Essay on Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Essay on Hamlet by William Shakespeare

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In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, although Hamlet is the prince of Denmark, he has little control over the situation of his mother country. His father is dead and his mother marries his uncle, Claudius, who succeeds his father. When Hamlet is still in grief, the ghost of his father comes to tell him that he was killed by Claudius. Young Hamlet, being called to take vengeance, is confined to the land of Denmark and fails to act. Throughout the play, Hamlet feels increasingly trapped by the confinement set by King Claudius, by his father's command to take revenge, and by his own thoughts; only when Hamlet is able to free from his own mind, is he able to take action and escape from these confines.
Hamlet is trapped physically and fugitively by the external forces, King Claudius's authority and king Hamlet's call for vengeance. To King Claudius, Hamlet, the son of the old king, is a threat. Pretending to care about Hamlet, Claudius ordered him to stay in Denmark: "For your intent/ In going back to school in Wittenberg, / It is most retrograde to our desire, / And we beseech you: bend you to remain/ Here, in the cheer and comfort of our eye” (1.2.112-116). Here, the phrase "our eye" suggests that Hamlet is being watched. Claudius denies Hamlet's request to return to Wittenberg for school and orders him to stay under his eyes so that Hamlet is not able to do anything that will harm him. Hamlet is a physically bound to the land of Denmark under the authority of Claudius. In addition to the physical confinement, he is also entrapped fugitively. The ghost of King Hamlet appears to tell Hamlet that it is Claudius who killed him. The Ghost demands Hamlet to "revenge his foul and most unnatural murder" (1.5.25). King Hamlet's call for ven...

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... is the most powerful force that controls him. When Hamlet finally finds power in his thoughts rather than entrapment, he is able to control the external forces and complete his vengeance. At the end of the play, Hamlet is dead, which is his final release from all the confinements. Hamlet’s death is peaceful, and he asks Horatio to stay alive and tell his story. Throughout the play, Hamlet does not tell anyone what he has done other than Horatio. He has learned that everyone becomes no more than dust after death, unless people remember him. Having Horatio to tell his story, Hamlet is able live on after the death. Thus, Hamlet is freed from the physical end.

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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