Internal and External Conflict in Hamlet

Topics: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Conflict Pages: 3 (939 words) Published: June 1, 2013
In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare conflict plays a very significant role. The play’s main protagonist, Hamlet, possesses both internal and external conflict due to the fact that he is fighting his inner conscience and suppressing his inner emotions, and he is seeking revenge on and conflicting with many other characters in the play. These internal and external conflicts this character is experiencing affect those around him. They also shape the events that occur in the drama and contribute to the overall outcome. Hamlet experiences a tremendous amount of internal conflict throughout the play. He is constantly debating whether or not he should face his troubles. This sense of uncertainty comes from a lack of self confidence, and a loss of hope. However, Hamlet is a strong willed, intelligent and calculative young man, and in his anger he is reminded that he needs to do something about the problems he is faced with. One of the main conflicts Hamlet experiences is person vs. conscience. Hamlet fights his conscious feelings of hurt, confusion and agony and instead bottles them up. Hamlet battles the feeling to take action against the play’s main antagonist King Claudius because he lacks the confidence to do so without knowing that is was really Claudius who committed his father’s murder. He needs reassurance. This is why Hamlet chooses to have Claudius watch a play which reflects the murder of Hamlet’s father. His indecisiveness is proved when Hamlet says "To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles And by opposing end them”. (Act 3 Scene 1 lines 56-60, William Shakespeare) This quote proves Hamlet’s inner conflict between himself and his conscience. The fact that Hamlet is extremely indecisive causes him to spend a lot of time over thinking the situation instead of acting on impulse. This is one of his main faults within...
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