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Death in Hamlet


The story Hamlet is centralized around one common style that stands as the constant vibrant struggle. Death threads its way through the entirety of † Hamlet, from the opening scene’s fight with a dead man’s ghost to the bloodbath of the last scene, which leaves nearly every main character dead. Despite many deaths, however, Shakespeare’s treatment of the concern of death is specifically apparent through his portrayal of Hamlet who is presented as a person preoccupied with the idea of death and the Ghost of King Hamlet.

Hamlet constantly ponders death from many angles.

He is both seduced and pushed back by the idea of suicide, but, in the famous gravedigger scene, he is likewise captivated by the physical reality of death. In a way, † Hamlet † can be deemed extended discussion between Hamlet and death. As Hamlet advances as a character in the story, he advances through lots of understandings of death and death and how it applies to himself and the characters around him. In the beginning he is a lot more thinking in the concept that life is simply a terrible stepping stone to death and beyond, but as he grows as a character and ends up being more skilled, he comprehends the huge unfavorable effect death plays on male.

It is through these characters that the dramatist reveals his ambiguous representation of the principal theme. From the really beginning Hamlet shows a vibrant idolization of death, living life as a journey toward death. Although he is afraid of the Ghost, he attempts to connect with him. At first Hamlet is anxious about death, since he does not understand what awaits him after death. Hamlet reflects his anxiety in one famous soliloquy, where he demonstrates the debate of the problem of death.

As he declares, iBut that the fear of something after death,/ The undiscovered nation from whose bourne/ No tourist returns, puzzles the will/ And makes us rather bear those ills we have/ Than to fly to others we know not ofi (3. 1. 86-90). Nevertheless, as Hamlet hits cruelty, murders, oppression and deaths, he appears to form a specific unconcern towards death. In his search of revenge, Hamlet thinks much about death and afterlife. But these efforts to revenge for his dad are only a prerequisite to Hamlet’s thoughts of dedicating suicide.

This fascination with death slowly drives him mad; William Shakespeare shows this fascination with implicit mockery. For instance, when Hamlet eliminates Ophelia’s daddy, he is not able to remember, where he conceals his body; rather he starts to madly speak about the worms that consume a dead body. Shakespeare shows that even Hamlet’s appearance shows his obsession with death; he wears black clothes and looks depressed. In the graveyard scene Shakespeare magnifies Hamlet’s preoccupation with death, revealing Hamlet’s gloomy ideas.

As he declares, No, faith, not a jot; however to follow him thither with modesty enough and likelihood to lead it; as thus: Alexander passed away, Alexander was buried, Alexander returned into dust; the dust is earth (Shakespeare, 1985 5. 1. 201-206). In truth, the image of the grave is revealed a number of times throughout the play to expose the character’s attitude towards death. With the exception of Hamlet, all characters demonstrate worry and pity at the sight of the tomb that they connect with death. As Hamlet constantly considers death, he does not value his own life, as well as other individuals’s lives.

As an outcome, Hamlet seems also accountable for the death of Ophelia, Claudius, Polonius, Guildenstern and Rosencrantz. Hence, Hamlet’s fixation changes him from an unpleasant youth into a vicious murderer. However, contrary to other characters’ deaths that are portrayed with a particular degree of irony, Hamlet’s death is depicted in more major terms. From the very start of Shakespeare’s play each death seems to be blackened and is quickly forgotten by other characters. For example, Hamlet demonstrates that his father’s death is currently overlooked by people, although King Hamlet passed away only a number of months back.

When Horatio claims, My lord, I pertained to see your dad’s funeral service, Hamlet reacts: I prithee, do not mock me, fellow trainee. I think it was to see my mother’s wedding event (Shakespeare, 1985 1. 2. 183-185). Such an ironic perspective reveals that even the most generous people are forgotten. The death of Polonius is also overlooked by the primary characters; Ophelia and Laertes are too preoccupied with their emotions and feelings to remember their dad, and Hamlet who mistakenly eliminates Polonius expresses only some sympathetic words: Thou sorrowful, rash, intruding fool, farewell (Shakespeare, 1985 3. 38). Ophelia’s death is explained in much more ironical portrayal, as the dramatist presupposes that her death is a result of suicide and asks: Is she to be buried in Christian burial, when she wilfully seeks her own salvation? (Shakespeare, 1985 3. 4. 38). Comparable to Ophelia’s death, the deaths of Gertrude, Claudius, Guildenstern and Rosencrantz have the ability to arouse just compassion in readers. In this regard, Hamlet’s death stands out versus a background of other deaths; it stimulates respect and powerful emotions towards the character.

Although Hamlet reveals paradox to death throughout the play, his death is a tragedy for those who knew him. As Horatio claims, Now cracks a noble heart./ Goodnight sweet prince. And a flight of angels sing thee to thy rest (Shakespeare, 1985 5. 2. 397-398). Hamlet’s death is the tragedy for the entire nation, because it has lost its worthy king and can barely find another terrific individual. Fortinbras thinks about that For he was likely, had he been put upon, to have actually proved most royal Speak loudly for him (Shakespeare, 1985 5. 443-446). Hamlet’s honorable death corresponds with the ideas of death kept by such a Renaissance thinker as Michel de Montaigne (1910) who declares that death reveals the true essence of an individual. According to him, a person can be truly evaluated at his/her last minutes. The comparable attitude towards death is revealed by Sir Walter Raleigh who declared that only death might supply individuals with real understanding of life. Throughout his jail time Raleigh showed genuine nerve and was not afraid of death.

As he wrote in the latter to his other half, I perceive that my death was determined from the very first day (Raleigh, 1940, p. 82). In this regard, Hamlet’s real self is obvious just after his death. At the end of the play Hamlet accepts his death with courage and inevitability. However, Shakespeare demonstrates that, regardless of Hamlet’s indifference to life, he requires much time and courage to prepare himself for killing and death. As Hamlet observes many deaths, he becomes unsusceptible to his own fortune. He begins to view death with irony, realising that life has no value for him.

To a specific extent, it is Hamlet’s madness that assists him to get used to the idea of death and succeed in his vengeance. As Hamlet collides with cruel truth, he appears to be mentally destroyed by it: Who does it, then? His madness. If’t be so,/ Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong ‘d; His insanity is bad Hamlet’s enemy (Shakespeare, 1985 2. 233-235). Simultaneously, the principal character manages to create an ironical attitude towards death that is magnified by the utilisation of Scriptural and classical allusions.

For instance, Hamlet’s revenge looks like the classical story of Priam and Pyrrhus; when Priam kills the dad of Pyrrhus, the latter chooses to kill Priam in revenge. In Hamlet’s case the paradox is explained by the repetition of the scenario, but Hamlet finds it difficult to succeed in his revenge; he prevents some lucky situations and eliminates Claudius only at the end of the play. Another allusion is drawn from the Bible: when Shakespeare (1985) points out the primal eldest curse A sibling’s murder (3. 3. 40-41), he draws a parallel in between the story of Cain and Abel with the murder of King Hamlet by Claudius.

Although Claudius seems to request forgiveness in the church, he does not really repent of his action. When Hamlet identifies the truth about his daddy’s death, he chooses to make a play ‘The Murder of Gonzago’, where he implicitly depicts the murder of his dad by King Claudius. Paradoxically, the play has an excellent impact on Hamlet who has to reduce his desire to kill Claudius and his mom Gertrude. As he mentions, Let never the soul of Nero enter this company bosom./ Let me be firm, not abnormal./ I will speak daggers to her, but utilize none (Shakespeare, 1985 3. 2. 426-429).

As Agrippina, the character of the play ‘The Murder of Gonzago’, is killed by her kid Nero, Hamlet is afraid of his desire to likewise eliminate his mom. Another element of death that Shakespeare reinforces in his play is the Dance of Death that is important for comprehending the dramatist’s analysis of the concern. In the Renaissance this dance was performed in the form of a carnival, during which some individuals camouflaged themselves into skeletons and assisted other people into ‘afterlife’. As an amusing celebration, the Dance of Death was popular amongst various groups of individuals and was portrayed in many remarkable works (Freedberg, 1989).

The image of the Dance of Death occupies the principal location in Hamlet’s graveyard scene. In Hamlet’s conversation with the gravedigger, Shakespeare discovers lots of important problems of presence. For example, Hamlet asks Did these bones cost no more the breeding but to play at loggets with them? Mine pains to believe on’t (Shakespeare, 1985 5. 1. 91). The Dance of Death has a terrific influence on Hamlet, specifically when he sees the skull of his buddy Yorick who occupied a position of fool in the court during his life (Triggs, 1990, pp. 73-76).

Hamlet realises that death is inevitable for all individuals, as he puts it, We fat all creatures else to fat us and we fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service– 2 dishes however to one table (Shakespeare, 1985 4. 2. 21-24). The controversy of the Ghost shows the questionable attitude of Elizabethan society to the concern of death and afterlife. If the Ghost is thought to come back from Purgatory, then Hamlet might think that it is the Ghost of his daddy who suffers much and remains in search of revenge (Low, 1999, pp. 63-472). However, the Ghost may likewise appear to come back from Hell; in this regard, his objective is to turn Hamlet into insanity. William Shakespeare exposes this debate, however he does not solve it. The issue remains open throughout the play and is exacerbated with the disappearance of the Ghost. Greenblatt (2001) even claims that purgatory exists in the fictional universe of Hamlet and [it provides] much of the deep imaginative experiences, the tangled longing, regret, pity and rage stimulated by More (p. 252).

Nevertheless, the deaths of Hamlet and other principal characters of the play uncover the fact about these individuals. In specific, throughout the narrative Hamlet pretends to have a trick, although he does not expose it, but at the end he appears to expose his heart and all his secrets: Thou wouldst not believe how ill all’s here about my heart; but it is no matter It is however foolery (Shakespeare, 1985 5. 2. 208-211). Hamlet attempts to trick other characters, however rather he fools himself, as he is unable to admit that he is likewise scared of death.

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