Speech on Hamlet
Is it the craftsmanship, the ideas or both that produces literature that has the power to endure over time and place? • Craftsmanship and ideas both equally share the process of taking an established work in a place and having it continue over time as the same piece of literature. • However, it is the ideas that change over time and place, as new ideas are raised and consided.
• These new ideas of literature are discovered by the audience’s interpretation of the characters through the influences of the composer’s perspectives and language of the play.
William Shakespeare’s Hamlet is an example of how ideas are raised over time, as the literature itself remains the same. • The unraveling plot of Hamlet depicts morality and philosophy as themes that are illustrated through dramatic and romanticized techniques. • Shakespeare’s literary ideas have continued over time prominently, and new ideas have been raised through audiences’ perspectives, with Hamlet as a figure of this. • The characters in Hamlet, explore the notion of these two areas, and accept the responsibility for what they have done with the knowing thought of their consequences being inevitable.
It raises new ideas about morality in the play over time, and provides us a deeper insight into Hamlet’s internal struggle, questioning to what extent his conscience needed and how it relates to moral sensitivity and the ability to act quickly, without complacency.
• This illuminates the concerns with characters and their complacency leading to revenge and death as a consequence of ideas. • “If it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all”. Shakespeare uses quite a confident and knowledgeable tone, which depicts Hamlet’s strong belief in fatalism. • Hamlet emphasizes how what events are predetermined, and will happen without his intervention. • This creates further uncertainty in Hamlet’s mind, gives him more reason to delay and in turn gives him a sense of indecisiveness and complacency. • The idea of morality in Shakespeare’s play over time illustrates the ethics and morals of a man. Hamlet emphasizes constantly through contemplation over time and how they must be abided by in order to ensure stability in the society in Denmark.
• This is a reflection on the importance of ethics and morals, as it keeps people and society in natural order as a place. • Hamlet is a character that is bounded by morality; he contemplates to an extent in which it cripples his ability to act quickly and decisively. • This idea, establishes the way he thinks too precisely and is overly cautious as a result of it. His unraveling characterization implies that having high mental awareness of moral implications, overrides his swift action, and therefore highlighting a weakness within a man. • Hamlet’s moral range and over analysis of almost every situation becomes his ultimate downfall as his characters ‘ideals is challenged over time within the place of his society.
• ‘Thus, conscience does make cowards of us all” This soliloquy in Act 3, reinforces the ideas of Hamlet’s actions, yet are held back by his perception of good and bad. The dramatic technique used, impacts the soliloquy, as it enabled Shakespeare to directly address the audience. • With Hamlet’s philosophical nature, he constantly questions the value of acting. He argues the legitimacy of acting without thought. • Hamlet must justify and rationalize every action in which he makes. • As he is a renaissance thinker, he values thought and reason over rash and decisive action. • There are three main aspects of Hamlet’s philosophy, which creates a mental barrier from fully enabling Hamlet to justify the act. His mindset mirrors elements of fatalism in which states that what is meant to happen is already planned and inevitable.
• Hamlet is a humanist, as he values the existence of man, and the nobility of man. However, this is accompanied with Hamlet’s philosophical view of nihilism, which contradicts, with his mindset of humanism. • Nihilism states that life has no purpose or intrinsic value, in the end mortality is inevitable. • In a speech to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet exclaims “what a piece of work is a man, how noble of work is a man … ow like an angel” the simile is used to contrast between man and divine spirits (angel) and therefore imply the brilliance of man.
• Shakespeare emphasizes Hamlet’s admiration of man, therefore reinforcing the humanistic elements of his philosophy. • However, Hamlet displays certain elements of nihilism, such as in the gravedigger scene. • He states ” Alexander died, Alexander was buried, Alexander returneth to dust; the dust is earth” the repetition of the word dust is used to symbolize the fundamental view of nihilism. This scene Hamlet questions the purpose of life and essentially is emphasizing how we all inevitably are reduced to dust. • Shakespeare uses this contrast between Hamlet’s nihilism and humanism to clearly identify the two forces pulling on his mind. • He is having a constant inner struggle, and finds it impossible to fully justify death and the murder. • He questions the meaning of existence, in which it paralyses him to act. It expresses his obsession with the physicality of death, and he will not end a life without fully understand the meaning of life.
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