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Hamlet - Essay Example

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Ever since I read the play, I had been burdened with doubts regarding the reasons for Prince Hamlet’s procrastinations. I was tempted to analyze…
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Hamlet
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The question whether the element of tragedy in Hamlet is caused by its protagonist’s incapability to act is a much debated one. Ever since I read theplay, I had been burdened with doubts regarding the reasons for Prince Hamlet’s procrastinations. I was tempted to analyze the text closely on my own terms, though the earlier established critical views were of much help to me in this endeavor. I realized that it cannot be concluded by any means that the Prince was a coward and that he was trying to run away from his responsibilities. Rather, the entire structure of the play revealed that he was in constant search of evidence that confirmed his doubts. It seemed to me that he was different from Oedipus or Macbeth in that he did not jump into thoughtless action. I searched for the possible reasons for this and interrogated the differences in the notion of tragedy among these heroes. Apparently, Hamlet was different from the others because he was faced with serious domestic problems soon after he returned home from the University. The learned Prince took the world seriously and tried to comprehend it to the fullest, and to his utter dismay discovered that time was out of joint. I focused on the specific pattern in which Hamlet tried to discover the truth and the ways in which he tried to avoid action. I searched for the possible reasons for his ambivalent relationship with his mother Gertrude and lady love Ophelia, and a specific pattern evolved with which I could argue that Hamlet’s inaction did not show his inability, and that it was part a well thought out plan of action which the Prince had conceived.
The paper revolves around the idea that Hamlet’s inaction was related to the careful study of the situation at hand which he had to resolve. It is argued that instead of jumping into thoughtless action like Oedipus or Macbeth, Hamlet took as much time as possible to interrogate the existential questions he was faced with and realized that the state of the world did not adhere to any idealistic notion. Hamlet’s quest for truth is not something that would lead to a happy state of affairs. He realizes that he is doomed to be a tragic hero whose actions can only result in irrevocable sorrow. The paper introduces the psychoanalytic readings that have established the possible reasons for the procrastination of Prince Hamlet and goes on to analyze the Apollonian and Dionysian traditions in the Greek culture. In this section, Hamlet is seen as possessing more of the Apollonian elements in contrast with Oedipus, who seems to represent the Dionysian elements. There is also a contrastive study of Hamlet and Macbeth where the different moral aspects of the characters are analyzed. It is concluded that the final scenes of the play reveals that Hamlet was not trying to avoid action because he was a coward or incapable of action. Hamlet shows his nobility in his quiet resolve and intellectual propensity in the careful planning of the play within the play – The Mousetrap. Moreover, the fact that he is good at fencing is made clear in his match with Laertes. It is assumed that the real tragedy of the play is not the deaths and killings, but the moment in which Hamlet realizes that the world around him is essentially evil and it is impossible to act and retain happiness, even as he finds himself in a position where he cannot escape from action. Read More
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