The Physiological Breakdown of Hamlet

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The Physiological Breakdown of Hamlet

In Shakespeare's masterpiece Hamlet, the main character, Hamlet is overcome by a physiological breakdown. Hamlet was a sensitive man who was destroyed by a corrupt environment. Hamlet's dead father, the deeds of his uncle and mother, and the frequency of death caused the destruction of Hamlet.

First of all, the loss of any close family member is very traumatic. Hamlet is not immune to such effects. In the first of Hamlet's soliloquies, Hamlet cries "How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world! Fie on't! ah fie!'tis an unweeded garden, That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature Possess it merely" (III. ii. 134-137). It is obvious that this is a window to Hamlet's tortured soul. This is only the beginning of the end for Hamlet. In Act I. Scene iv. Hamlet confronts the spirit of his dead father. This is also disturbing to Hamlet. John S. Wilks writes in J. Leeds Barroll's Shakespeare Studies how meeting the ghost of his father "...throws his conscience into doubt and error, must naturally begin with the malign source of that confusion, the Ghost" (119). Hamlet is also incensed when he learns the reason for his father's torture. Old Hamlet was murdered by his brother when he was sleeping. This leaves Old Hamlet walking in limbo for his afterlife. After learning this, Hamlet decrees "O all you host of heaven! O Earth! What else? And shall I couple hell?" (I. v. 92-93). Also knowing that his father was miserable in the afterlife weighed heavily on Hamlet's mind (Knight 20). Clearly, the death of his father and speaking to the ghost of his father started the corruption of Hamlet.

The deeds of his uncle and his mot...

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...rruption of Hamlet can be attributed to the ghost of Hamlet's father, the actions of his mother and uncle and the many deaths that occur in this play. Hamlet is a sensitive man who could not take all trauma of all the events that happened in his life. His corruption was the only way for him to escape the tribulations he faced.

Works Cited

Knight, G. Wilson. The Wheel of Fire. London: Oxford University Press, 1930.

Mack, Maynard, et al, eds. The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces. Sixth ed. Vol 2. New York: Norton, 1992.

Skura, Meredith Anne. "Hamlet and Psychoanalysis" Shakespeare: The Tragedies. Ed.

Robert B. Heilman. Englewood Cliffs: MLA, 1984. 84-93.

Wliks, John S. "The discourse of Reason: Justice and the Erroneous Conscience in

Hamlet. Shakespeare Studies. Vol XVIII. Ed. J. Leeds Barroll. New York: MLA, 1986. 117-144.
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