Life And Death In Hamlet

884 Words2 Pages

Taking an inevitable outcome into something worth analyzing is Hamlet’s approach on life. To question the subject of death, love, family, and loyalty sums up the complex thoughts of modern man. Shakespeare unveils a journey into Hamlet’s mind through the documentations of his soliloquies. Hamlet is more than a prince, he is the revolutionary hero who undergoes many tragedies, yet confronts the idea of being surrounded by those events, and shares with us his philosophical contemplations. With the many occasions in Hamlet’s life, we gradually become enlightened in his way of thought and his obsession with the mysteries of change, life, and death. Although many of the other characters in the play Hamlet are bounded by loss, Hamlet is first to acknowledge and critically think about the possibilities of what happens at the end of road. For example, Claudius feels guilt after murdering his brother (Act 3 Scene 2 in the play that Hamlet makes) but does nothing to confront his lamentation, Ophelia suicides after her father’s death (Act 4 Scene 5), and Laertes seeks revenge after news of his father’s and sister’s death (Act 4 Scene 5) Surrounded by bereavement, curiosity in Hamlet was inevitable. In Act 3 Scene 1, Hamlet visits the graveyard and picks up Yorick’s skull and looks into the empty eye sockets. This action alone is significant because metaphorically it is Hamlet looking at death in the eyes. “As the pupil plus the power of sight constitutes the eye, so the soul plus the body constitutes the animal. From this it indubitably follows that the soul is inseparable from its body, or at any rate that certain parts of it are..." (Western Philosophy, Source 1) To gaze into the eyes of another is to know them. Our eyes are the gateways... ... middle of paper ... ...oul after death. And he acknowledges that he doesn't know what that would involve.” (Catherine England, Source 3) The ambiguity of the two extremes Hamlet wavers between is a reflection of the human frame, weak against the inevitable outcomes of life and reality. Hamlet’s constant uncertainty and overthinking is what goes past “to be or not to be” it is the question of endurance or sacrifice, right or wrong, and life or death. Shakespeare exposes the human frame of thought through Hamlet. Throughout the play, he questions life and death and Shakespeare carefully crafts Hamlet to contrast with the other characters who are unable to see the things Hamlet does and question the prospects of death. Beginning and ending with death, Hamlet’s philosophical insight is a way of reminding us to also question the things around us instead of giving in to the ways of the world.

Open Document