Exploring Death in Hamlet Essay

Exploring Death in Hamlet Essay

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By definition, tragedy seeks to question that which would not exist were the world designed and controlled by human desires and instincts, if not to also answer such questions. What best fits this description is the concept of death; no living person can tell of it, and yet every living person must one day face it. It is in one’s nature to ponder the one concept that will at some point triumph over each and every individual; therefore, tragedy often takes on the role of telling a tale of distressing but necessary truths of life and its one sure victor. Ironically, the most traumatizing event that every person has in common is the one of which no one can have full knowledge, and so death must be compared to this life if any attempt is to be made to better understand it. Death can be witnessed and felt in the loss of peers as well as any simpler organism, but it is also evident in the small deaths in life, which include treachery, poison, and corruption. Perhaps the human experience closest to the feeling of death is depression, which can take away the ability of its victims to recognize and cherish life, even in oneself. It should come as no surprise then that one of the most well-known and analyzed pieces of literature is one that manages to paint a picture of death by using all of these devices. In his play Hamlet, William Shakespeare explores death through a story of death, poison, and corruption with allusions to disease, and all witnessed through the eyes of a severely depressed man.
Hamlet’s state of depression, brought on before the story’s start and remaining until its end, is the most present and influential factor in the grim mood of his tale; this view of the world dictates the story and causes life on Earth to greatly ...


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...ensity of the darkness of his vision, acquainting all his peers with feelings comparable to death. His tale is a fantastical account of how the thought of death can take hold of a person’s mind, thereby poisoning him and eventually his environment and making the purity of his soul as fleeting as the beauty of flowers that become weeds. It is a warning to those who would take death lightly or try to manipulate it for their own gain. According to Hamlet’s fate, as well as those of Laertes and Claudius, no matter how seemingly noble the justification, death is a dangerous tool in the hands of a human and a preoccupation with it makes one fit for nothing else.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts. 9th Ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2009. Print

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