Hamlet: A Novel
John Marsden develops the theme of denial through the portrayal of the character’s experiences. Specifically Hamlet’s refusal to acknowledge his nocturnal rampage as well as his true feeling towards his father, Claudius not fully accepting that he murdered his brother and Gertrude denying her emotions and not accepting responsibilities in order to maintain her image. These events help to enhance the tragic nature of ‘Hamlet.’
Hamlet presents the most interesting case in terms of denial. Hamlet first shows signs of denial when we are told about his “4th path,” a trail of perversion and destruction that he often makes at night – “a fourth line that Hamlet lied to himself about.” He lies to himself by completely denying its existence. The only other person aware of it is the gardener Garath who covers Hamlet’s tracks not wanting to get involved in the affairs of the royal court. Throughout most of the book Hamlet is carrying out his father’s final wish by avenging him. This seems strange because Hamlet didn’t like his father very much because of the pressure King Hamlet placed on his son. Its takes Hamlet a trip across Europe for him to realize that he had denied his true feelings and no longer needs to please his father this is shown when he says to Horatio “I think I’ve been approaching this the wrong way… I’ve been trying to design the world all over again, to rearranged it according to… well, according to the way my gather would have wanted it” Throughout the book, Hamlet struggles with indecision. He often makes his mind up to kill Claudius but when given the opportunity he makes excuses and shies away from the task. A perfect example of this is when Claudius is praying in the library “Such a man, were he to die at that moment, must fly to heave, surely?” He tries not to acknowledge this character flaw and as a result, does not kill Claudius until it is too late. Through these points we can see that denial dictates Hamlet’s life...
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