Essay on Good vs. Evil Compex in Shakespeare's Hamlet

Essay on Good vs. Evil Compex in Shakespeare's Hamlet

Length: 732 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Since the dawn of time, man has struggled fiercely over the internal conflict within himself between doing what is right for oneself as opposed to doing what is right for society in general. It is what I refer to as the good vs. evil complex. The play Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare somewhere between 1599 and 1603, presents a plethora of characters that are faced with the challenge of not allowing self-interest to reign supreme.
One character in particular that is a parody of divergent personalities is Polonius. Polonius is the father of Laertes and Ophelia, and also acts as council to the king. One can see within him the conflict of self-interest vs. being the loyal father and servant. (I.iii.55-59). One can see both acts of altruism and episodes of scheming and attempts to capitalize on a situation.
Initially, there is an instance in the play where Polonius gives advice to his son Laertes. As Laertes boards the ship to go to France for school, Polonius to says to him, “Give every man thy ear but few thy voice”. (I.iii.68). He then further expands his advice with the following quote:
“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
(I.iii.78-80)
It is here that one sees the care and concern of a loving father, providing advice to aid in his son being successful in his studies. Another instance where Polonius’ good nature is shown occurs when his daughter Ophelia comes to him frantic that Hamlet, the man she loves, is going crazy. In this scene, Polonius demonstrates concern for his daughter as it was he who forbade Ophelia to see or talk to Hamlet...


... middle of paper ...


...he’s going to his mother’s closet Behind the arras I’ll convey myself to hear the process(III.iii.27-29).
Queen Gertrude infuriates Prince Hamlet and fears that Prince Hamlet may kill her. She states:

“A will come straight. Look you lay home to him. Tell him his pranks have been too broad to bear with, And that Your Grace hath screened and stood between
Much heat and him. I’ll silence me even here. Pray you. Be round with him.”
(III.iv.1-5)

She then proceeds to say, ”What wilt thou do? Thou wilt not murder me? Help, ho!”(III.iv.23-24) Polonius hears Queen Gertrude’s distress. He calls out for help, “What ho! Help” Hamlet stab him as he is hidden behind the curtain, As he lay dying, he replies, “Oh, I am slain!”(II.iv.).

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Hamlet's Transformation from Good to Evil in Shakespeare's Hamlet

- Hamlet's Transformation from Good to Evil in Shakespeare's Hamlet Hamlet’s transforms from good to evil in the play Hamlet by Shakespeare. Hamlet experiences a lot of pain and becomes very anger because of his father’s death, his mother’s bad remarriage, and the loss of his only love, Ophelia. The losses that Hamlet has to deal with are the anger and lack of forgiveness build in himself. This allows Hamlet’s true thoughts and character to be revealed through his soliloquies. First, Hamlet reveals his wishes that he could just melt away and be gone; because if he dies, he would be free from the world....   [tags: Shakespeare Tragedy of Hamlet]

Strong Essays
835 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on William Shakespeare 's Hamlet - Nature Of Good And Evil

- William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, written in the 1600’s, subverts the conventions of traditional revenge tragedies to explore the dilemma of Hamlet- a young Danish prince, who must make morally complex choices, after the ghost of his father exhorts him to kill Claudius in revenge. It is Hamlet’s restless intellect, which forces him into uncertainty about the ethics of the deed he’s sworn to do. Hamlet is a powerful and enduring play because of its central moral dilemma, which transcends political concerns of the Elizabethan period, making it a play for all ages....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Soliloquy, Ghost]

Strong Essays
1280 words (3.7 pages)

William Shakespeare 's Hamlet, Righteousness And Good, Evil, And The Flowers And Clouds And Stars

- “God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also in the trees, and the flowers and clouds and stars” (Martin Luther). What this quote addresses is that the word of God is not just in one text but everywhere in the world. People such as writers tend to express allusions to God in their novels or poems and artists express these feelings through paintings (like the Renaissance) or even through song. However, In the day and age, those messages are often concealed in a metaphor or underlying theme....   [tags: God, Monotheism, The Lion King, Good and evil]

Strong Essays
2036 words (5.8 pages)

Hamlet's Transformation from Good to Evil in the Play Hamlet by William Shakespeare

- Hamlet's Transformation from Good to Evil in the Play Hamlet by William Shakespeare Hamlet’s Transformation from Good to Evil In the play Hamlet by Shakespeare, Hamlet endures exorbitant amount of pain and anger because of his father’s death, his mothers hasty remarriage, and the loss of his only love, Ophelia. The losses that Hamlet has to deal with, the anger and lack of forgiveness that he allows to build within himself, allows Hamlet’s true thoughts and character to be revealed through his soliloquies, which are reviewed and discussed throughout this essay....   [tags: Hamlet William Shakespeare Plays Essays]

Strong Essays
930 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Good vs. Evil Compex in Shakespeare's Hamlet

- ... As Laertes boards the ship to go to France for school, Polonius to says to him, “Give every man thy ear but few thy voice”. (I.iii.68). He then further expands his advice with the following quote: “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” (I.iii.78-80) It is here that one sees the care and concern of a loving father, providing advice to aid in his son being successful in his studies....   [tags: altruistic, love, crazy]

Strong Essays
732 words (2.1 pages)

Free Essays on Good and Evil in Hamlet

- Good versus evil is a common theme in literature. Often, the reader learns about the characteristics of the good and the evil through less important characters. These characters are sometimes referred to as "Foils”. In William Shakespeare's Hamlet foils are used primarily to reveal Hamlet and Claudius as good vs. evil. These two foils help us to piece the puzzle together. [Which two are "these two"?] Foil's [No ' H-50] are minor character's [No '] in a story who by their similarities and differences with more important characters, helps [SV - 1] the audience to better understand the main character in that story....   [tags: Free Shakespeare Essays]

Free Essays
1106 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about The Tragedy Of Hamlet By William Shakespeare

- “Part of Hamlet’s lasting appeal is that it poses more question than it gives answers.” To what extent do you agree with this statement. Shakespeare’s revenge tragedy, Hamlet, resonates and maintains a lasting appeal, through the posing of questions, which few about societal issues, such as appearance and reality, action and inaction, revenge and corruption. These themes are represented through the disillusionment shown towards humanity and an exploration of one’s self, where the questions posed by Hamlet are also relatable to the audience....   [tags: Hamlet, Question, Morality, Rhetorical question]

Strong Essays
1235 words (3.5 pages)

Appearance vs. Reality in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

- Appearance vs. Reality in Shakespeare's Hamlet In Hamlet deceiving illusions are frequently used to protect truth from being a destructive force. Situations within acts one and two that appear to be true and honest are really contaminated with evil. Various characters within the first two acts hide behind masks of corruption. In the first two acts most characters presented seem to be good and honest making it a complex task for Hamlet to discover all the lies that have hidden objectives within them....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet]

Strong Essays
513 words (1.5 pages)

The Subject of Choice in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay example

- The Subject of Choice in Shakespeare's Hamlet It is said that life is nothing more than an endless stream of choices. Every day before work or school, we must all make choices—what to eat, what to wear, whether or not to bother with that homework assignment—some of which are trivial, while others have the direst consequences. In Shakespeare’s classic play Hamlet, the inner thoughts that accompany each decision, as well as the quest for what is actually truth and what is lie, is brought to light in Act 2.2....   [tags: Shakespeare Hamlet Essays]

Strong Essays
839 words (2.4 pages)

The Character of Gertrude in Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay

- The Character of Gertrude in Shakespeare's Hamlet The Gertrude in Shakespeare’s tragic drama Hamlet is controversial in the sense that some critics uphold her morality and some deny it. Let’s consider this question and others related to this character. Gertrude has many good qualities in the play; she is not evil through and through. Rebecca Smith in “Scheming Adulteress or Loving Mother” presents an image of the queen in Shakespeare’s Hamlet that is perhaps not consistent with that presented by the ghost: Although she may have been partially responsible for Claudius’ monstrous act of fratricide and although her marriage to Claudius may have been indirectly responsible for makin...   [tags: GCSE Coursework Shakespeare Hamlet]

Strong Essays
1955 words (5.6 pages)