Alienation In Hamlet Essay

747 words - 3 pages

Alienation in Hamlet


In Hamlet, Shakespeare depicts alienation among the younger characters. Trusting no one, Claudius, the new king, and Polonius send out spies to obtain information from others to assure Claudius's rule of Denmark runs smoothly. Claudius killed Old Hamlet for the rule of Denmark and he fears that Hamlet might know of the murder. Both Claudius and Polonius spy on Hamlet to find out if he knows of the murder. Polonius sends his daughter, Ophelia, out to also gain information. Hamlet begins going mad and people claim that the cause is from the death of his father. Truly, though, Hamlet knows of the murder. But Claudius and Polonius are not the only ones, Gertrude, the queen, blames Ophelia for Hamlet's madness. Polonius's lack of trust in Laertes forces him to send Reynoldo to follow Laertes to France and spy on him. Shakespeare presents alienation of Hamlet, Ophelia, and Laertes resulting from a lack of trust from elders and the deception present in the royal family.

While Claudius and Polonius spy on Hamlet, Hamlet loses all of his hopes and happiness. The problems began with the Claudius murdering Old Hamlet and taking over the rightful throne of Hamlet. Procrastination prevents Hamlet from avenging Old Hamlet's death and only causes more problems for the entire family in the end. With the kind of problems he possesses, he has no one to turn to for help. Even his friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, are sent to spy on him. Hamlet cannot speak of the murder because of its confidentiality and spies he might not know of. With no one to turn to, the thought of suicide crosses his mind as a solution on several occasions: "I am myself indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me" (Shakespeare 146). Hamlet feels incapable of overcoming his procrastination to avenge his father's death due to the overwhelming problems that keep occurring.

Having no parents to talk to about his problems, only aggravates the situation. Critic Paul Canter writes, "The fundamental fact in Hamlet is the hero's (Hamlet's) inability to cope with the ambivalence of his feelings towards his parents" (24). This suggests that Hamlet could not talk to his mother, Claudius,...

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