english lit, Hamlet

Good Essays
Topics: Hamlet, Morality
Hamlet’s first soliloquy gives us an insight into the corruption of his character. He talks of suicide ‘O that this too too sullied flesh would melt, Thaw and resolve itself into a dew’ and how his religion restricts him from it. The term ‘sullied flesh’ suggests that Hamlet feels he has been made impure by his mothers’ incestuous marriage, exhibiting his state of internal conflict. He uses imagery like ‘things rank and gross in nature’ to express the feeling of the decay of morality that he sees since the death of his father. This decay of morality can be most closely related to his mothers’ behaviour. He talks of her betrayal to his father by saying ‘Within a month, Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears Had left the flushing in her galled eyes, She married- O most wicked speed!’. It seems hamlet is tormented by the inability of those around him to act morally and grieve for his fathers’ death.
Shakespeare’s play on the theme of duality also introduces us to the inconsistent nature of Hamlets personality. We see a caring and emotional side to Hamlet, whilst in other parts his character seems ignorant and erratic. This is not only shown in Hamlets character but throughout the play in many other characters, perhaps showing a lack of distinction between good and bad, and a sense of shattered identity. Shakespeare conveys this concept of duality using antithesis, particularly in Act1.4. He says ‘Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell, Be thy intents wicked or charitable’, using the extreme opposites of heaven and hell, wicked and charitable. Perhaps this is representative of the two extremes of Hamlets character and its ambiguity brought by Hamlets belief that man is a ‘contradiction’.
Femininity also plays a key role in introducing Hamlet’s character and how he is presented. It could be argued that his character doesn’t conform to that of the typical protagonist of a revenge tragedy, in the way that he considers the moral implications of taking

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