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Hamlet's Journey Through The Grieving Process In Shakespeare's Hamlet

1221 words - 5 pages

Grief is a painful emotion that people experience through troubling times in life, such as losing a loved one. Swiss psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kubler Ross, introduced the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, in the year of 1969. She explains that there is no correct way or time to grieve; the stages are used to familiarize people with the aspects of grief and grieving. Grief can over take someone’s life and lead to a negative downfall, such as Hamlet experiences in Hamlet, written by Williams Shakespeare. He undergoes a variety of barriers throughout the novel, such as his father is murdered, which leads to his downfall-death. Although Hamlet grieves, the denial stage is not present in the novel as it begins months after his father’s death. He does not fulfill the bargaining stage either. Ultimately, one can clearly see Hamlet fulfills the grieving process through the stages of Anger, depression, and acceptance.
Anger is a necessary stage of the healing process. It is important to feel anger, even though it may seem endless, because it allows emotions to be released instead of being trapped inside like a bottle waiting to explode. Hamlet undergoes this stage as his mother, Queen Gertrude, remarries immediately after his father’s death, King Hamlet. He states that “Within a month, ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears had left the flushing in her galled eyes, she married” (1.2.155-158). This quote exhibits Hamlet’s anger towards his mother because he does not believe she feels sad by his father’s death as he refers to her tears as ‘insincere’ and she remarries within a month. According to SAVE, “the circumstances surrounding the death are extremely important in determining how we are going to come to an acceptance of the loss”. Not only does Hamlet’s mother remarry immediately after her husband’s death, but she marries his own birth brother, Claudius, which is also classified as incest, bringing Hamlet to feel anger as he is no longer Claudius’ nephew, but he is his ‘son’. Hamlet also shows anger towards the female character, Ophelia as they interact with each other on a daily basis. He tells her that he has “heard of [her] paintings too, well enough; God hath given [her] one face, and [she] make[s] [herself] another. [She] jig[s] and amble[s], and [she] lisp[s], and nickname[s] God’s creature, and make[s] [her] wantonness [her] ignorance…to a nunnery, go” (3.1.153-157,161). As a result of this quote, Hamlet demonstrates strong anger as he insults Ophelia for her cosmetics and tells her that her flirtatious affections is her excuse for her stupid behaviour. Not only does Hamlet insult her because of his anger, but she does not defend herself either, which makes the situation worse. In addition, Hamlet not only undergoes his father’s death, but no one seems to grief over the death which is surprising, as he was the King of Denmark. The new King, Claudius asks Hamlet, “How is it that the clouds still hang...

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