The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark - Essay Example

Summary
Hamlet's consistent delay of avenging his father's death shows that he is at some point pessimistic. His delay even brought him to madness. Since hamlet is contemplative and thoughtful by nature, he doubts that the ghost he had spoken with is really his father or he even doubts that the ghost is real…
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The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
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"The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" William Shakespeare Hamlet's consistent delay of avenging his father's death shows that he is at some point pessimistic. His delay even brought him to madness. Since hamlet is contemplative and thoughtful by nature, he doubts that the ghost he had spoken with is really his father or he even doubts that the ghost is real. Another consideration that Hamlet puts in is if it is appropriate to kill King Claudius when it is not proven that Claudius killed former King Hamlet.
At Act I Scene II, A room of state at the castle, Hamlet said:
O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month--
Let me not think on't--Frailty, thy name is woman!--
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears:--why she, even she--
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer--married with my uncle,
My father's brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.
This quotation is interpreted by SparkNotes as Hamlet tries to endure the previous unlikable scene at the court with King Claudius and Queen Gertrude. He was asked by the King and Queen to remain in Denmark and stop his studies in Wittenberg. Since this is against his wishes, he thinks of suicide, saying that the world is "weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable." Dying is much better than living for Hamlet. Since religion forbids suicide, hamlet has second thoughts of committing it. He then thinks of the causes of his pain, mainly by the marriage of his mother with Claudius. He describes the haste of their marriage, noting that the shoes his mother wore to his father's funeral were not worn out before her marriage to Claudius. Hamlet, then, compares Claudius to his father, "King Hamlet is an excellent king while Claudius bestial satyr." He is in rage with the incestuous act that his mother did (Phillips 2006).
Another example of Hamlet's pessimism is laid in Act III Scene I:
To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them-To die,-to sleep,-
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to,-'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die,-to sleep;-
To sleep: perchance to dream:-ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin who would these fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,-
The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns,-puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.

Hamlet, again engages himself with deep thinking of suicide. "His most logical and powerful examination of the theme of the moral legitimacy of suicide in an unbearably painful world, it touches on several of the other important themes of the play." "To live or not to live." He looks into the consequences of life and death. in life, there are lots of pain and suffering yet it is more nobler living and facing the challenges of life than committing suicide and ending one's life. He compares death to sleep and thinks of the end to suffering, pain, and uncertainty it might bring. After weighing things out, he decides that to die is the better decision. But he pauses and again, thinks of his decision to die. In sleep, a person also dreams that gives hopes to a better day ahead so he changes his decision to commit suicide. What will happen to him in the afterlife (Phillips 2006)
Hamlet decides that the afterlife is uncertain, that is why, people doubts of committing suicide. Since no one knows what happens when a person dies and goes to the afterlife, people choose to live even truth is hard to attain. Directly quoted from SparkNotes, Philips assesses how Hamlet examined the afterlife: "He outlines a long list of the miseries of experience, ranging from lovesickness to hard work to political oppression, and asks who would choose to bear those miseries if he could bring himself peace with a knife." He answers himself again, saying no one would choose to live, except that "the dread of something after death" makes people submit to the suffering of their lives rather than go to another state of existence which might be even more miserable."
Literature Cited:

"Hamlet." The Literature Network. 07 Dec. 2007.


"Hamlet: Introduction." Shakespeare for Students. Ed. Marie Rose Napierkowski. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 1998. eNotes.com. Jan. 2006. 07 Dec. 2007. .

Phillips, Brian. SparkNote on Hamlet. 07 Dec. 2007. .

Shakespeare, William. "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark." 07 Dec. 2007. Read more
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