Hamlet by William Shakespeare Essay

Hamlet by William Shakespeare Essay

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“What can everyone do? Praise and blame. This is human virtue, this is human madness.” A brilliant philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, once said this. As straight forward as this quote may be, it has so many emotional layers and depth to it. To say that to praise is madness, and to blame is also madness, how can it be? The answer lies within one of the most celebrated literary works ever written. It is hardly arguable to say that “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare is a work that directly relates the significance of madness. Not only the manifestation of madness, but also the impersonation of madness as well. To impersonate a persona, is to become that persona over time. “Hamlet” begs the question: How long can you wear a disguise before you become it?
Although Hamlet is the first mad character to spring to mind, Ophelia cannot be overlooked. ““Or that the Everlasting had not fixt / His canon 'gainst self slaughter.” Ophelia's suicide was done after overt distraction had supervened, and her madness was never really in doubt. In general Shakespeare and his fellow Elizabethan and Jacobean dramatists reserved suicide for obvious villains or noble Romans, for whom suicide was in some circumstances the only honorable way out” (Bynum and Neve 393-394). Here it is discussed that God had designed life to be lived out until it was time for you to pass, suicide was a criminal act. Bynum and Neve discuss that unless the person was out of their mind, suicide was only redeemable when it was for the lowest of criminals. Ophelia was told by her father, Polonius, to decline Hamlet’s declarations of love. She abided as a good daughter and had to portray herself to Hamlet as if she did not care for him any longer which took a toll on her emtionally....


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...0),
pp. 357-366. Folger Shakespeare Library in association with George Washington
University. Web. 24 Jan. 2014.

Joseph, Miriam. ‘ "Hamlet," a Christian Tragedy.’ Studies in Philology, Vol. 59, No. 2, Part 1
April, 1962, pp. 119-140. University of North Carolina Press. Web. 24 Jan. 2014.

Mullaney, Steven. ‘Mourning and Misogyny: Hamlet, The Revenger's Tragedy, and the Final
Progress of Elizabeth I, 1600-1607’ Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 45, No. 2 (Summer,
1994), pp. 139-162. Folger Shakespeare Library in association with George Washington
University. Web. 24 Jan. 2014.

Snider, D.J. ‘HAMLET’ The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, Vol. 7, No. 1 (January, 1873),
pp. 71-87. Penn State University Press. Web. 24 Jan. 2014.

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet (The New Folger Library Shakespeare). Simon & Schuster; New
Folger Edition, 2003. Print. 24 Jan. 2014.

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