Mind and Hamlet

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Shakespeare is the perceptive observer of human nature. The play Hamlet is essentially centred on conflict, from both internal and external forces, and Shakespeare explores an individual’s response to these conflicts to further examine the human condition. I have chosen this particular section in this final soliloquy of Hamlet to analyse as it shows a progression and change in Hamlet’s character in the play from a traumatised, tortured young man who is unable to take action to a more confident character who is more determined to resolve his internal struggles. Hamlet’s brief encounter with Fortinbras induces him to ponder: What can’t I take action? He is constantly questioning himself and in doing so allows Shakespeare to explore the conflict between fate and free will, revenge and justice, and to investigate the nature of man and ultimately the nature of an individual. One reason for Hamlet’s inability to carry out revenge is that it is not within his true nature to do such bloody deeds. Hamlet greatly values the human capability to ‘’god-like’’ reasoning which reflects his true nature as a scholar. He’s philosophical, prone to questioning nature makes him aware of the moral uncertainty of killing for any reason. However, this is in conflict with his exterior position as a prince and his filial and social duty to avenge his father’s death and restore honour to Denmark. William Alice interprets that Hamlet’s self-questioning are mere pretexts to hide his lack of resolve. This is true to some extent of Hamlet’s nature; however he has not become complacent as he is a valiant soldier of the spirit, fighting a desperate internal battle to defend his soul from being pervaded by corruption of the rest of the court. I have read the lines ‘’ I have cause and will and strength and means to do it’’ in a very frustrated and bitter tone to highlight the inner turmoil that Hamlet is feeling which becomes a driving force for his outward conflict of dealing with the...
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