Hamlet Thesis

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 148
  • Published: November 25, 2012
Read full document
Text Preview
Hamlet Thesis Statement

In the play Hamlet, William Shakespeare writes of a tragedy in which Hamlet and Laertes both face the same problem-a murdered father. The paths of revenge that each of them take, parallel their characters and personalities throughout the play. While Hamlet broods over the murder of his father for the majority of the play, Laertes takes immediate action, and upon hearing about the death of his father, he rushes in and is ready to kill Claudius-whom he suspects has killed his father. When they first hear the news of their father’s death, Hamlet and Laertes react in very different ways. When Hamlet hears that Claudius was the one who killed his father, his immediate reaction was grief. This is no surprise, due to the fact that he was still mourning the death of his father, although everyone else had already gotten over it. In fact, most people thought that he was overdoing it ,and Claudius went so far as to tell him that he should get over it, and “Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature that we with wisest sorrow think on him together with remembrance of ourselves” (act one, scene two). The way that Hamlet plans his revenge, is more intelligent than the way Laertes plans his. While Hamlet is a more intellectual person, as we can see from his quick wit and sarcasm, Laertes is more impulsive and “acts, then thinks” as we can see when he says “I am justly killed with mine own treachery” (act five, scene two). In such a situation, had the play not ended the way it did, Hamlet may have been more successful in avenging his father’s murder because of his responsibility and intellect. Despite the fact that Hamlet procrastinates, Hamlet was smarter in the way he planned his revenge because his procrastination was due to his grief and foresight. Although Laertes trait of acting quickly can be admired and gets the job done, in a situation that involves death and vengeance, strategy and discretion are a must. From the beginning of the play, we can see that Hamlet is an intellectual thinker. Although he believes the ghost and pronounces that “it is an honest ghost” (act one, scene five) , he still takes precautions after he promises the ghost that he will take revenge. However, Hamlet is still a little wary of the ghost and therefor decides to feign madness so that he would be able to find out if Claudius was the true killer of his father. Even while feigning madness Hamlet thinks about the whole process of the madness. Unlike Laertes, Hamlet is careful not to disclose what the ghost has told him and only imparts to Horatio and Marcellus what happened when they swear on his sword that they would never speak of what they saw from that point on. One of the reasons why Hamlet is such a procrastinator is because he becomes caught up in the details and potential consequences. In the soliloquy of “to be or not to be” (act three, scene two) Hamlet loses the will to live and ponders whether it is worth it to exist. Due to the fact that Hamlet suffered the death of his father at a young age as well as well as many other hardships, Hamlet contemplates whether “Tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against the sea of troubles and by opposing, end them? To die: to sleep; no more;” (act three, scene two). However, after that, Hamlet mentions the potential consequences of the unknown after death. Due to the death of his father and his mother’s hasty remarriage which Hamlet does not approve of, Hamlet is well aware of the consequences of his actions and therefore is hesitant to act rashly. When planning his revenge, Hamlet does not jump to conclusions. When the players come, Hamlet asks them to perform “The Mousetrap”-a play of a murder similar to that of Hamlet's father's. Hamlet hopes that “The plays the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king” (act two, scene two). Indeed, the plan worked and when Claudius stormed out of the...
tracking img