Universal Truth in Hamlet Term Paper
- Length: 4 pages
- Sources: 6
- Subject: Literature
- Type: Term Paper
- Paper: #67106433
Excerpt from Term Paper :
Universal Truth in Hamlet
Hamlet's story is different from most of the stories of revenge and betrayal in a way that throughout the novel he was not sure about a lot of things. Thus, the way the story unfolded eventually really showed that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Hamlet goes on in the uncertainty and in doing so he wonders what the purpose of life is. This dwells on the uncertainty Hamlet portrays and also the questions many of the people in play put forward. Secondarily, this uncertainty however foreshows that the nation is corrupt and so are all the people in it. These corruptions and problems lead to the story moving forward. Hamlet throughout the book stays in a melancholy and a malicious judgment about women as well. To him, the knowledge that he has is sufficient to rule out and judge others in his life. However, this knowledge can turn him against the right people and go on feeling safe around people who are dangerous to his well-being.
Uncertainty and hesitancy is the basis for the play and paves way for it to progress. If hamlet had known and was sure about Claudius, he would have gone right then to murder him. Even after Hamlet had staged the reenactment of the scene where the former king was killed and the reaction Claudius gave to it, Hamlet plans and plans. His uncertainty is merely stemming from his lack of knowledge which then goes to on harm Hamlet in the long run. Many say that this uncertainty is put in the play because the writer wanted to show how taking revenge in a cruel manner can be burden on some souls. (Stone 37) He was uncertain and hesitant in acting and thus didn't kill Claudius when he had the chance to. In short, Hamlet isn't sure of himself. When Ophelia goes on to disappoint him later in the play, it is brought up how Hamlet could not see through her? It is also stated that if Hamlet couldn't judge Ophelia correctly, how is possible that the ghost he saw was reality or just a delusion. (Walker 79)
The hesitancy further lead to the actions of Hamlet being ill planned and mismanaged. He brought in psychological factors and emotional and ethical aspects as well. The psychological factor is basically Hamlet's mistrust of the situation and the uncertainty that was discussed earlier. Hamlet doesn't believe that it is possible to act in a decent way, and in a planned way. He isn't much of a doer and it becomes prominent when he comments about how wrong the sate of Denmark is. Even as a ruler and a prince, he is fretting over the fact that he has to take care and fix such a demented state. (Shakespeare I. v. 11197-98) This goes on to show that Hamlet believe sin acting recklessly and does acts more and thinks less. This has earned the character much criticism that even though a hero, his tragic life and despair foreshadows his bravery and courage. (Kroll 62)
Mystery of death comes forward when Hamlet goes on to wonder about the ghost that he talked to. He thinks that maybe it's the impact of his father's death that is getting to him. He questions whether there are ghosts present in real life and whether their presence is just something the mind makes him. If Hamlet is ought to make the decision of killing his father on the basis of what a ghost hinted him about, he needs to solve this mystery as well. The interesting thing here is that the soldiers see the image of the former king even more Hamlet does. (Shakespeare i.ii.191). When this play was staged, most of the people in England were coming out of the idea of ghosts and were starting to reject it. (Corum 117) This further hints on and adds to the uncertainty that Hamlet might have felt in the play.
Another mystery that comes forward is the idea of life after death and whether it is more painful to live or die. That is the whole point which is delivered by the "to be or not to be" siloqouy (Shakespeare iii.i) that comes forward in the play. This also reflects on Hamlet's suicidal and depressed nature all throughout the book. The dominant man Hamlet was when his father ruled is nowhere to be found after his father's death.(Corum 97) Living in the shadow of his uncle, Hamlet wonders if death is more painful than life.
When Ophelia is confused about what certain parts in the play, she goes on to ask God to inform the people about what they are and what they are likely to become. She says that she knows what they are but they don't know what they are capable of being. (Shakespeare iv.v. 43-44) This shows a sense of confusion and uncertainty in how one should live their life. Even though the major uncertainty in this play is whether Hamlet should go after Claudius or no, there is also question about what view to keep for life. If Hamlet is alone kept in focus, then surely the answer would lie in pessimism. That since the world is a corrupt place and so are the people, one should keep a pessimistic approach towards life. The idea of the purpose of life also is evident when the main character, Hamlet, contemplates on the thought of suicide in many parts in the book. Just because he is not sure and depressed, Hamlet considers suicide in many parts in the book.
There is the part in the play where it is said that something is rotten in the state of Denmark. (Shakespeare 1.4.98) This shows that the idea of corruption and bad morality is a common concept where Hamlet is living. The world that Hamlet sees around him is full of bad morals and corrupt people. There are different tragedies that go on to show the rotten and corrupt side of each of the characters.
The idea of disease and corruptness of the soul is also highlighted in the book. This disease and corruptness is yet another major cause of the sadness and the melancholy taken over Hamlets life. There is a part when he says my weakness and my melancholy, (Shakespeare (I.i.578) The weakness can be because of poor decision making or bad health but all in all, it reflects a corrupt state internally and externally. There is tragedy almost everywhere and is surrounding Hamlet's life. Despite this guesses, the audience were rejecting the idea of melancholic illnesses because at that time, there were none cataloged as such. (Corum 95) The other ills mentioned by Hamlet included the wrongdoings by the oppressor, the proud man's contumely and the delay law was giving, insolence of office, and the merit that someone unworthy takes. (Shakespeare i.xi.71-75)
The concept of misogyny was very wide spread in all of Hamlet. Even in the start of the play, Hamlet is accused of being madly in love with Ophelia. However, following that he publicly declares that he doesn't have any feelings for her. Hamlet is known to say that frailty is linked to the name of women (Shakespeare I.ii.146) this clearly shows how much hate he has for women. He convinces Ophelia to go into nunnery and stay away from other wrongdoings and corruptions linked with sexuality.
The Ophelia concept is on another side but the hatred for women stems from two major problems. Firstly, as mentioned earlier, the nation's corruptness has been linked with the melancholy and sadness crept over the entire play. Just by taking the idea of everyone being negative and wrong, Hamlet goes on to consider suicide in many different parts in the play and stays…