation and presence of psychoanalysis can be seen in play “Hamlet” because it includes Oedipal complex’s issues, looking for the balance between superego and id, and the significant dreams’ meaning.

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139

A Tragedy Of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

“The tragedy of Hamlet must end in this final catastrophe: the death of all. “

In a shocking development in Denmark, the King, the Queen and the heir apparent have all been killed, along with several others according to a report by the Chief of Police.

In a related development, Prince Fortinbras of Norway has been selected by Hamlet to ascend the throne.

In what is inarguably the most calamitous period in the history of Denmark, the latest events an exclamation point to the intrigue and deaths surrounding the royal circle in recent days, beginning with the King Hamlet. That death, rumored to be at the hands of the recently dead Claudius, sparked royal intrigue which may have been behind the deaths of other prominent courtesans, such as Laertes, his sister Ophelia and their father Polonius, as well as Prince Hamlet’s close friends Ronsencrantz and Guildenstern.

It started when Hamlet discovers Ophelia is dead, and he and Laertes confront each other in the graveyard. The tragic sword match takes place. Laertes and Claudius know one sword is poisoned, and Claudius also poisons the wine and marks it with a pearl. Laertes and Hamlet both are wounded by the poisoned sword, at which time Laertes confesses to Hamlet the King’s plan to kill the Prince of Denmark, Hamlet. The Queen drinks the poisoned wine and dies. Hamlet then stabs the King with the same sword and makes him drink the poisoned wine. Hamlet dies, but not before he tells Horatio to stay alive in order to tell Fortinbras that he is Hamlet’s chosen successor to the throne. Hamlet is given a honorable burial, Fortinbras is the new King, and everything smells sweeter in Denmark.

“A tragedy of these proportions has never been matched,” commented a stony faced police spokesman. “I don’t know how we ever get to the bottom of this, but our primary witness to these events will certainly be Horatio, among others.”

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195

Action And Inaction in The Play “Hamlet”, Novel “The Kite Runner” And Poem “Unchangeable Past”

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer

Introduction

Raise your hand if you have ever seen a friend being bullied, but you turned the other way. Pretended you could not see them. Why? Because chances are, now that you think of it, you may regret it. Or how about that time your mind told you not to hurt someone but your heart turned cold and hurt them anyway because you wanted them to feel pain for whatever it was they did? You were selfish. Do you regret it? And… what about the time you wanted to apologize to someone but any time you attempted to, you stopped yourself, and now it’s too late. Do you regret it now? Meister Eckhart once said, “The great price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.” Action and inaction are both decisions that can be made by an individual which produce very different outcomes in a situation. The play Hamlet, novel The Kite Runner and poem Unchangeable Past, are all excellent representations of the way a person’s mind causes actions and inaction which have the potential to lead to negative outcomes in one’s life.

Hamlet: In the play Hamlet, the main character, Hamlet struggles with committing to his plan to murder his uncle, Claudius. Hamlet has the perfect opportunity to murder his uncle but cannot decide whether he should do it then or kill Claudius during another time where Hamlet can ensure that his uncle suffers. Hamlet says, “Up, sword; and know thou a more horrid hent: When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage, or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed, at gaming, swearing, or about some act that has no relish of salvation in’t: then trip him, that his heels may kick back at heaven and that his soul may be as damn’d and black as hell, whereto it goes”.

If one looks at this situation from a psychoanalytic perspective, Hamlet has a tremendous desire to get revenge on his uncle. However, Hamlet’s desire takes over and brings out his flaw of indecisiveness.Hamlet believes that once he kills his uncle during the moment presented in act 3, his uncle will not suffer enough and will go to heaven since he is praying at the time. So he decides to remain inactive and not murder his uncle. This inaction leads to destruction in Hamlet’s life. Had Hamlet made the action, and killed Claudius, he may have altered his fate and steered the play in other countless directions. Evidently, Hamlet’s desire to see his uncle suffer, leads to his inaction and in the end, this causes Hamlet’s downfall. Hamlet breaks his trend of inactivity at the end of the play when he finally murders Claudius. Even though Hamlet accomplishes what he desires, his actions paint a very different ending than he pictures.

Amir: Amir is very similar to the character of Hamlet because Amir also struggles with inactivity for a significant part of his life and also has a desire. The most evident situation is when Hassan is raped. Amir desires Baba’s attention for many years and for this reason, he has the hope that once he wins the kite contest, Baba will love and give Amir more attention. On the day Amir wins the kite contest, his life and Hassan’s life changes forever because Amir’s desire causes him to remain inactive when Hassan is being raped. Amir also fears that he will also be hurt physically by Assef.

As a result, instead of helping his friend, Amir simply hides and watches as Hassan, his true friend gets raped. Amir says, “Hassan was standing at the blind end of the alley in a defiant stance: fists curled, legs slightly apart. Behind him, sitting on piles of scrap and rubble, was the blue kite. My key to Baba’s heart” (Amir says this on page 71). Hassan has the opportunity to escape by giving Assef the kite. Despite this, Hassan protects the kite and remains loyal to Amir by sacrificing himself because he knows how much the kite means to Amir. Amir sees this loyalty, however, he is so caught up in his own desire and fear and instead of helping Hassan, Amir does nothing to help his friend, who he later discovers is his brother. All in all, his inactivity is the reason that Amir lives many years of his life feeling extreme guilt, sadness and regret.

Like Hamlet, Amir leads himself to conflict in his own life that could have been overcome by simply doing an action. Amir breaks his trend of inactivity when he adopts Hassan’s child, Sohrab to give him a better life. Even though Hassan passes away, it is as though Amir has redeems himself and releases most of his guilt by adopting Sohrab. The adoption is a way for Amir to correct his past. However, just like Hamlet accomplishing his desire to kill Claudius, Amir accomplishes what he desires by becoming closer to Baba and even letting go of most of the guilt he feels for betraying Hassan. Unfortunately, like Hamlet, his actions were too late because Hassan had already died and there will never be a way to completely make up for his inactivity from many years before. The final text that I selected which relates to the theme of action and inaction is a poem titled “Unchangeable Past” by Kyli Santiago because it highlights that the actions an individual does or fails to do always impact that individual in some way.

The poem mentions things such as, “If I made different choices, I would not be haunted by the voices inside my head; the unchangeable past is a fine fabric woven with fear, regret and guilt. The Unchangeable past I must admit, I was ignorant of your power. To control my every second minute hour. To fill my thoughts with pain. To drive me practically insane. To make me want to slit my vein. To turn my sunny days to rain. And even though it is not wet outside – I’m helplessly drowning on the inside. Indeed the past is unforgiving, full of painful regret for the living. And if I knew then what I know now- I would go back.” These lines in the poem all connect with the other texts because the lines reflect some of the negative emotions characters, especially the main characters Hamlet and Amir face when realizing that their action and inaction form the direction of their lives.

A repeated line in the poem is, “The unchangeable past is unforgiving.” This is very true and is seen with characters in Hamlet and The Kite Runner. Hamlet’s inaction where he does not murder his uncle sooner rather than later, destroys him because when he eventually does the action of killing his uncle, it is too late and Hamlet himself dies too. The fact is, Hamlet’s action and inaction creates a past that can never be changed and is very unforgiving. Additionally, Amir also shows how one’s past is unforgiving. Amir chooses the path of inactivity while Hassan is raped and can never fully redeem himself for choosing to do nothing when his friend is in need of his help. For this reason, the thoughts of his past torture him from that day on.

All in all, Hamlet and The Kite Runner are pieces of literature which showcase how characters’ desires get the best of them and cause their activity and inactivity, which results in negative outcomes in their lives. The poem Unchangeable Past reinforces the idea that these negative outcomes can never be changed because the past is the past. Therefore, these texts should be an example to all of us of how to make decisions wisely. Santiago’s poem really says it best: The Unchangeable Past is an intangible creature that weaves the intricate pattern of your destined future. Undeniable are the lessons it gives, priceless are the blessings you live, if you learn from it- in the present. Be warned, you can never go back and change it, rearrange it – or alter its course. So live your life now with much more force. Create your present with more awareness, make your every move much more deliberate. Be sure your actions and intentions are creating the kind of future that you can one day live with.

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