This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Isolation As The Root Of Hamlet's Torment

1667 words - 7 pages

Isolation as the Root of Hamlet's Torment

Does Hamlet stand alone? Does this magnate of English literature hold any bond of fellowship with those around him, or does he forge through his quandaries of indecision, inaction and retribution in solitude? Though the young Dane interacts with Shakespeare's entire slate of characters, most of his discourse lies beneath a cloud of sarcasm, double meaning and contempt. As each member of Claudius' royal court offers their thickly veiled and highly motivated speech Hamlet retreats further and further into the muddled depths of his conflict-stricken mind. Death by a father, betrayal by a mother, scorn by a lover and abhorrence by an uncle leave the hero with no place to turn, perhaps creating a sense of isolation painful enough to push him towards the brink of madness.

    With the supporting cast of detractors circled around him, Claudius clearly constitutes the core of Hamlet's opposition. The king's animosity towards Hamlet spreads to the rest of his entourage in the same way that his refusal to mourn his brother's passing left only the prince in black attire and dark-eyed grief. Claudius and the others each make weakly shrouded attempts to gain Hamlet's support, but the deafening falsity of their gestures leaves little doubt about their true sentiments. The first appearance of King and nephew together begins with the disingenuous greeting, "But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son-" (1.2, 64) to which Hamlet sardonically retorts, "A little more than kin, and less than kind!" (1.2, 65).

    This initial encounter between the two men reveals a sea of mutual hostilities and as a broker of the king's will, Polonius parallels such an antagonism. The advisor's first meeting with Hamlet occurs amidst the conception of a plan to gain insight into the prince's condition by abusing his ties to Ophelia, and in the spirit of such impropriety Hamlet greets him with the slander, "You are a fishmonger" (2.2, 174). Prior to this we discover Polonius' rancor for the prince when he warns Ophelia of Hamlet's feigned affections: "Do not believe his vows" (1.3, 127). As with Claudius, there exists little cordiality, less true affection and even less of an attempt to disguise the relationship. The king fears his nephew's grief-enraged condition and the dutiful advisor mirrors these suspicions. Hamlet, meanwhile, casts an equal contempt at the pair in protest of Claudius' unnatural ascension to the roles of both father and husband.

    Built up around this central opposition of Claudius and Polonius remain the various accessories to the conflict. Laertes follows his father's lead in defamation of Hamlet and further admonishes against Ophelia's association with the prince: "Fear it" (1.3, 33) and "Be wary then" (1.3, 43). Hamlet's former schoolmates Rosencrantz and Guildenstern likewise ally with Claudius to hugely pervert the notion of allegiance. Blind of their betrayal, a companionless Hamlet joyfully greets...

Find Another Essay On Isolation as the Root of Hamlet's Torment

The Role of Isolation in As I Lay Dying

1336 words - 5 pages William Faulkner’s novel, As I Lay Dying, tells the story of a family that journeys cross-country with the intentions to find a proper resting place for their mother, Addie Bundren. After reading for only a short time, it becomes clear that two of her sons, Jewel and Darl, play a much larger role in the story than the other siblings. One could find many good points to support either character being labeled as the protagonist of the story, such

The Root of all Evil Essay

3035 words - 12 pages same thing our government could do, but the only difference is that they could do it with zero interest and write the debt off as a public utility for the American People. We the people need to keep true to the wishes of our founding fathers and get back to the root values of the constitution. Voice your opinion to others and let it be known that the Fed is a privately owned company that profits at the expense of the American economy, and most

The Root of Media Bias

1459 words - 6 pages George Orwell, an English novelist, who once believed that Media Bias would gain too much influence over the people (Crick). So, should we be wary of what the media tells us the public, or should we put our faith into the media? Well to figure all this out, we’ll have to learn about the media, its bias, everything that goes on with it and how it has affected us so far. The root of media bias goes back to the nineteenth century and still has

The Root of All Fear

917 words - 4 pages quote was written by a 19th century author it can still relate to texts that were made centuries prior. Both Sophocles and Shakespeare’s plays support Dostoevky because both plays deal with the act of lying and its consequences as a major motif. Oedipus the King is a very famous Greek tragedy written by Sophocles that was first performed in 429 B.C. A major theme during the course of the play is the characters keenness to ignore the truth. Many

The Privilege of Isolation

614 words - 3 pages Franzen’s inclination as the critically acclaimed “Great American Novelist” to defend the novel, the grantor of the privilege of isolation, from the intrusion of technology. However, Franzen’s opinions are not the only statements that reign in the entirety of his essay. He manages to convince the reader that his insights are plausible by bestowing evidence in the form of other authors’ works, including Barry Sanders’ “A is for Ox” which

The Age of Isolation

1630 words - 7 pages Kirthan Reddy Mrs. Jones AP English Language and Composition 26 February 2014 The Age of Isolation Through the years, people have grown to have an increasing reliance on electronics through almost every aspect in their daily lives. Technology has provided us with an effortless way to communicate, but with its advantages come major drawbacks. Although electronic devices allow for a quick and easy form of communication, they cannot build the

The Conveying of Hamlet's Thoughts

717 words - 3 pages The Conveying of Hamlet’s Thoughts William Shakespeare’s Hamlet gives the readers insight into Hamlet’s state of mind as his world comes crashing down with the knowledge of his father’s murder. In the well-known soliloquy from Act III, scene i, Hamlet concisely invokes his thoughts and feelings through the extended use of diction, imagery, and syntax. Hamlet’s powerful word choice conveys his deeply unresolved problems as he considers life’s

The Root Of The Housing Crisis

1001 words - 4 pages foreclosures and get the unsold inventory off the market as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the power to solve this crisis is in the hands of very people who caused much of the problem in the first place: bankers and the federal government. Pressured by federal bureaucrats after passage of the community reinvestment act, bankers gave mortgages to people who should never have gotten loans, asking for nothing down and little proof of income. Now

Poetry anyalsis of the "Root Cellar"

1136 words - 5 pages is about more than just an underground pantry of vegetables, but instead Roethke is trying to tell a story of a scary place where things were still leaving and he was frightened of this place.Voice, language, and imagery in Theodore Roethke's Root Cellar gave the feeling of horror and disgust. Roethke explains it is a dark looming place, smelly and old. The poem filled with words such as "dank", "dark", and "manure". These words have a

Is Money The Root Of All Evil?

435 words - 2 pages Good afternoon/morning teachers and fellow students. I am here to talk to you about money. Is it the root of all evil?What is money and what is evil? The Chambers school dictionary defines money as the coins and banknotes, which are used for payment.The dictionary also defines evil as wicked, harmful and unpleasant. You could say that money is the root of all evil but now that would be a lie.The Bible reference from which this idea is derived

Essay on the square root of 2

561 words - 2 pages √2Although it wasn't Pythagoras himself who discovered the square root of two and the changes it caused to Ancient Greek mathematics as well as the future of mathematics, his follower did and because of this he is mainly accredited. It is not believed that Pythagoras himself who revealed this mathematically changing idea because it went against his philosophy that all things are numbers. It was in reality a Pythagorean philosopher Hippasus

Similar Essays

Ambition As The Root Of Macbeth's Downfall

1381 words - 6 pages Ambition as the Root of Macbeth's Downfall Ambition plays the largest part in Macbeth's downfall. However, without the interference of the witches his ambition would not have changed. The witches increase his ambition drastically by the thought of kingship. Lady Macbeth sees the potential for his ambition to be great, but knows he will do nothing with it, so she plans it all for him; all he has to do is stab Duncan

Sexual Frustration As The Root Of Evil

1852 words - 7 pages Sexual Frustration as the Root of Evil Sigmund Freud contends that people develop neuroses as a result of frustration. Freud’s essays on this topic postulate that sexual repression may result in aggressive behavior. These two elements emerge in the characters in Macbeth. In Freud’s book, Civilization and its discontents, he takes the premise even farther by correlating severe sexual frustration with the onset of

Isolation As Consequence Of Sin Essay

670 words - 3 pages Isolation As a consequence of Sin Nathaniel Hawthorne's book, The Scarlet Letter, demonstrates people's tendency to seclude themselves from society instead of being participating members. He develops the concept that isolation is a result of the consequences of sin. The reader sees Arthur Dimmesdale, Hester and Pearl Prynne taking refuge from society in either the forest, the prison or their homes. Hester Prynne's cottage is

Insecurity As A Root Of Tyranny

1349 words - 5 pages Insecurity as a Root of Tyranny “Everyday Use,” by the acclaimed author Alice Walker, is a thematic and symbolic adaptation of the author’s life and the lifestyle of the African-American population during the 1960’s. Reviewing Alice Walker’s life and the 1960’s provides the necessary background to understand the character development of this story. Walker was born in 1944, the daughter of poor southern sharecroppers in Georgia. The