Interpretation of Hamlet According to The Oxford Illustrated History of English literature, Shakespeare Tragedies begin and end with Roman Themes. In Hamlet, the endeavor is to restore the moral order of society. The trauma of finding justice in an unjust and indifferent society…
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So, Hamlet becomes the object of counter revenge, Laertes seeking requital for the murder of his father. By the last act of the play, after his adventures at sea, Hamlet is utterly convinced of the rightness of his cause and necessity of killing Claudius, whom he describes as a cancer in society. He himself sees as a humble instrument of heaven, and to fail his duty in removing that cancer would be at the peril of his own soul. Hamlet ends in Victory and failure. The possibility that a man has been picked out to do a deed which society condemns but which a higher, divine authority sanctions is balanced against the possibility that Ghost led Hamlet into delusion and error, and bewildered him till he died. Shakespeare’s Hamlet falls in the category of revenge play. It is called so as he has to avenge the death of his father whom he believes, has been murdered. This seems to be confirmed by the ghost as well. Is the presence of Ghost a hallucination or reality, it could never be confirmed but ghost gives Hamlet a motive, motive to avenge for his father’s death. His father’s death is a shock to him, when he arrives home he finds his mother already married to Claudius, his uncle and assuming the Thorne. Everything appears fishy to Hamlet .He is unable to understand this fact how his own mother could haste into new marriage bed when his father’s funeral ground is still fresh .There is no one to tell him the truth he cannot trust anyone even his own mother. Hamlet has no other way to extract the truth but to feign madness. A theme is defined as a central idea, which a literary works convey. There are various themes that run in Hamlet. The first theme that is found in this work of Shakespeare is the Revenge. Hamlet is at the core a revenge tragedy. It is his desire for the vengeance that leads to his down fall. The revenge tragedy was first introduced in Greece and on Elizabethan revenge tragedies we find large influence of Seneca, a Roman Playwright. A revenge play revolves around the crime committed. The crime is essentially committed but the culprit is unpunished by the standard laws of justice. Now, someone needs to take this responsibility and when Ghost of the king confirms Hamlet about the unjust happening, Hamlet rouse up for vengeance. Another theme is the complexity of action. The action is present in every revenge play but in Hamlet it becomes intricate because the protagonist undergoes a series of thought before performing any action. He is affected by rational and emotional considerations. He thinks too ethically and he broods on the consequence of his action. But when he prefers to act he does it blindly and recklessly .His dilemma is to be or not to be (Act III, Scene II).It is this impasse that makes him a greatest tragic hero. The third theme that Hamlet deals with is the mystery of Death. Throughout the play Hamlet ponders on the idea of death. He thinks about death and the spiritual aftermath. He is so preoccupied with the entire idea that he starts thinking about his own death. He is frustrated of the world around him and ponders suicide but what stops him is this question-Is suicide legitimate in Christianity? He fears if he commits suicide then he would be condemned to eternal sufferings of the hell. His misery is that he is unable to reconcile with his father’s sudden death, his mother’s indifference and his uncle’s apathy. His sufferings are endless. Theme of corruption is
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Hamlet is one of the masterpieces in English literature. Even after centuries, it can behold its audience and entertain them thoroughly with unpredictable plot and colorful characters; the obsession for revenge, the madness and antic disposition, the balance and human emotions and actions due to sin and salvation are all presented in a thought provoking manner.
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