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The Power Of Evil In Hamlet

1039 words - 4 pages

In William Shakespeare play Hamlet, Hamlet mutually represents both the hero of the story and the main character. Since the existence of literature and cinema there have been instances when the protagonist of the piece sets his primary goal to get rid of an evil character, or villain. A reader might wonder how the hero might accomplish such a task. One way this is achieved is by entirely erasing the evil in that character or the character himself. A different approach is by vigilantly preparing the event for the prefect chance to strike while he himself ironically becomes consumed by evil. The wickedness is much like a disease that strikes. It is possible for evil to originate in one character and later infect another; this process can repeat itself continuously until all the holders of evil are deceased or have their evil “cured”. Evil has often been rid of but one question always remains regarding the effects of evil. This question is whether or not a man embarking to rid evil can do so without turning evil himself. In reality, regardless of how unbreakable a hero’s resolve is, if he aspires to expunge evil, he will become evil one way or another.
In the play one can see that Hamlet's behavior and attitude progress throughout the play towards evil. In the start of the play, he is originally a respected and wise young adult. A pivotal turning point for him was when he learns from the ghost (his dead father) that the new king, Claudius, has murdered him in order to reach the high status of king. At this point Hamlet becomes incensed and plans to kill his uncle for revenge. Hamlet changes for the worst so much that Ophelia, whom he greatly loved, turns into just another girl to him. He even gets into a raging argument with her proclaims that, "[Ophelia] you should not have believed me, for virtue cannot so inoculate our oldstock but we shall relish of it. I loved you not.(Hamlet 3.1 117-119)". Even though he tells her this, it is evident that he actually did have feelings for her because towards the end of the novel Hamlet says, "I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand brothers could not with all their quantity of love make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her"(Hamlet 5.1 269-271)". In his harsh and false treating of Ophelia, Hamlet changes from a usual man to an evil and sick person. This encounter with Ophelia was unpleasant, yet it is simply the product of the kindling evil inside Hamlet.
Evil can also change a man into a monster which in turn ruins his reputation as a good person. Hamlet ruptures with fury in the face of his close friends and family, including Horatio, the closest of all his friends. His friends all observe that fact that Hamlet has lost his mind. Surprisingly a simple gravedigger even knows of Hamlet’s madness. When Hamlet stumbles upon the man he does not realize whom he is talking to but he states that "[He] is mad and sent to England...why, because 'a was mad. 'A shall recover his...

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