Ambivalence and Death in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

Ambivalence and Death in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

Length: 1213 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In act IV, scene III, Shakespeare addresses the play’s themes and messages; those being ambivalence and how people are one and the same in the end of life. Hamlet speaks in an eccentric riddle form but there are underlying messages communicated through Hamlet’s craziness and Claudius’ confusion. The ideas are conversed through Claudius and Hamlet and convey the morals of the drama, Hamlet. Shakespeare also takes the liberty in this section to show how diverse and opposite the characters of Claudius and Hamlet are by differentiating their literary devices.
Although Hamlet and Claudius are related to one another by the law and by both of their needs to achieve self-fulfillment; In act IV, scene III, it is clearly conveyed how the two principal characters vary from each other by creating such a vivid foil. Shakespeare portrays this by having Hamlet speaking in elongated riddle, such as; “But if, indeed, you find him not within this month you shall nose him as you go up the stairs into the lobby.” (39-41), or
“Not where he eats, but where he is eaten: a / certain
convocation of politic worms are e'en at / him. Your worm is your only emperor for diet: we / fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves / for maggots: your fat king and your lean beggar is / but variable service, two dishes, but to one table: /
that's the end.” (23-28)
Hamlet’s riddles were using oddly matched words and phrasing and not giving the audience a clear view of what exactly he was talking about. In order to give the distinction between the characters of Hamlet and Claudius, Shakespeare writes Claudius’ dialogue in short and choppy phrases. Notice how “So is it, if thou knew’st our purposes.” (55) Or “Alas Alas” (29), is incredibly d...

... middle of paper ... so he could overthrow the task of killing Claudius. Shakespeare may be trying to tell us that no matter what we amount to in life- it will result in the aftermath of amounting to nothing.
Though it seems that this passage of Hamlet is all a bunch of mumbled riddles thrown together, it is one of the highest theme concentrated areas of Hamlet. Shakespeare focused on having the audience coming to a realization of what the drama Hamlet was all about throughout these few lines. Going through the details of these lines gives everyone a better feel for what Shakespeare intended- but does it truly matter? Because everyone knows that this paper may end up in the landfill to be eaten by worms, only to be dug up by a fisherman to be food for the fish which could possibly be somebody’s dinner or pet. I never realized Shakespeare would lead to so many possibilities!

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Alienation in Hamlet Essay

- Alienation in Hamlet In Hamlet, Shakespeare depicts alienation among the younger characters. Trusting no one, Claudius, the new king, and Polonius send out spies to obtain information from others to assure Claudius's rule of Denmark runs smoothly. Claudius killed Old Hamlet for the rule of Denmark and he fears that Hamlet might know of the murder. Both Claudius and Polonius spy on Hamlet to find out if he knows of the murder. Polonius sends his daughter, Ophelia, out to also gain information....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet Essays]

Strong Essays
746 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about Hamlet in William Shakespeare's Play

- Hamlet in William Shakespeare's Play In this essay I am going to consider the elements which illustrate whether Hamlet is a weak revenger, a man with a fatal flaw, a misfit in a treacherous world and the instability of his consciousness. Hamlet’s first soliloquy has crucial significance to the play as it accentuates his internal conflict caused by preceding events such as his father’s death, and distaste for Claudius. The troubled traits of Hamlet are communicated well by the imagery that is used in this soliloquy....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
1244 words (3.6 pages)

Hamlet Literary Analysis - Stages of Grief Essay

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross developed a theory based on what she perceived to be the stages of acceptance of death. Her theory has been taken further by psychologists and therapists to explain the stages of grief in general. Kubler-Ross identified five stages: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, as happening in that order. In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Hamlet exhibits all five stages of grief, we can assume in relation to the recent death of his father, but not necessarily in this order, and in fact the five seem to overlap in many parts of the play....   [tags: William Shakespeare]

Strong Essays
1300 words (3.7 pages)

hesitant hamlet Essay

- Hesitant Hamlet Throughout the play, Hamlet is shown not acting quickly in crucial situations, which brings us to his tragic flaw, hesitancy. Hamlet, stopping to think situations through, lets opportunities slip right through his hands that will immensely affect so many people in the future. If Hamlet would just act on instinct, than hesitancy would never be an issue. Unfortunately for Hamlet, in this play he does not have all the time in the world to get revenge towards Claudius. Early on in the play Hamlet sees the ghost of his father’s spirit and it beckons him to follow if he wishes to speak to it....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
790 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Hamlet and Macbeth and the new King of England

- Hamlet and Macbeth and the new King of England The Kings in both Hamlet and Macbeth represents good and the men that want to destroy the monarchy, are evil. Hamlet’s father, King Hamlet, and Duncan, King of Scotland in Macbeth, are both killed, but avenged for the good of country. King Hamlet was a good, brave ruler, yet Claudius is a shrewd politician and manipulator, only interested in the throne. Just like Hamlet, we are somewhat uncertain as to whether or not Claudius has killed the King. The character Macbeth’s only greedy concern is in the throne as well, and we know for sure that he definitely kills the King for his own covetous interests....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Strong Essays
855 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on Image of Death Illustrated in Shakespeare's Hamlet

- The character of Hamlet is very diverse and has incredible depth. He is described as a very melancholy and thoughtful young man. He is a student at the University of Wittenberg, and the current heir to the throne of Demark, which seem to be a very hopeful prospect. However, ever since his father’s death and plea for revenge upon his brother, Hamlet has been deterred from this request by lengthy ponderings of the purpose of a person’s life and their memorial after death. From the very beginning of the play, Hamlet is seen as being a person who is very conscious of mortality....   [tags: Hamlet, Shakespeare]

Strong Essays
994 words (2.8 pages)

The Gravedigger and the Inevitability of Death in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

- Hamlet:  The Gravedigger and the Inevitability of Death From the appearance of the Ghost at the start of the play to its bloody conclusion, Hamlet is pervaded with the notion of death. What better site for a comic interlude than a graveyard. However, this scene is not merely a bit of comic relief. Hamlet's encounter with the gravedigger serves as a forum for Shakespeare to elaborate on the nature of death and as a turning point in Hamlet's character. The structure and changing mood of the encounter serve to move Hamlet and the audience closer to the realization that death is inevitable and universal....   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Hamlet]

Strong Essays
1392 words (4 pages)

Death in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet Essay

- “So shall you hear of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts, of accidental judgments, casual slaughters, of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause,” (Hamlet, Act V, Scene 2, Lines 381-384). So says Horatio, best friend of Prince Hamlet in the final few lines of the play. He speaks these words after the deaths of Hamlet, Claudius, King of Denmark, Gertrude, Queen of Denmark, and Laertes, son of Polonius. Also dead are Hamlet, King of Denmark, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, former friends of Hamlet, Polonius, councilor to the King, and Ophelia, daughter of Polonius....   [tags: William Shakespeare Hamlet]

Strong Essays
956 words (2.7 pages)

Character of Hamlet in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

- Character of Hamlet in Shakespeare's Hamlet Hamlet is a man of many discoveries. The tragic hero in Shakespeare's Hamlet undergoes many changes throughout the play. His mindset is set deep and far away from the physical world that both helps him and hinders him in his plight for revenge against his uncle, Claudius, and his mother. When Hamlet is first introduced in Act I, Scene II, the reader is shown the depths of his sorrow. The King asks Hamlet "How is it that the clouds still hang on you" and the Queen tells him to "Cast thy nighted color off." By these comments one can envision Hamlet as someone who appears and radiates out his sorrow over his father's death....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet]

Strong Essays
1339 words (3.8 pages)

Hamlet's Death Essay examples

- In the play, Hamlet, Shakespeare leaves you wondering about death. Through the characters in the play, he reveals his own thoughts about death. Does Shakespeare portray a deep understanding of death in this play. The never-ending cycle of death and revenge is evident throughout the entire play. The play opens up with death already at the door. Hamlet is left with not only a deceased father and no clue as to what ended his life, but must also deal with his uncle taking the throne in his place. His father, in the after-life figure of a ghost, speaks to Hamlet....   [tags: Hamlet, death, suicide, Orphelia]

Strong Essays
1183 words (3.4 pages)