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The Problem of Fathers and Sons in Hamlet - Essay Example

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The author of this essay "The Problem of Fathers and Sons in Hamlet" comments on the ideas depicted by Shakespeare in his masterpiece "Hamlet". According to the text, William Shakespeare’s "Hamlet" is today recognized as one of the seminal work of the Western canon of literature.  …
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The Problem of Fathers and Sons in Hamlet

Download file to see previous pages... One of the most prominent relationships between fathers and sons in Hamlet occurs between Hamlet and the ghost of his deceased father. While Hamlet and his deceased father only converse a small amount throughout the play their interactions mark the play’s predominant motivation. In Hamlet and the ghost’s first interaction, the ghost remarks, “So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear” (Act I, scene v). Here the ghost is indicating that upon learning the news he will seek revenge. The ghost continues, “I am thy father's spirit,/ Doom'd for a certain term to walk the… Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature” (Act I, scene v). This statement reveals that the ghost is Hamlet’s father and that he is doomed to the crime committed against him is avenged. The ghost continues, “Murder most foul, as in the best it is;/ But this most foul, strange and unnatural” (Act I, scene v). This statement reveals to Hamlet that he was murdered. Hamlet’s relationship with his father is one of a strong bond and upon learning this he responds that he, “May sweep to my revenge” (Act I, scene v). ...
let's suspicion and leads him to respond, “O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!/ My tables,--meet it is I set it down,/ That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain;” (Act I, scene V). This statement is highly indicative of both the passion Hamlet holds for his murdered father and provides unique insight into the enmity he holds towards Claudius. Even as this relationship embodies Hamlet’s motivation throughout the text, the ghost only appears one more time. This second incarnation demonstrates a more paternal relationship. Upon seeing the ghost of his father Hamlet states, “You heavenly guards! What would your gracious figure?” (Act III, scene iv). Here he is asking for his advice. The ghost responds, “Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works:/ Speak to her, Hamlet” (Act III, scene iv), indicating Hamlet should speak to his mother. Ultimately this relationship is one of respect and admiration, with the ultimate sign being Hamlet’s willing to murder Claudius to avenge his father’s death. Another prominent relationship between fathers and sons in Hamlet occurs between Polonius and Laertes. This relationship remains positive throughout the text and only drastically shifts after Polonius is murdered and Laertes seeks to avenge his death. The first instance of this relationship occurs in the first act of the play as Polonius remarks, “He hath, my lord, wrung from me my slow leave By laboursome petition” (Act I, scene ii), indicating that Polonius approves of Laertes leaving. One of the most prominent demonstrations of this relationship occurs early in the text as Laertes is preparing to leave Elsinore. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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From this research it is clear that in Hamlet, a Danish prince is mourning the death of his father, also named Hamlet. His mother has married Claudius less than one month after Hamlet Sr.’s death. Moreover, young Hamlet was informed by the ghost of his father that Claudius killed him. This is enough to make anybody in this situation feel the same way that Hamlet does – depressed, angry, and ineffectual.
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