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The Presentation Of Hamlet In William Shakespeare's Play

1870 words - 7 pages

The Presentation of Hamlet in William Shakespeare's Play

“Hamlet”, the story of a Danish prince whose uncle murders the
prince’s father, marries his mother, and claims the throne but the
prince manages to kill his uncle in revenge, is open to many forms of
interpretation since the play’s plot explores difficult themes of the
impossibility of certainty, the complexity of taking action, the
mystery of death and the nation as something “rotten”. Shakespeare
has made Hamlet a philosophically-minded prince who delays taking
action because his knowledge of his uncle’s crime is so uncertain, he
blames himself for not taking action against his father’s murderer: “O
what a rogue and peasant slave I am!” and calls himself a coward.
Previous to this, in a soliloquy about suicide, (“O, that this too too
solid flesh would melt, / Thaw and resolve itself into a dew”) Hamlet
exclaims that he wishes he could die since the world is painful to
live in, he wishes bitterly that God had not made suicide a sin
however, within the Christian framework of the play, a person whom
commits suicide, commits them self to eternal suffering in hell. The
play can be seen in a political perspective; the welfare of the royal
family and the health of the state as a whole are continually
portrayed to be threatened and made ill yet Hamlet maybe the hero whom
resists this regime. According to a critic, Hamlet has fascinated
audiences and readers for centuries since he is “enigmatic”.

According to a critic, Hamlet is a “subtle and complex” character. He
is overcome by emotional trauma caused from his grief for his dead
father and his mother’s hasty and incestuous marriage to Claudius whom
the ghost reveals to be his father’s murderer. The play’s dominant
feature is the way Hamlet comes to accept that humanity contains both
good and evil, for example, he realises even Claudius has a conscious
which the players may ‘catch’, making Hamlet philosophically minded.
This view is rejected by the naturalistic interpretation which is that
Hamlet has a problem in that he thinks too much and acts too little.
However, I believe that Hamlets philosophising can be a way for him to
avoid thinking about or acknowledging something more immediately
important (his urge to kill himself as escape or kill Claudius as
revenge).

Hamlet enters Scene Three, his first appearance after his decision to
unmask Claudius by using the inner play, speaking thoughtfully and
agonisingly to himself about the question of whether to commit suicide
to end the pain of existence: “To be, or not to be: that is the
question” is proof for his inability to endure the cruel pressures of
the world. He says that the miseries of life are such that no one
would willingly bear them, except that they are afraid of “something
after death”. This implies vagueness...

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