Hamlet 's Lack Of Self Control Essay

Hamlet 's Lack Of Self Control Essay

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Today, many people feel that Shakespeare’s plays are outdated and that despite being so forward for their times, they have lost their place in the modern world. Shakespeare’s plays though, touch on timeless themes such as love, friendship, and vengeance such as seen in Shakespeare’s Hamlet as Hamlet, Laertes, and Fortinbras, all fight to achieve a common goal; the goal of avenging their father’s deaths. Hamlet is controlled by his inaction and manic nature, Laertes is consumed by his impulsiveness, and Fortinbras – unlike the others – exercises control in fighting to defend his honor. When we compare these three characters and their motivations we can see that being ruled by our emotions can lead to detrimental circumstances and regrettable actions.
To begin, over-thinking and emotional instability are two highly prevalent traits found in Hamlet. His emotional instability leads to a lack of self-control so instead of acting intelligently, he acts rashly and avenges his father’s death in the most painful way possible for those around him. Hamlet’s lack of self-control due to emotional impulses became evident when Hamlet would not leave Denmark despite how repulsed he was by the state the land was in. Interestingly, Hamlet takes over two months to even begin thinking about the possible actions he could take and his indecision results in the loss of the perfect opportunity to kill King Claudius. Firstly, ever since Hamlet’s father, the late king of Denmark died, Hamlet has been waiting for the day he can leave Denmark and the memories it holds. Then, in act two, Hamlet again acknowledges the fact that he does not like Denmark and cannot bear to stay by claiming that, “Denmark’s a prison” (Shakespeare 2.2.244). This quote e...


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...nce between his desire for honor and his emotional state.
In conclusion, when comparing characters such as Hamlet, Laertes and Fortinbras we are shown how our emotional impulses can rule our thinking and fester into actions that ream horrific consequences. This is first shown through Hamlet’s inaction and manic nature which controls his emotions towards killing the King. Next, it is shown when Laertes lets his impulsiveness blind him from the consequences of his actions. Finally, unlike the aforementioned characters, Fortinbras defies his emotions and controls his actions to achieve his goal. Through the contrast of these three men, Hamlet reminds modern day readers that Shakespeare’s plays are still significant in our day as we are reminded that letting our emotions control our thoughts and actions we may never really achieve our goals the way we want to.

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