An Unwilling Hamlet

Powerful Essays
In the play, Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, the main character, Hamlet is an unwilling creature. In having to enter and act in the world of his uncle, Hamlet becomes an unwilling creature of that world. When he chooses to obey the ghost's command and revenge his father, Hamlet accepts the inevitability that he must become part of this world. As the ripple of original vengeful intent widens and Hamlet is slowly but surely entangled in Claudius' brutal world through his madness, his murders, his plots, his relationship with other characters and his revelations on life and more importantly, death.

Even before the ghost urges Hamlet to avenge his death, Hamlet teeters on the edge of his uncle's brutal world. While never evil in intent Hamlet is simply one of the finest tragic heroes. Caught between his agony of mind and indecision Hamlet's nature is neither treacherous like Claudius' nor rash like Laertes'. This combination of values carries only tragedy when one such as Hamlet suffers such a fate as he did. Prior to his dead father's prompting, Hamlet is already devoured by melancholy over the loss of Old Hamlet and his mother's "o'er hasty" marriage to Claudius. This suggests that Hamlet was already inexorably linked to his Uncle's brutal world. "It is not, nor it cannot come to good." (Act1, Scene2)

Hamlet also feels jealousy towards his mother as their relationship goes beyond that of a normal parent/child relationship. While perhaps not sexual, their mere fifteen years age difference has enclosed them in a very close-knit co-dependant affair. "You are the Queen, your husband's brother's wife, And, would it not so, you are my mother." (Act3, Scene4) This jealousy and hatred Hamlet feels is close...

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Works Cited

delman, Janet. 1985. 'Male Bonding in Shakespeare's Comedies.' In Shakespeare's Rough Magic: Renaissance Essays in Honor of C.L. Barber, edited by Peter Erickson and Coppélia Kahn. Cranbury and London: Associated University Presses, 73-103.

Adelman, Janet. 1992. Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origin in Shakespeare's plays, 'Hamlet' to 'The Tempest'. London and New York: Routledge.

Alexander, Nigel. 1971. Poison, Play and Duel: A Study in Hamlet. London: Routledge.

Barber, C. L., and Wheeler, Richard P. 1986. The Whole Journey: Shakespeare's Power of Development. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press.

Partridge, Eric. 1947. Shakespeare's Bawdy. London and New York: Routledge.

Rubinstein, Frankie. 1984. A Dictionary of Shakespeare's Sexual Puns and their Significance. London: MacMillan.
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