Hamlet Themes

Topics: Hamlet, God, Religion Pages: 3 (544 words) Published: August 20, 2012
Hamlet, morality, providence, humanity and the state
What does Hamlet teach us?

1) Questions of Morality
2) The power of providence
3) The nature of humanity
4) The strength of the state

* is Hamlet ‘right’ to commit murder in the name of justice * is ‘justice’ mote important than ‘duty’ to the law, to the king, to ones country? * Revenge is a contradiction, because it requires and act of injustice on behalf of justice * In many ways Hamlet the character explores these questions. He represents a Human, tasked with an impossible choice * He is torn between notions of: Honor (father/Ghost) Faith (God) Loyalty (State/King) * It could be argued that he betrays all of these, and is destroyed as a result * Or, is he loyal to all of these, and a hero as a result? * What do you think?

* Shakespeare is asking us, where should our allegiance lie? * In such a changing world as Elizabethan England, Hamlets actions can be viewed as having far reaching consequences * What is our ultimate authority? God? The state? Our consequence?

Power of Providence

* God will be victorious
* Order must be restored
* The king has been ordained by God and is the top of the chain of being * There is no such thing as chance, everything leads to Gods will * Diving justice will prevail
* Death to all characters deemed corrupt
* Life to those that are good, that serve and are dutiful. * Fortinbras – a warrior king, restores order.

Hamlet and divine justice

* Hamlet is embroiled in the corruption of the state. He is part of a morally corrupt family and has plotted the killing of a king. As a result he must die * Claudius, despite his corruption, represents rule and authority. His death cannot go unpunished.

The Nature of Humanity

* Hamlet – a doomed but heroic figure?
* Although hamlets fate (and that of the play seems ordained), it is his actions within these parameters that...
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