Suicide in Hamlet
In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, suicide is an essential and continuous theme throughout the play. Hamlet is the main character who contemplates the idea of suicide several times throughout the play, because the murder of his daddy. Hamlet weighs the advantages of leaving his dog’s life with the living, for possibly a much better but unidentified life with the dead. Hamlet seriously contemplates suicide, however chooses against it, generally since it is a mortal sin versus God.
Hamlet continues to say that most of mankind would commit suicide and escape the difficulties of life, however do not since they are unsure of what awaits them in the after life. Hamlet throughout the play is continuously tormented by his dads death and his failure to get revenge and Claudius and on several celebrations seriously considers suicide, however constantly winds up backing out because it is a sin prohibited by God. Opehlia, on the other hand, is driven mad by her daddy’s murder and by Hamlet’s betrayal and dedicates suicide.
However due to the fact that she belongs to the royal family, her sin is forgiven and she is given a full Christian burial, regardless of even the priests’ suspicions about the cause of her death. With suicide being so openly displayed and talked about in the play, it seems that suicide was not on any social level, considered anything degrading or disrespectful. We first see Hamlet ponder suicide after Claudius and Getrude ask him to remain in Denmark, rather than go back to Wittenburg to resume his research studies against his dreams.
In Hamlet’s very first soliloquy, Hamlet clearly wants to dedicate suicide, and wishes that his, “strong flesh would melt,/ Thaw, and fix itself into a dew!” (I. ii. 133-134). Hamlet wishes that his body would dissolve so he would not need to see Claudius and Getrude together once again, and pretend as though all is well. Hamlet discusses to us that he does want to pass away, however he says he can not because, “the Everlasting had not repair ‘d/ His canon? gainst self slaughter! O God! O God!” (I. ii. 135-136). Hamlet wants that the Long lasting or God, had not set canon, or law, against suicide.
Hamlet advances and practically complains on the state of the world, calling it stale, flat, and unprofitable, showing how genuinely miserable he is. Hamlet thinks about suicide as a possible option of escape from his life in an unpleasant world, but feels as though faith is avoiding him from doing so. Hamlet then provides us with the roots for his pain and the factor for his contemplation of suicide. Hamlet is troubled by his mothers marital relationship to Claudius, but specifically how quickly the 2 were wed after his father’s death.
He continues to reveal his dislike and hatred for Claudius calling him a satyr, while praising his dad and saying how exceptional of a king his daddy was. In among the final lines of the soliloquy Hamlet discuss how the marriage is a bad omen for Denmark, “It is not, nor it can not pertain to good,” (I. ii. 163). For the very first time we are introduced to the idea of suicide which will continue to present itself as the play establishes. When Hamlet is established and spied on by Claudius and Polonius, he takes a look at the ethical element of suicide in an agonizing world.
He opens his soliloquy with asking an easy question, “To be, or not to be: that is the question:” (III. i. 58), that is, whether to live or to die. He then starts to question whether it is nobler to suffer life and the, “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” (III. i. 66), or to take ones life and end one’s suffering. He compares death to sleep and initially believes that this sleep will bring an end to ones discomfort and suffering, however likewise the unpredictability it might bring.
Hamlet then chooses that suicide is really the desirable course of action, “‘t is a consummation/Devoutly to be dream ‘d,” (III. i. 71-72). However even in his confessing that suicide is the very best course of action he also admits with utilizing the spiritual word, devoutly, that there is more to this concern, and that is what will occur to someone in the afterlife. Hamlet fixes himself and continues his metaphor of dreaming in the after life, and he is uncertain what type of dreams await us in the after life, which these dreams need to not haunt us however offer us rest.
He then concludes that the uncertainty of the after life after suicide is what ultimately avoids all of humanity from committing suicide to end the pain which individuals experience throughout their life time. He outlines a list of all of the scenarios which would drive somebody to the point of suicide, varying all over from problems with love to hard work to political oppression. Hamlet then asks who, if anybody, would select to suffer through all of these horrible circumstances when one could end the suffering with a knife, “When he himself might his quietus make/ With a bare bodkin?” (III. i. 83-84). Hamlet answers his own concern by aying that no individual in their right mind would send to these awful circumstances in life when one might simply end everything with a knife, except that the “dread of something after death,” (III. i. 86), forces individuals to deal with the issues of their life because they have no idea what to anticipate after death, and after death might even be more miserable than their life. The unpredictability surrounding the afterlife is what leads people to send to live their lives, and that our, “conscience does make cowards people all;/ And hence the native color of resolution/ Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,” (III. 91-93). Hamlet covers the primary themes in the book, suicide and death, and states that in addition to God telling us that suicide is a sin, that our own conscience’s are laid out in such a way that it is difficult for us to navigate the barrier of the worry of the unknown. This psychological barrier and unconscience barrier, and the conscience religious barrier avoids all of mankind from ending their suffering and committing suicide. With all the talk and idea of suicide it is surprising we real just get one case of suicide.
Ophelia has been driven mad by her dad’s murder and Hamlet’s actions, and falls from a tree into a river and voluntarily succumbs to the water and drowns. Despite the fact that Ophelia is thought to have actually committed suicide she gets a full Christian burial. The gravedigger’s are discussing the on whether or not Opheila ought to be buried in a Christian tomb because she committed suicide and one states that, “If this had actually not been/ a gentlewoman, she must have been buried out o’/ Christian burial,” (V. i. 24-26).
Throughout the burial ceremony even the priest who was performing the ceremony called Ophelia’s death suspicious, but continued with the burial. The fact that although Ophelia dedicated suicide and it is not a concealed at all, shows a lot about how people at this time dealt with suicide and how severe they actually believed it was. This is probably a special scenario since Ophelia becomes part of the royal family and her sin can be somewhat forgiven, however if it were a peasant or any other routine person who was not a part of the royal household I do not think that it would have been as quickly put aside and forgotten.
This desire to forget, makes me reassess how seriously these people took their faiths. The final and culminating suicide of the play is the last scene in which the whole royal household is slain by its own internal corruption. It is not the same kind of suicide or with the exact same intentional intent as Ophelia or Hamlet contemplated, however all the members of the royal household are eventually slain by their own treachery. Laertes plots with Claudius to eliminate Hamlet by poisoning Laertes’ sword which he will use in the fencing match.
But in a scuffle in between the 2, their swords get changed and Laertes is eliminated by his own toxic sword, and Gertrude is unintentionally killed by Claudius’ strategy. Claudius is stabbed by Hamlet with the dangerous sword that he established for Hamlet to be slain by, but Hamlet also forces him to drink the harmful red wine which he was also indicated to drink. Lastly, Hamlet, has been killed due to the fact that of his hold-up to get revenge on Claudius permitted Claudius adequate time to establish a strategy and assassination plan of his own.
Murder is contemplated and happens so much throughout this play, that by the end of the play, it does not trouble the reader. Hamlet makes suicide out to be something which is against the will of God and is an extremely serious sin, however not as soon as does anyone say anything near this worrying the morals behind murder. This concentrate on the issues and morality of suicide, and the absence of doing so with murder amaze me whenever I read Hamlet.
Putting aside the religious and conscience barriers which face people when they contemplate suicide, Hamlet does not seem to offer us any reason to believe that he or society, thinks that there is anything morally incorrect with suicide. When Hamlet pertains to the conclusion that individuals do not devote suicide since they hesitate of what they do not understand, still holds true today. I think that people in basic, do have a worry of the unidentified, particularly scared of what awaits us after life.