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Do you find the ending of Hamlet satisfactory?

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� Remind yourself of the final section of the play, from the entrance of Claudius, Laertes and Gertrude. How satisfying an ending do you find this? The creation of great tragedy is the rarest of literary finds. The main reason we have just a small number of sincere tragedies is that our cultures have developed nurturing attitudes towards human experience and death. This has hindered the formation of tragic perspectives. These attitudes have various social and religious forms but they all have two purposes. The first is to reduce the uniqueness of death by understanding it as simply the common fate of nature, and the second is to contradict the finality of death, understanding it as simply the doorway to another life in eternity. Tragedy becomes a possibility when consciousness finds society inadequate to perceptions of a specific human destiny. This emergent tragic awareness finds its realization in art when it can display death as a passing over into eternity and also an end to suffering. In this sense, tragedies are subversive in that they obstruct the tendency of cultures to accommodate the deaths of individual members. ...read more.


He uses very emotive language to exaggerate the enormity of the crime, and he concentrates Hamlet's attention on the treachery of Claudius. His description of the murder itself demonises Claudius and contains many references to original sin, 'the serpent that did sting thy fathers life now wears his crown.' Hamlet, who has been brought up with absolute notions of good and evil, is susceptible to these religious references, 'o all you host of heaven! O earth! And shall I couple hell?' At the beginning of Hamlet, a great man has just died suddenly and his society is seeking relief. Gertrude tells Hamlet, "All that lives must die" as if to comfort him somehow. In the ending of Hamlet, each of the main characters' fatal flaws leads them to their inevitable demise. The play could not lead one anywhere else but to their final fate. Claudius is simply an opportunist whose misguided aspirations lead him to a loss of moral sense. Hamlet sees Gertrude as eager to marry her husband's brother. Hamlet is determined both by the need to avenge his father's death and his failure to act. ...read more.


This in itself is a crime. Hamlet becomes entangled in his anger and spends all of his time thinking spends all his time thinking and planning, rather than actually acting. His speculation of suicide is a foreshadowing of what eventually happens. Perhaps Hamlet, unable to act himself, subconsciously arranges his own death; therefore never has to make the decision. Also, Hamlet's death could be seen as moral compensation due to his responsibility in the deaths of Ophelia, Rosencratz and Guildenstern. Each event in the play pushes Hamlet further along the path to his own death. As there were so many intertwining elements of revenge, it was necessary that all the characters achieve their revenge for a neat ending. It was inevitable that a large proportion of characters would be killed. The play might have come to an end, but a new beginning has been created. The corruption at the heart of Denmark dies as Claudius and Hamlet do. Finally, Shakespeare has given a direct message with the ending of the play. Vengeance is not the job of man. Hamlet may have taken his revenge, but with it he took his own life also. The deaths cleared the way for Fortinbras, who appears much more suited to the leadership than the indecisive Hamlet. ...read more.

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