Journal #1 –Hamlet
“My family is my strength and my weakness” – Aishwarya Rai
This quote is written on the basis of paradox. After further understanding, this quote by
Aishwarya Rai makes perfect sense. As family, they are the first ones to support you during
troubles and obstacles. This provides strength for the individual, allowing him or her to continue
on. However, high expectations and stress induced by family members can be the downfall of
individuals as well. This is why family can be ones strength and weakness.
In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the main character Hamlet can relate to this quote as
he deals with family issues through the story. Since Hamlet idolized his father, he can be seen as
Hamlet’s strength. This is because Hamlet listened to the ghost of the father and plotted to take
revenge on Claudius. Another example is the support from Hamlet’s friend, Horatio. Out of all of
Hamlet’s friends, Horatio is the only one who remains faithful to Hamlet. This gave Hamlet the
strength to carry out his plan.
The family member who is to blame for Hamlet’s downfall would be Claudius and
Gertrude. Even though Claudius is King Hamlet’s brother, he still murdered him with poison.
The death of the King launched Hamlet into depression and insanity. The murderer being his
uncle caused Hamlet to have trust issues and he shows doubt frequently throughout the play.
Gertrude contributed to Hamlet’s deterioration by marrying Claudius. During the time that
Hamlet was written, it was forbidden and incestuous to marry anyone in your family including in
laws. Shakespeare wrote this into the play, as Hamlet thinks of his mother in a different light
after the marriage. Hamlet is so shocked by the marriage that he cannot speak in complete
sentences after the news.
The ghost of Hamlet’s late father is also a cause for Hamlet’s downfall. If the ghost had
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