How does Shakespeare present suicide in Hamlet?

Authors Avatar

How does Shakespeare present suicide in Hamlet?

Among all of the themes in Hamlet, morality, aswell as suicide cause an abundance of questions to be considered as the drama unfolds.

At the present date suicide is looked upon with immense sympathy, considering what may have led the person to their downfall in life. However, beforehand in Elizabethan England, committing suicide was a huge sin against oneself, going against the 6th commandment “thou shall not murder” and also abuses the religious fact that only God has the authority to give, and therefore ‘end’ life.

Shakespeare portrayed Hamlet as a very intelligent Prince from the beginning; however, from Hamlet’s first soliloquy (act 1 scene II) Hamlet makes it well known that he is in a time of anguish when he makes reference to his diminishing lack of self worth ,"but no more like my father…Than I to Hercules".

He also contemplates suicide, “…sullied flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew;” these lines massively represent that Hamlet wants his spirit released from his body.

Join now!

Despite Hamlet supposedly having the justification to commit suicide (death of father, betrayed by mother), with all of this pain, eternal life in Heaven seems a healthy option. However, Hamlet takes into account his Christian beliefs and loathes that to end one’s life is an enormous sin.

In Shakespeare’s world renowned soliloquy, “to be or not to be...”, Hamlet rarely addresses his problem and drastically uses the pronouns ‘we’ and us’. Also, once again he verbally considers his suicide and it seems as if he is trying to persuade himself to commit the action, but with no success, due ...

This is a preview of the whole essay