Hamlet[1] - Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, is one of the...

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Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, is one of the most complex and most scrutinized pieces of dramatic writing in modern history. Part of the reason for this is because of the complexity of its main character, Prince Hamlet of Denmark. The play’s themes- the power of doubt and fear, death and mortality, and how indecisiveness can paralyze a man- are conveyed through Hamlet and his obsessions, as he watches passively while slowly slipping into the dark depths of his tormented mind. When he is introduced, Hamlet is still in mourning, quite some time after his father has died- “the cloud still hangs over him” (I.ii.66) . The rest of Denmark has moved on, particularly his widowed mother, who has married his uncle Claudius. Part of the reason Hamlet is still in mourning is because he does not know what step to take next, where he will move on to after a accepting the death of his father. And he is tortured by this sudden uncertainty. He professes his wish to die: O that this too too solid flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew! Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d His canon ’gainst self-slaughter! O God! O God! Then expresses his disdain for his mother: O God! a beast that wants discourse of reason, Would have mourn’d longer,—married with mine uncle, My father’s brother; but no more like my father Than I to Hercules: within a month; In this, Hamlet’s first extended soliloquy, Shakespeare introduces two common themes in the play: doubt and suicide. It is obvious that Hamlet is in severe emotional pain, but what makes this pain unbearable is that he doesn’t know where to find relief. It
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This essay was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course ENGL 102 taught by Professor ??? during the Fall '05 term at Drexel.

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Hamlet[1] - Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, is one of the...

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