Critical Analysis Of Shakespeare's Hamlet

676 words - 3 pages

Critical Analysis of Shakespeare's Hamlet

What is mans' purpose in life? Is there a purpose? If there isn't, then is it wise to end it, despite the fact that there might be nothing better? In Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, Hamlet struggles with these and other issues. He states that the question of life is "To be, or not to be...?" Is existence really worth the troubles of life? In this monologue, Hamlet is wondering what is his purpose. He asserts that the only reason people endure their horrible lives is the uncertainty of what lies after death. "Who would fardels bear, to grunt and sweat under a weary life, but that the dread of something after death..." Is it noble to suffer, and is life worth all its misery? Hamlet must question himself to discover the answers.

At the point in Hamlet when this famous soliloquy takes place, Hamlet has many reasons to be questioning his existence. Hamlet is visited by the ghost of his late father, who explains that he was murdered by Hamlet's uncle, who is Hamlet's mother's new husband. His father cannot rest until Hamlet has gotten revenge. Hamlet's father has just been murdered, his friends are sent to spy on him, his lover is forbidden to see him, and Hamlet feels that his life is pointless and miserable. "The pangs of disprized love, the law's delay, the insolence of office, and the spurns that patient merit of the unworthy takes..." These are the miseries that Hamlet must endure. This is why he makes this speech to himself, almost as if he is convincing himself that there are reasons to stay living. Most everyone in Hamlet is leading a horrible life. Hamlet's mother has just lost a husband, his uncle is worried and guilt-stricken over the terrible crime he committed of murdering his brother, and Ophelia, Hamlet's lover, is miserable because her half-witted father has forbidden her to see Hamlet. This...

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