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Essay on Hamlet.

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Introduction

Essay on Hamlet William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" has come down to us as the classic tale of a person tormented by his indecisive nature. Early in the play , Hamlet , prince of Denmark , is visited by the ghost of his father, who was murdered some months before. The crime has remained unsolved, but the ghost tells Hamlet that the murderer was actually Hamlets uncle Cladius, who in the meantime has married Hamlet's mother and is now sitting on the throne. The ghost calls upon Hamlet to avenge his death by killing Claudius. This is where Hamlet's dilemma and the debate over whether or not he was truly " mad" begin.... Had Hamlet been an instinctual character, he would have immediately run and committed murder, and there would have been no play to speak of. But Hamlet cannot do this. He spends the next four and a half acts expressing his anxiety in little bursts of activity, most of which don't seem to get him any closer to avenging his father's death but which accentuate the debate over whether or not Hamlet was sane. Clearly, there is no question that hamlet is really not a play of action, it is a play of psychology under extreme stress. ...read more.

Middle

The conduct is perhaps not wholly secure against objections. The action is indeed for the most part in continual progression, but there are some scenes which neither forward nor retard it. Of the feigned madness of Hamlet there appears no adequate cause, for he does nothing which he might not have done with the reputation of sanity. He plays the madman most, when he treats Ophelia with so much rudeness, which seems to be useless and wanton cruelty. Hamlet is, through the whole play, rather an instrument than an agent. After he has, by the stratagem of the play, convicted the King, he makes no attempt to punish him, and his death is at last effected by an incident which Hamlet has no part in producing. The catastrophe is not very happily produced; the exchange of weapons is rather an expedient of necessity, than a stroke of art. A scheme might easily have been formed, to kill Hamlet with the dagger, and Laertes with the bowl. The poet is accused of having shewn little regard to poetical justice, and may be charged with equal neglect of poetical probability. The apparition left the regions of the dead to little purpose; the revenge which he demands is not obtained but by ...read more.

Conclusion

The soliloquy begins with Hamlet's thoughts on how time is running by and he still hasn't done anything. He says: "How all occasions do inform against me, And spur my dull revenge! What is a man, If his chief good and market of his time Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more." (Hamlet IV.iv. 32-35) In these lines Hamlet is thinking about all the time he has wasted in not taking action. He sees how everything around him is taking shape, all except his own actions. He goes on to say "Sure, he that made us with such large discourse, Looking before and after, gave us not that capability and god-like reason to fust in us unus'd "(36-39) Here Hamlet is saying that every man has reason, and that reason should be put to good use. He also expresses the thought that he has "......cause and will and strength and means to do't" (45-46) but still waits and thinks of taking action instead of taking action. Hamlet is, through the whole play, rather an instrument than an agent. After he has, by the stratagem of the play, convicted the King, he makes no attempt to punish him, and his death is at last effected by an incident which Hamlet has no part in producing. ...read more.

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