Hamlet Theme Of Inaction And Action Essay

1475 words - 6 pages

Dennis LiuENG 4UAugust 28th, 2014"The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark," written by William Shakespeare, takes place in Denmark in the medieval era. Like other tragedies of William Shakespeare such as "Romeo & Juliet," "Macbeth," and "Othello," "Hamlet" ends in death. Whoever holds the name in Shakespeare's title is not looking forward to a happily-ever-after type of conclusion in Shakespeare's plays. The protagonist of "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark," Hamlet, is whom the play is centered around. Hamlet himself appears to think upon his actions for a great deal of time, and is constantly puzzled with the fact that he must kill his uncle. The other characters think much less about their actions, and are therefore less troubled about the possibility of acting. Shakespeare brilliantly illustrates the uncertainty of people and the consequences of their actions and inactions. Claudius possesses himself of queen and crown through bold action, but his conscience torments him, and he is beset by threats to his authority (and, of course, he dies). Laertes resolves that nothing will distract him from acting out his revenge, but he is easily influenced and manipulated into serving Claudius's ends, and his poisoned rapier is turned back upon himself. But even the incredibly self-aware Hamlet, with all his hours of planning, ends with the same fate of the others (death).Claudius is one to take quick action. He had stolen the crown away from his brother, as well as his wife. Yet, he may not atone for this sin, and will forever live in hell when he dies. "Try what repentance can. What can it not? Yet what can it when one cannot repent? O wretched state! O bosom black as death! O limèd soul that, struggling to be free,"(3.3.66-69). In this scene, Claudius attempts to atone for this crime of killing his brother, yet he cannot find it in himself to make it genuine. Claudius is tormented by his conscious. Even though he had taken all that he wanted with his quick and deceive action, he cannot enjoy his life. He will be forever burdened by the thought of killing his brother. Without truly atoning for this sin, his soul will never reach heaven. Claudius was also not aware of the threats he would face after stealing the throne. Claudius is constantly playing with Hamlet in attempts to quell his rage. When he realizes that Hamlet wants to kill him, he plans to kill the threat. After Hamlet returns from his trip unharmed and alive, Claudius is quick to act. "And in a postscript here, he says "alone." Can you advise me?"(4.7.50-51). In this scene, Claudius is dealing with Laertes, explaining to him how his father died. After realizing that Hamlet was still alive, he devises a plan to have Laertes exact his revenge on the Hamlet. From this scene, one can see that Claudius acts very fast. However, at the end of the play, this very plan backfires, and Hamlet kills Claudius. Claudius' quick actions may have landed him on the throne, but the same...

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