The key to Hamlet's flaw, the stuckness that has puzzled so many readers, is lodged, not in the beginning, but in the end--the place of maximum emphasis--of the "to be or not to be" soliloquy, the most famous dramatic monologue...
Hamlet by William Shakespeare is one of the world’s most revered literature. The main character, Hamlet, is arguably one of the most intriguing characters the playwright ever developed. Hamlet is daring, philosophical, mentally unstable at times, and clever. Throughout the play though, these characteristics change and/or diminish as Hamlet is put through a plethora of unfortunate events. His father is murdered by Claudius, his mother soon after marries Claudius, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern betray him, and his girlfriend most likely commits suicide. While Hamlet is incredibly philosophical, indecisive, and full of resentment in the beginning of the play, he becomes violent, instinctive, caring and sympathetic towards the end of the play.
Troilus and Hamlet have much in common. Both have represented the quintessential tragic heroes of two literary periods. Both lovers, Troilus and Hamlet lose what they love despite their earth-shaking groans. Both are surrounded by traitors and are traitorous in kind. Both are embattled and--this is no secret--both die. But somewhere on that mortal coil on which they are both strung, they confront a similar question, a question which divides them in no sense less than the waters divide England and Denmark--the question of action. This essay pretends to do little more than probe the circumstances of that question in relation to a speech that appears prominently in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and tangentially as a “Proem”to Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde. I will delve into the specific and larger textual contexts for both of these instances, seeking to show that the manner in which the speech is reworded shows in miniature the gulf that separates Troilus and Hamlet.
"To be or not to be – that is the question." It is one of the most famous lines in Western Literature and the hallmark of a critical thinker. It is no coincidence that Hamlet is one of the greatest critical thinkers of all time. In school, we are expected to think critically and it is seen as an intellectual virtue. Given the situation Hamlet is in though, Hamlet's intellectual virtue only leads to chaos and death. The story of Hamlet is a tragedy because Hamlet has a tragic virtue.
The play does not open with the protagonist, nor with the direct disclosure of the problem. It points to unanswered questions and reveals anxiety and unrest. There is said to be a ghost, but the reason and purpose for the ghost's appearance are unknown. Basically, we can say that the first scene creates an atmosphere and the basis for the disclosure of the specific problem. The first point dramatically established is that there really is a ghost, although the questions raised by its appearance are unanswered. Horatio, the scholar and the skeptic, comes to test the report given by the simple soldiers. The empirical proof that Horatio seeks is there; the ghost appears and it is seen to have a specific identity, that of the deceased King Hamlet. But the reason for his presence is not disclosed and the men on the platform, confronted by the upsetting mystery, have to guess in the dark, literally and metaphorically. Unable to offer an explanation, Horatio sees the apparition in convention terms as an omen of some evil. This is immediately connected with the expository fact that there are feverish military preparations in the kingdom. The indication is that there are pre-existing questions brought into the open in connection with the ghost. The specific question relating to preparations for war, concerning the kingdom and not necessarily the ghost, is answered by Horatio; he gives us expository background concerning the immediate past in the kingdom of Denmark, involving King Hamlet and King Fortinbras of Norway, we hear there was open, chivalric combat between them in which the Danish King vanquished and killed Fortinbras, as a result of which he obtained (fairly) the land which was gained by the Norwegians. But additionally we hear th...
The Importance of Laertes and Fortinbras in Hamlet
The Shakespearean play, Hamlet, is a story of revenge and the way the characters in the play respond to grief and the demands of loyalty. The importance of Fortinbras and Laertes in the play is an issue much discussed, analysed and critiqued. Fortinbras and Laertes are parallel characters to Hamlet, and they provide pivotal points on which to compare the actions and emotions of Hamlet throughout the play. They are also important in Hamlet as they are imperative to the plot of the play and the final resolution. Hamlet, Laertes and Fortinbras are three young men who are placed in similar circumstances, that is, to avenge their father's deaths.
An Analytical Essay on the Significance of the Players in Hamlet
The significance of the players exceeds the sole purpose of entertainment, as each possesses the power to unveil the "occulted guilt" (3.2.75) and conscience of the King. Hamlet assumes the responsibility to advise these players with precise and adequate direction so that a "whirlwind of passion" (6) may not effectively separate Claudius from personally identifying with the play. Hamlet's enthusiastic approach toward direction may be so that he encourages the players to "suit the action to the word, the word to the/ action, with this special observance, that you o'erstep not/ the modesty of nature" (16-18).
“To be or not to be, that is the question:(Shakespeare 1)”, the start to one of Shakespeare’s most commonly known poems. As this poem goes on it talks of whether Hamlet should go on with the troubles he faces or if he should bring an end to them. Some debate whether William Shakespeare was dealing with
Hamlet’s fourth soliloquy is the most famous one in the play. When Hamlet asks “to be or not to be” many scholars take one of two positions on what it is asking. One scholar group will say that Hamlet is debating taking his own life, while the other group thinks that Hamlet is pondering the rights and wrongs of the world. The separation of scholars is over one word in line 61 “opposing.” Some believe that opposing means to commit suicide and the others believe that it has the literal meaning to end the troubles of the world. Majority of scholars believe that Hamlet is speaking about committing suicide, but the argument that he is speaking about the wrongs in the world is loud enough that it cannot be ignored.
A Study of William Shakespeare's Hamlet
“Frailty, thy name is woman” Hamlet famously exclaims in the first act
of William Shakespeare’s longest drama, and one of the most probing
plays ever to be performed on stage. It was written around the year
1600 in the final years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, an era of
real uncertainty and confusion; while the prospect of Elizabeth’s
death and the question of who would succeed her brought grave anxiety
to the nation as a whole, the rise of the Renaissance movement gave
rise to many challenges and unanswered questions to the old ideals and
beliefs that were for such a long time embedded in every Englishman’s
soul and mind. Women during that time had no role in society;
traditionally, they occupied different ‘spheres’ to men and so were
expected to be completely obedient to their husbands, to do all the
house duties and to raise their children up on the very same image of
society at the time. In ‘Hamlet’, through the characters of Gertrude
and Ophelia, Shakespeare reflects on this truth: both are
disrespected, insulted, abused and manipulated by the leading male
characters, and both die due to tragic circumstances. Thus, through
the illustration of the two characters, Queen Gertrude and Ophelia,
Shakespeare is able to explore the role of women in society, touching
on many controversial contemporary issues under the mask of
beautifully constructed lies of poetry and an unpredictable cycle of
events, which tragically ends with the deaths of two of Shakespeare’s
most infamous female characters.