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Hamlet Using A Deconstructive And Marxist View

1112 words - 4 pages

Hamlet by William Shakespeare is one of the most complex plays in the English language. By approaching Hamlet from different perspectives, one can come to realize the subtle meanings interworked with this entertaining play. Two such perspectives are the Marxist view and the deconstructionist view. Marxism refers to the plays social impact and ability to undercut the foundations of government; deconstructionism attempts to show the inability of language to support the intricacies of human life.
Hamlet is the tale of Denmark’s royalty and the “tragedy” that struck the Prince of Denmark, the play’s namesake, Hamlet. The play centers on the murder of the previous King, and his brother’s marriage to the widowed queen a month later. Early in the play, Hamlet finds out from the ghost of his father that he was murdered by Claudius, Hamlet’s uncle and the deceased king’s brother. The ghost tells Hamlet that he must avenge his father’s murder by killing Claudius. The rest of the play is an act of inaction on Hamlet’s part. Hamlet goes back and forth between insanity and sanity while constantly avoiding killing Claudius. In the final scene, Hamlet; Laertes (son of Polonius, Polonius was killed by Hamlet); the Queen, Gertrude; and the King, Claudius all die. While this play is foremost looked upon as a tragedy by most readers, a Marxist critique could show this play in the light of a farce.
The cycle of any monarchy is fraught with assassinations, deceit, and injustice throughout the ruling family; however, in Hamlet, this cycle is broken in an almost amusing way. Hamlet not only defies logical pretense by missing many opportunities to easily kill Claudius, but also displays an ethical streak unusual in the Prince of a ruling dynasty. The ghost of Hamlet’s father makes it very clear that his son is to avenge his death, but makes no offer to explain any reason why Hamlet should avenge him outside of the “necessary” retribution on Claudius. In fact, the ghost of Hamlet’s father inadvertently makes a much better case as to why Hamlet should “not” avenge him when he says that he is, “Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night, And for the day confined to fast in fires, Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature Are burnt and purged away.” This leads to reasoning that the old King Hamlet was just as bad, if not worse than Claudius. It could stand to reason that King Hamlet killed his predecessor also. As such, it makes it nearly laughable that he would ask his son to avenge him; in fact, it proves the hypothesis that Claudius was/is not a good man because he is asking his only son to kill the King, which would undoubtedly lead to his son’s own death. The actions of Hamlet thereafter are an embarrassment in one of the few plays where the Royal Family is treated seriously. He lapses into a façade of insanity that at times seems to cross the line into true insanity, while at the same time making elaborate plans to prove Claudius’s obvious guilt. When...

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