Mla Literary Essay: Who Is Responsible For The Tragedies In Hamlet

1140 words - 5 pages

In life everyone has responsibilities, and these can either lead to great or not so great things happening. When people make selfish or wrong decisions it can lead to tragic events occurring. In the Shakespearian play of Hamlet tragedies are a constant occurrence. All of the tragedies take place as a consequence of Claudius’ choices. Claudius is more responsible than Hamlet for the tragedies in the play. He is more responsible for a few main reasons. The murder of King Hamlet, his frantic actions, and the manipulation of Laertes are all contributions to the tragic events in Hamlet.

The murder of King Hamlet can be seen as where it all began. The selfish decision Claudius makes to murder Hamlet’s father makes him liable for all the other tragedies that occur. The death of King Hamlet causes Hamlet to act out of character, which makes him do things he would not normally do. This leads to the deaths of Polonius and Ophelia. “Thou wreched, rash, intruding fool farewell./I took thee for thy better: Take thy fortune:/ Thou find’st to be too busy is some danger (3.4, 32 - 35) When Polonius gets caught spying on Hamlet talking to his mother, Hamlet takes a sword and stabs through the curtain and kills Polonius in hopes that it was Claudius. Hamlet would never have knowingly killed Polonius. On account of the death of Polonius, this causes Ophelia to act crazy because she misses her father. “Well good dild you! They say the owl was a baker's/ daughter. Lord, we know what we are, but know not/ what we may be. God be at your table!” (4.5, 40 - 42). Ophelia talking crazy was just the beginning of it all. The absurdity of Ophelia’s actions and talking lead to the eventual demise of her character, leading to her death(suicide). “One we doth tread upon another’s heel,/so fast they follow; your sister’s drowned, Laertes” (4.7 164 - 165). The death of Ophelia can be blamed on Claudius. Although he did not personally kill Ophelia himself, his actions are what made her act in a deranged manner. If Claudius had not selfishly killed King Hamlet then Hamlet would not have killed Polonius. If Hamlet did not kill Polonius then Ophelia would not have committed suicide. All of these deaths could have been avoided if Claudius had not started this whole mess.

Due to some of the decisions Claudius makes at the beginning of the play (murdering King Hamlet), he has a guilty conscience and he does many things to try to cover up his tracks. The frantic decisions that Claudius makes point the blame on him even further. In the play, Claudius feels the need to check up on Hamlet two months after the death of his father “I doubt it is no other but the main, His father’s death o’er-hasty marriage” (2.2, 56 - 57) “Well, we shall sift him” (2.2, 58). The Queen knows that Hamlet must have been upset about how the whole death of his father and her remarriage played out. The King decides that he will interrogate Hamlet upon his return. He does this in hopes that he can further...

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