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What Is The Theme Of Death In Hamlet

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William Shakespeare's’ Hamlet tells the story of a great tragedy in which death is the permeating idea and connective thread. Through the experiences of Hamlet, Shakespeare is able to explore the complexities of life and death. Following the murder of his father, Hamlet seeks to avenge his death in the process of defining the meaning of his own life within himself. In the process of reaching complete madness, Hamlet contemplates his own death, experiences the death of those closest to him, and causes death. From these experiences, he further explores the concepts of mortality and the afterlife. Death is present in every aspect of the play because it allows Hamlet to explore his reflections and realizations on the futility of the human condition,…show more content…
The ghost stated, “Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” (II. ii). From this point forward, death, either through vengeance or grief, becomes the driving force within Shakespeare's tragedy. King Hamlet's death also contributes to much of Hamlet’s fears and obsessions with death and the afterlife. Because King Hamlet was murdered prior to repenting for his sins, he now faces an afterlife in hell. His ghost stated, “Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin. Unhouseled, disappointed, unaneled. No reckoning made, but sent to my account with all my imperfections on my head. Oh, horrible, oh, horrible, mot horrible! If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not” (I. v). This fear is carried by Hamlet…show more content…
In the beginning of Act One, Hamlet wishes he too could die because he is too distraught to live in the wake of his father’s death. Essentially his somber attitude and mentality toward life creates the overarching theme of death and tragedy which permeates through the entirety of the play. He states, “Oh, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew, or that the Everlasting had not fixed his canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God, God! How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable, seem to me all the uses of this world (I. ii). The questions which Hamlet contemplates emphasizes his internal conflicts toward death and eventually motivate him to continue the struggles which life entails and kill Claudius. Between the thought of suffering and fighting through the trials and tribulations of life or ending himself as an act of mercy, Hamlet chooses to inflict death upon others as the only solution. “To be or not to be? That is the question- Whether’ tis nobler in the mind to suffer the sling and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea or troubles, and, by opposing, end them? To die, to sleep- no more- and by sleep to say we end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks. That flesh is heir to- ‘tis a consummation devoutly to
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