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Why is Hamlet able to kill in hot blood and not cold blood?

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Introduction

During my essay, I have tried to establish the following issues: * Why Hamlet is able to kill in hot blood and not cold blood. * How Hamlet can be ruthless in contrast to his delay in seeking revenge * Hamlet's reaction with men of action (Laertes and Fortinbras) * Hamlet's treatment of Gertrude and Ophelia * How Hamlets madness was caused by revenge. The analysis I have formed is based on information from the following: * Cambridge School Shakespeare - Hamlet * Zeffirelli Film - Hamlet (starring Mel Gibson) * Kenneth Brannagh film - Hamlet In Act 1, we see Hamlet as a depressive and grieving for his Father. He is also full of anger against his Mother because of her marrying her late husband's brother within a couple of weeks of his Fathers death. I was under the conclusion that Hamlet could be suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder, and that Barnardo, Francisco, Marcellus, (the Sentries at the beginning of the play), and Horatio (fellow scholar and friend), could well be multiple personalities of Hamlet. The sentries there to protect Hamlet from the new reign of his uncle, and Horatio there to protect and guide Hamlet. These five characters are the only characters in the play to see the ghost - the ghost appears whilst Hamlet is in Gertrude's chamber (Act 3, Scene 4), but Gertrude is unable to see her dead husband "Alas, how is't with you, that you do bend your eye on vacancy...". ...read more.

Middle

Hamlet's relationship with Gertrude was one based on distrust. If she could betray the King's memory so quickly and, with his brother, how could Hamlet trust her? He felt that Gertrude was mocking his grieving "Why seems it so particular with thee?" (Act I, Scene 2, Line 75), and that she never did grieve for his Father. When Hamlet goes to Gertrude's chamber and informs her of foul play, Hamlet feels that she was part of the conspiracy to murder his father. It is only after seeing her shock that Hamlet realises that she had nothing to do with old Hamlets murder. Towards the end of the play, Gertrude shows remorse to her son, by going against her husbands wishes "Gertrude, do not drink!" "I will my lord, I pray you pardon me" (Act 5, Scene 2, Line 268 and 269). Could this have been suicide? Was Gertrude so ashamed at what she had done and attributed to, she saw this as the only way out? Hamlet was a very clever, intelligent individual who I feel was very intuitive to those around him. Hamlet pretends madness. This could be so he can catch Claudius unawares so he can kill him, or it could have been brought on by the Ghost commanding Hamlet to avenge his death (Hamlet was a scholar and not a soldier - and this went against all his religious beliefs) ...read more.

Conclusion

Though would Hamlet have gone on to kill his Mother, if he hadn't heard Polonius behind the tapestry? Hamlet's relationship with Laertes was one of tolerance. He thought that Laertes was like his father and used words unnecessarily. He mocked Laertes as his was grieving at Ophelia's graveside, because Hamlet felt Laertes was being too theatrical. At the end of the play, when Hamlet discovered that Laertes had been used by Claudius for his own end, felt an affinity with him (he too had lost his father) and by forgiving each other for each others deaths - they were freeing themselves to go to heaven. Young Fortinbras and Hamlet were similar in two ways. They were both named after their Fathers. Upon their Fathers death, their uncles succeeded the throne. This is where the similarities end. Fortinbras went on to be a soldier and Hamlet a scholar. We know that Hamlet had a dislike for unnecessary fighting (Act 4, Scene 4) and felt repulsed by the attack on Poland for some worthless land. (Act 4, Scene 4) . It can be deemed that Hamlet felt an affinity with Fortenbras as in Act 5, Scene 2 Hamlet declares that Fortenbras should be King of Denmark. This could be construed as Hamlets way of apologising that his Father had taken away land from Fortenbras's father and in giving it back to Fortenbras, Hamlet was exorcising the ghosts and the fact that he had killed. Allowing both Old Hamlet and Young Hamlet to go to heaven. Hamlet by Diane Carney 1 ...read more.

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