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Death and Hamlet - Essay Example

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Hamlet is one of the most famed tragedies written by William Shakespeare due to its groundbreaking portrayal of human emotions and the role played by tragedy in dismantling those emotions. …
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Death and Hamlet
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"Death and Hamlet"

Download file to see previous pages The leading hero of the play Prince Hamlet is equally famous for his influential dialogues and impressive performance. He is undeniably one of the most interesting dramatic characters ever created by Shakespeare or any other dramatist. His character is very deep and has a lot of intensity which explains why many dimensions of his personality have been frenetically analyzed by critics to date. An in-depth analysis of Hamlet’s character speaks of the fact that he is a tough man who is not really afraid of the horrors of death. Hamlet in association with the theme of death forms a very interesting subject to be analyzed because it has a lot of intensity to it. Scrutinizing this character in reference to death can unravel many important aspects of the story also. The purpose of this essay is also to explore Hamlet’s relationship with and attitudes towards death throughout the play. Death is a highly pronounced theme of this Shakespearean tragedy and it is quite interesting how it influences Hamlet from the very start of the play. Hamlet’s relationship with death is described as very extraordinary by Bloom (400) who suggests that as soon as the news of his father’s death reaches Hamlet, he becomes literally obsessed with the idea of death. This obsession is evident in the firm belief he develops in his father’s ghost right from the start which is revealed to him by his friend Horatio. Before killing Claudius, he is passionate about finding about the reality of ghosts to know if they really live in the world after death of a person or not. He analyzes the idea of death from many perspectives which shows how weirdly fascinated he becomes with it after his father’s murder. The news of his father’s tragic demise totally transforms Hamlet as a person and instead of focusing on other things, he develops a fascination for death. When he considers the idea of ghosts and explores it, he analyzes death from a spiritual perspective. He is determined to find answers to his questions and death seems to be the absolute answer. He also sees death as a solution to his emotional and psychological problems. It is not just death of other characters like Claudius but his own death also which compels Hamlet to think long and hard. Several times he contemplates the idea of suicide to get free from the pressures of the real world which weigh down on him in a very tragic manner. He gives suicide a serious through for the first time when he says, “O that this too too solid flesh would melt, / Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!” (I.ii.129-30). This is a very important dialogue because here Hamlet expresses his desire for death. He wishes his flesh would just melt and transform into dew after thawing itself because he does not want to live and is intrigued what will happen after death like if he will transform into a ghost and reunite with his father’s ghost. Then when he says, “Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d / His canon ’gainst self-slaughter! O God! O God!” (I.ii.131-32), he desperately wishes God had not called self-slaughter (suicide) a sin. Actually, the notion of suicide also does not sit well with Hamlet’s religious views. Despite his vengeance and longing for death, Hamlet is a good Christian and fears that suicide will subject him to eternal suffering in hell. He admits that suicide is not morally right, but still longs for it. This leads him to a catch-22 situation and extreme dissonance envelops him consequently. In a state of acute distress, he concludes that no one will wish to continue living if one is not afraid of what awaits after death. But, he fears the promise of eternal punishment in hell for people who commit suicide and it is this fear, not of death but of what comes after, which interferes ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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