Justification Of Death In Hamlet Essay

2769 words - 11 pages

Justification of Death in Hamlet

 
      Beginning with the Greeks, tragedy has been an essential form of entertainment. Although it has changed slightly over time due to different religious and social values, it is still written and performed to this day. Perhaps the most well known tragedy of all time is Shakespeare's Hamlet. Hamlet is perhaps the epitome of all tragedy. Not only does the tragic hero Hamlet meet his demise, but all the main characters in the play at some point due to some flaw in their character, or some fatal decision, also meet the same fate. It is because of their character flaw and/or their fatal decision at some time during the play that their death can be justified.

      Polonius, the lord Chamberlain, a counsel to the king, is the first character to be killed. As the play opens up, Polonius is depicted as a rather good person, with noapparent flaws. However, as the play progresses, Polonius possess a flaw in his character, which becomes increasingly evident throughout the play; he is extremely nosy and scrutinizing. Many times during the play Polonius is either seen spying on other characters, or arranging for characters to be spied upon. The first such incident of this occurs when his son Laertes is going off to Paris. He instructs his servant Reynaldo to spy on his while in Paris. Polonius tells him:
 
'And in part him, but', you may say, 'not well,

but if't it be he I mean, he's very wild,

Addicted, so and so'. And there put on him

What forgeries you may please; marry none so rank

As may dishonor him. Take heed of that.

But, sir, such wanton, wild, and usual slips

As are companions noted and most known

To youth and liberty (II.I, 17-24).

      The first incident in which Polonius himself serves as a spy occurs when him
and Claudius, Hamlet's uncle and king of Denmark, decides to eavesdrop on a conversation between Ophelia and Hamlet. In doing so, they wish to draw a conclusion over Hamlet's apparent insanity. Polonius instructs his daughter Ophelia,  

Ophelia, walk you here. --Gracious, so please you,

We will bestow ourselves.-Read on this book,

That show of such an exercise may color

Your lonliness.-We are oft to blame in this,

'Tis too much proved, that with devotion's visage

And Pious action we do suger o'er

The Devil himself (III.I, 43-49).

      Polonius' excessive nosiness leads to his death. If Polonius did not feel the need to involve himself in everyone's affairs, he would never have put himself in the position to be killed by Hamlet. Hamlet kills Polonius during Polonius' final session as a spy. After Polonius sees how Hamlet goes off on his mother and Claudius during a play performance in the castle, Polonius volunteers for the king to spy on Hamlet and his mother talking, even though the king doesn't really ask for a volunteer. During the session between Hamlet and his mother, Hamlet hears Polonius...

Find Another Essay On Justification of Death in Hamlet

Death in Hamlet Essay

1328 words - 5 pages Crawford PeytonEnglish 12Doire12/09/13Hamlet, Death, and the AfterlifeIn Shakespeare's Hamlet, Prince Hamlet's attitude towards death, suicide, and the afterlife takes a dramatic turn from religious to cynical uncertainty as the play progresses. While in the earlier acts of the play, Hamlet is very concerned with the opportunity to repent one's sins before death in order to earn passage to heaven, citing this as one of the reasons that his

The Theme of Death in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

1053 words - 4 pages The Theme of Death in William Shakespeare's Hamlet In the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the protagonist, Hamlet is obsessed with the idea of death, and during the course of the play he contemplates death from numerous perspectives. He ponders the physical aspects of death, as seen with Yoricks's skull, his father's ghost, as well as the dead bodies in the cemetery. Hamlet also contemplates the spiritual aspects of the afterlife

Death in Hamlet and Gilgamesh

1793 words - 7 pages dramatic aspect of our lives, writers for centuries have incorporated death into their works. Shakespeare's Hamlet and Gilgamesh are both works that continue touch people profoundly after so many centuries because they both include this issue that touches all people in any time period - the anguish of loss and death of a human being. Sometimes literary works can be solely based upon a death, or they simply utilize death as a consistent theme in

Ambivalence and Death in Shakespeare's Hamlet

1294 words - 5 pages this being one of the more theme-concentrated sections. Another heavy duty theme hidden within these lines is the idea of all being equal in the end. The image of equality through death is brought up several times, but during Act IV, Scene III, is the only time it is shown through the food chain. Even though Hamlet is mostly speaking in bizarre riddles that seem senseless, they do make a point. Hamlet saying, “A man may fish with the worm

Philosophy on Life and Death in Hamlet.

977 words - 4 pages Philosophy on life and death is usually determined by a number of things. Religion, culture, traditions and family usually have something to do with the beliefs humans might have. During the course of a lifetime, experiences and accomplishments have a major influence on how we think as adults. During the play Hamlet, Hamlet's philosophies on life and death change significantly, due to the recent events in his life.In Hamlet's first soliloquy he

Disease, Sickness, Death, and Decay in Hamlet

1570 words - 6 pages Death, Sickness, and Decay in Hamlet   Decay is defined as "a gradual decline; deterioration," disease as "any departure from health."  Both have many forms: physical, psychological, social, etc.  Multiple examples of illness and deterioration can be found in the tragedy Hamlet.  In this drama, Shakespeare uses imagery of decay and disease and the emotional and moral decay of his characters to enhance the atmosphere of the play

An Analysis of Queen Gertrudes Position in King Hamlets Death in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

1507 words - 6 pages An Analysis of Queen Gertrudes Position in King Hamlets Death in William Shakespeare's Hamlet Usually in a playwright, one of the author's objectives is to keep the viewer or reader confused or disconcerted about certain events in the plot. Certain characters in a play or story that have concocted covert schemes to perhaps murder or frame somebody, may have confusing effects on the viewer. Depending on the way the plan was developed in the

The Life and Death of Prince Hamlet

1233 words - 5 pages own depression, Hamlet questions the nobility of an action such as suicide. Hamlet, however, realizes that "for in that sleep of death what dreams may come." The dreams of the sleep of death represent the possibility of a worse situation. The Prince ultimately proclaims that no one would " - bear To grunt and sweat under a weary life," if not prevented by their own fear of what lies after death."But that the dread of something after death,The

The theme of Hamlet;Death and Decay

1482 words - 6 pages decay and that Denmark is rotting, by putting drunken men in the court.The ghost comes out again for the fourth night and motions to be followed. The guards fearing it would be dangerous and could even lead to Hamlet's death, they are weary and try to stop Hamlet from following the ghost but Hamlet says he will kill them if he has to, in order to follow the apparition and find out some answers to his questions. "By heaven, I'll make a ghost of him

Closely Examines Shakespeare's Use of Classical Allusions to Violent Death in Hamlet

1710 words - 7 pages One of the most striking classical references in Hamlet is to the fall of Troy and the death of its king, Priam. Hamlet wishes the player to recite a speech he .".cheifly loved..." and recites the first thirteen lines for him. Within the first five lines of this speech the audience is bombarded with images of darkness, ."..sable...black...night...ominous...dread...black...dismal..." . Hamlet describes .".Hellish Pyrrhus..." raging through

The Rage of Hamlet in Shakespeare's Hamlet

625 words - 3 pages marriage so soon after the death of his father leads Hamlet to the belief that brief is “woman’s love” (1357). Hamlet’s treatment of both woman, seemingly cold, cruel, and at times, vulgar, is merely to camouflage his anger and pain at being a spurned lover and abandoned son. Friends are expected to comfort one in times of grief, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are two of Hamlet’s closest friends. Yet instead of comforting Hamlet in his time of

Similar Essays

Justification Of Hamlet's Sanity In Shakespeare's Hamlet

1599 words - 6 pages caused him his own death, because usually when an individual is insane they are unaware of what they are saying and their actions are usually always made hastily, a quality that Hamlet does not seem to have. When Hamlet is in the presence of certain people he acts differently, he acts like any other normal individual, he is smart, is able to thoroughly think every plan or idea he has and he is fully aware of his surroundings. Although he

The Justification Of Andy Lopez's Death

1500 words - 6 pages The Justification of Andy Lopez’s Tragic Death On October 22, 2013, Andy Lopez, a young teenager at the age of thirteen years old, was shot and killed by a Sonoma County deputy named Erik Gelhaus. The community has taken sides either criticizing the officers actions, or supporting them. Whether the arguments are based on race or police abuse of power, we can clearly see step by step why officer Gelhaus did what he did from the first

Image Of Death Illustrated In Shakespeare's Hamlet

1116 words - 4 pages their memorial after death. From the very beginning of the play, Hamlet is seen as being a person who is very conscious of mortality. The first time that we see him, he is mourning the recent death of his father and dressed in, as he refers to it, an “inky cloak” (1.2.77). Claudius and Gertrude are both trying to talk some sense into him by telling him that people lose fathers all the time and that he is no different from anyone else in the

Death In "Hamlet" Essay

841 words - 3 pages William Shakespeare's play "Hamlet" is a tragedy, but not for Hamlet's family, more so for Polonius's family. Death is an often-occurring event, beginning with Act III, scene iv, leading all the way to the end, but the death of Polonius begins a casualty of deaths that lies in the wake of Hamlets revenge. The death of Hamlet and his family are the main focus in the play, but the true tragedy is that of the family of Polonius. Polonius, Ophelia