Hamlet V. Oedipus Vs. Hamlet Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Hamlet decides to play at being mad in ways that seem calculated. This is evidenced in his verbal dueling with Polonius, the courtier of the play who in contrast to the blind prophet of the Greek tragedy is truly a foolish old man, rather than merely seeming so. But even Polonius admits that Hamlet's madness seems to have a verbal sense to it -- although the reason for Hamlet pretending to be mad vacillates. At first Hamlet accepts the ghost's words, then tests those words, and then uses purgatory as an excuse not to kill Claudius while the king is praying after the staged play "The Mousetrap."

Hamlet's brilliance lies mainly in his acceptance of his fate with a clear head and his recognition of moral ambiguity. Finally, he says to Horatio, in the fifth and last act of the play, to let be, and the readiness is all -- in other words, the opportunity will come to avenge as his fate decrees, Hamlet need not bring political events to a head by the force of his own will. Oedipus sadly only comes to such a realization after he is blind and has brought plague to his land, in an effort to avoid fate.

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