Hamlet: Good And Evil In Shakespeare's Hamlet

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Shakespeare’s Hamlet is known to be as one of his most famous plays, due to the complexity of the main protagonist Hamlet himself, by showcasing him to the audience in two different lights. As the brightest and most sensitive character throughout the play he is also seen as the most callous and vicious. By giving Hamlet intentions that can be viewed as both good and evil, Shakespeare creates a character that is depicted as psychotic and rational at the same time.
Hamlet is perceived as insane throughout the play when he decides to murder Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, even though it is considered against his normal and moral actions. When he rebukes Ophelia and kills her father, Polonius and acts indifferent and callous to such serious matters.
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When Hamlet pretends to be sane, it shows the extent of the best that human nature can be, but when he pretends to be mad, it shows¬¬ the worst of human nature. This paradox suggests the essential duality of human nature, which is both noble and wicked, and numerous comparisons throughout the play stress this point. Several times Hamlet contrasts his murdered father with his uncle, his father an ideal ruler; while his uncle a shameless killer. Similarly Ophelia, the virgin, versus the Gertrude, and incestuous queen; Horatio, the loyal friend, versus Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, the betrayers; each of these contrasts reinforces the play 's basic criticism between good and evil. Hamlet 's procrastination of his revenge has a similar function. Though he accepts the ghost 's orders, he has doubt and senses the evil that is to come with murder. Hamlet 's postponing the evil act serves to offer opportunities to stress the duality of human nature, him trying to avenge his father while not wanting to dirty his hand with sin. Hamlet is both opposed to and involved in evil. His repeated insistence on postponing his highly confusing task emphasizes his uncertainty and kindles our own. Emotionally, Hamlet 's procrastination produces in him a growing rage that leads to his killing of Polonius in a fit of madness, an act that provokes Claudius to set in motion the incidents that lead to Hamlet 's exile and his escape from the Claudius’s execution plot. This awakens Hamlet from the captivation that he has with his own personal tragedy and prepares him to find the “divinity that shapes our
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