Is Hamlet A Coward Essay

998 words - 4 pages

In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Hamlet is a unique character due to his unpredictability. He is attempting to discover the truth in a way that no other character of Shakespeare’s has done. We find Hamlet in a state of deep melancholy due to the death of his father, as well as the very sudden and lewd marriage of his uncle and his mother. Hamlet is inspired by the player giving the speech about Hecuba witnessing the massacre of her husband, Priam. He goes off on his own, and he is bewildered at how this player can show an enormous amount of passion to something that doesn’t exist. Hamlet contemplates on the reason of how he has not been able to act yet, and he feels like he has stalled ...view middle of the document...

2.140). Nothing is what it appeared to be for him. The image that Hamlet had of his father and mother is now shattered and tainted with doubt.
Secondly, Hamlet confronts his doubts in the form of a “questionable shape”, the ghost of his father (1.4.43). The ghost explains to Hamlet that a sly and treacherous person kept up and poisoned him in his sleep, and he further explains that that “serpent that did sting [his] life / now wears his crown” (1.5.39-40). To that, Hamlet replies that he had the same impression. The ghost echoes exactly what Hamlet had said in his first soliloquy, the marriage between Gertrude and Claudius is incestuous and foul. This alludes to the idea that the ghost is the invention of Hamlet’s creativity. Furthermore, the ghost speaks more about the serpent, Claudius, had “cut off even in the blossoms of [his] sin … No reckoning made … With all my imperfections on [his] head” (1.5.76-9). Old Hamlet must suffer in Purgatory for all his sins, and there was no chance of confession. Ultimately, Hamlet is to take up the duty to “remember [him]”, to avenge his father (1.5.91). Hamlet comes up with a plan after he vows to his father that he will avenge him. He plans “to put an antic disposition on”, but this presents a problem (1.5.175). Is Hamlet going to tip over to turning from acting to actually becoming crazy? He thinks that by acting mad he will find some truth and a different perspective.
Finally, Hamlet struggles to overcome his doubts. It’s clear, that he is angry at himself for delaying action towards Claudius. Moments before Hamlet’s “Oh what a rogue and peasant slave am I” soliloquy, the player that was invited to Elsinore gave an...

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