Hamlet Literary Analysis

Satisfactory Essays
Shane Kraynik
Lt. Short
AP Literature
8 April 2014
Hamlet Literary Analysis In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Hamlet’s inner struggle to exact revenge on Claudius or not is his demise. His indecisiveness creates a path of destruction that takes many lives. Hamlet’s inner struggle is highlighted by his doubting of the ghost’s commands, his refusal to kill the king while during prayer (or attempted prayer), and his inability to kill Claudius bringing the ghost back a second time. Hamlet’s struggle to exact revenge is first revealed when he examines the words of the ghost. Hamlet’s conversation with the ghost leads him to question its intentions. He says to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, “There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.” () revealing to his fellow man that he struggles with thought and determining whether the task the ghost as unexpectedly bestowed upon him is moral and true or deception. This is noted in Bloom’s criticism of Hamlet when it is said that, “The important question about a dramatic mirror was like the one Hamlet found himself asking about the ghost: is this “thing” strange because its revealing a hidden truth—or because some power is trying to deceive me?” (Bloom 56). Hamlet is able to see that the information contained in what the ghost has told him is most likely true, but his sense of morality still needs concrete proof of his Uncle’s guilt. This leads to the attempts at revealing his Uncle’s guilt whether through the play within the play or through his extreme grief and feigned madness caused by the death of King Hamlet. These actions make Claudius acutely aware of Hamlet’s intentions, as precursors to possibly attempting to exact revenge. Hamlet’s indecisiveness rises to the surface once again with his refusal to kill Claudius during attempted prayer. Hamlet is armed with the concrete evidence he received from the play within the play concerning the guilt of Claudius. Hamlet’s refusal to kill Claudius during prayer seems

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