Block 1 English
February 12, 2009
Prince of Denmark: A Hero?
William's Shakespeare's famous drama Hamlet, is filled with treachery, revenge, and corruption. The play unfolds as the protagonist, a troubled young prince, looses his father to the hand of his uncle. At the same time, his recently widowed mother marries this uncle becomes new king of Denmark. After encountering his father's ghost, young Hamlet dedicates himself to avenge his father's murder. But although at the beginning he seems sure of what he's set out to do, his many flaws start to show thought out the story. He begins constantly struggling in a battle with his mind, and delays action by finding reasons to avoid his duties. He also builds up many emotions on his mother's marriage, and looses faith on all women. He becomes uninterested in life and sees no meaning of it. He's unable to act, to think clearly, to love, to build a much more meaningful life and hides himself in his own thoughts. He clearly was not a fit hero, for he was a passive, suicidal, misogynist wimp.
Hamlet can be portrayed as uncertain. He is unclear about whether to avenge the death of his father, or simply mourn his absence but recover and let go. He conveys a feeling of ambiguity in his soliloquies, by fearing condemnation for himself. In act one he first brings out doubts about this father's ghost, saying "The spirit that I have seen may be the devil." Making this a quick excuse he continues saying the devil being so strong has abused him in his "weakness and melancholy" (III, 2, Pg137). He continues to doubt his ability to obey the ghost, for he is simply a coward. He confesses he's "dull" and claims he cannot take action because his personality is a passive one. As the play goes on, Hamlet still does not find the motivation to continue his plan. He compares himself to the player of a king passionate about Hecuba, when it doesn't mean much to him because he's acting. He says, "Yet I, a lazy and miserable rascal, mope about like Johnny Daydreams, lacking inspiration for my cause, and unable to say a word. No, not even on behalf of a king who was damnably murdered." (II, 2, Pg135).
The prince of Denmark later begins to convince himself that the ghost was truly his father and is determined to follow the ghost's commands. But in order to kill the king, he thinks of attempting to act but cannot actually bring himself into action. In act III, scene 2, Hamlet decides to go on to kill King Claudius and establish justice once and for all. But at the next scene he talks himself out of character and does not kill the king. Apparently the king was praying in church and he decided not to kill him because “he would go to heaven. So much for my revenge!”. He delays and intends to do the deed when King Claudius “is drunk asleep, or in a rage, in bed indulging in incestuous pleasures, blaspheming while playing a game, or involved in some activity that has no trace of God's salvation in it.” (III, 3, Pg187). Hamlet's actions are delayed whenever the situation is not perfect. He goes back and forth, and only kills Claudius when he's almost force to before his own death.
Another one of Hamlet's flaws is his lack of contempt for life. After his uncle Claudius murdered his brother, Hamlet's father, he'd knew it was for the power and hand of the queen. His mood turns morbid and depressed. His mind suffered and he was looking at death as the dream of something better than his troubled life.”To live or not to live. That is the issue. Is it more noble to endure the blows of fickle fortune, or to fight against overwhelming odds and overcome them?”(III,1,Pg143). Hamlet is much tired of feeling sorrow over his murdered father and anger towards his mother. But as he contemplates suicide, he wonders and worries about what and where he would go after death. He keeps in mind Christian beliefs of damnation and still sees death as something unknown and feared. But he's constantly...
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