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Hamlet's Concious

By | August 2008
Page 1 of 6
“Hamlet’s Conscious”

Throughout the play, Hamlet deals with many conflicts and challenges that cause Hamlet's emotions to fluctuate. Shakespeare creates a character, Hamlet, that forces the audience to figure out his puzzling identity while he is on a quest to seek justice in his father’s murderer and his mother’s insensitive actions. While Hamlet does eventually seek revenge by killing Claudius, it is Hamlet’s delays that create an interpretation of struggle within Hamlet’s conscious. By tracking Hamlet’s "thoughts" of grief, vulnerability, suicide, Gertrude, and God we witness a young man’s mind evolve and oscillate in life throughout the play. While focusing on the aforementioned experiences, I will examine the conflicts that arise due to his oscillating conscious.

Hamlet has grief weighing heavily on his mind and conscious throughout the entire play. This is evident during the discussion between Hamlet, Claudius and Gertrude in Act I, Scene ii. When we hear Claudius’ comments about Hamlet mourning his fathers death, we learn that Hamlet is alone in his grief. “Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet, to give these mourning duties to your father, but you must know, your father lost a father...” (Act I. Scene ii. 93-95). Claudius does not understand why Hamlet is in continual mourning, just as Hamlet does not understand why Gertrude has not mourned for a longer period of time. “Within a month, ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears had left the flushing in her galled eyes, she married,” Hamlet explains (Act I. Scene ii. Lines 159-162). His father’s death and the quick marriage of Gertrude and Claudius have led Hamlet into grief that will be the motivations for his confusion, actions, and thoughts.

The chief definition of "thought" revolves around the basic concept of the mental process: to use the brain to plan something, solve a problem, make a decision, (Cambridge Online Dictionary). The motivations of Hamlet’s thoughts lead him...

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